Soprano D tuning Ohana sk38

Calbrit

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Having read somewhere that the original tuning for sopranos was D not C I thought I would give it a go. It sounds great on the Ohana SK38. Very punchy and suprisingly its also good for fingerstyle.
It seems to sustain longer.

I can't recall why standard tuning went from D to C. I think D sounds better.
 

merlin666

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I owned a soprano only for a few months and had to tune it up to make it enjoyable. I assume that the lower tunings became popular as larger uke sizes were introduced, and rather than having a different tuning for each scale length a popular compromise was reached that was consistent and also helped ukulele players to play with others that used C as a base.
 

rainbow21

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D tuning is still the standard in Canada and likely elsewhere. If you only play by yourself, then many others have posted that D tuning is preferred on a soprano.

I did have the opportunity to try it on a century old uke (found in a friend's garage) and D tuning sounded great. That was the standard here in the 20s and 30s and you can find original music in the key of D.

I have a question for those with experience: If you tune to D for a while and decide to tune back to C, are the strings overstretched or can you simply tune it that way without issues.
 

merlin666

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I had the soprano tuned up to D for several weeks and once I decided to donate it I tuned it back down and didn't notice any difference. It had Titanium strings and they took some time to settle into the higher tuning. I also have reused other old strings when I needed a quick replacement and found that they need to stretch and settle again as if they were new.
 

Jim Yates

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D tuning is still the standard in Canada and likely elsewhere. If you only play by yourself, then many others have posted that D tuning is preferred on a soprano.

I did have the opportunity to try it on a century old uke (found in a friend's garage) and D tuning sounded great. That was the standard here in the 20s and 30s and you can find original music in the key of D.

I have a question for those with experience: If you tune to D for a while and decide to tune back to C, are the strings overstretched or can you simply tune it that way without issues.

Most uke clubs and uke players in Canada use C6 tuning. D6 is far from standard here, in fact I don't know any uke players who use D6 tuning.
In the seventies there was a player named Chalmers Doane (sp?) from Nova Scotia who designed a ukulele program for public schools that was adopted by many schools across Canada.
A large number of Canadian school teachers took Doane's course and passed the info on to their students. Many Music competitions had a category for ukulele bands.
Doane liked D6 tuning with a low A string and taught the reading of standard notation using the ukulele. It was a popular course and a number of Canuck musicians got their interest in music kick-started through Doane's course.
There may be some Canuck ukers who got started through Doane's instruction who still use D6 tuning, but C6 is the standard in Canada.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Chalmers_Doane
 
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rainbow21

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Most uke clubs and uke players in Canada use C6 tuning. D6 is far from standard here, in fact I don't know any uke players who use D6 tuning.
In the seventies there was a player named Chalmers Doane (sp?) from Nova Scotia who designed a ukulele program for public schools that was adopted by many schools across Canada.
A large number of Canadian school teachers took Doane's course and passed the info on to their students. Many Music competitions had a category for ukulele bands.
Doane liked D6 tuning with a low A string and taught the reading of standard notation using the ukulele. It was a popular course and a number of Canuck musicians got their interest in music kick-started through Doane's course.
There may be some Canuck ukers who got started through Doane's instruction who still use D6 tuning, but C6 is the standard in Canada.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Chalmers_Doane

This is from a James Hill article in 2010: "To complicate matters, people who play in D6 tuning (a, d, f#, b) are like people who use Apple Computer products: a dedicated minority. With D6 tuning still prevalent in Canada, Europe and some parts of the U. S. A., it's unlikely that it will be exterminated overnight."

There are likely pockets of D6 tuning and apparently some of the classroom uke instructors use D6.

So not a contradiction of your experience (especially since I have little experience with the Canadian uke community).
 

Jim Yates

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This is from a James Hill article in 2010: "To complicate matters, people who play in D6 tuning (a, d, f#, b) are like people who use Apple Computer products: a dedicated minority. With D6 tuning still prevalent in Canada, Europe and some parts of the U. S. A., it's unlikely that it will be exterminated overnight."

There are likely pockets of D6 tuning and apparently some of the classroom uke instructors use D6.

So not a contradiction of your experience (especially since I have little experience with the Canadian uke community).

These days James Hill uses the C6 tuning for his instructions, but he did start out in a Chalmers Doane course as a child at school and used D6 tuning.
James does many workshops at Canadian folk festivals and uses C6 tuning for these workshops. He does use many alternate tunings in his performances.

I have a Harmony soprano uke that I think I will try in a D6 tuning thanks to this thread.
 
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Graham Greenbag

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“A large number of Canadian school teachers took Doane's course and passed the info on to their students. Many Music competitions had a category for ukulele bands.
Doane liked D6 tuning with a low A string and taught the reading of standard notation using the ukulele. It was a popular course and a number of Canuck musicians got their interest in music kick-started through Doane's course.”


Thanks Jim, D Tuning with a low A is something I’d not heard of before and I can see a degree of logic to its use in particular settings. I’ve never seen string sets for D Tuning with a low A - or even separate low A Strings - but I guess that it’s a case of just looking in the right places (wonder where they are??).

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7kofL1im7S8
Aaron Keim demonstrates D Tuning with a low A.
 
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Croaky Keith

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Each size of ukulele used to be tuned differently - it was commercialization that made them all tuned to 'C'.

(Soprano used to be in D or Eb - concert was in C - tenor used to be A or Bb - baritone G)
 

Bill Sheehan

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D tuning fan here! I would have to agree that I've yet to play a soprano that didn't come to life and sound better in that "a D F# B" tuning!

Possible exception would be the Flea ukes, which seem to prefer C tuning.