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Thread: Tuning a Tenor guitar like a Tenor Uke

  1. #11
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    Why not??? What sounds great to one set of ears is just "Meh" to another. It is what it is. Doesn't have to compare favorably to another tuning. Not hard to figure out why a uker wants to get as much of a tenor guitar sound as he can with that tuning. It's sufficient that he wants to.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Harrison View Post
    Curiosity is the main reason, probably.
    Out of curiosity, I tuned my Pono Nui Tenor guitar (Pono call it a baritone) to gCEA and was, well.............underwhelmed.
    It didn't sound like a guitar and I thought my tenor ukes sounded better and I don't ( currently !) have a baritone uke to compare it with.
    It sounds much better to my ears as DGBE.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_SbDgHIrxc
    As a matter of interest, is it the Pono Nui "Big Baritone" that you own. I am thinking of getting one, since, having investigated tenor guitars, I think I would feel much happier sticking with nylon uke strings and the Big Baritone seems to cover all bases.
    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." George Bernard Shaw

    "Just remember, if we get caught ... you're deaf and I don't speak English."

  3. #13
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    Feb 2018
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    Inspired by this thread and various bits of information on the Internet I purchased a Vintage Viaten to retune in GCEA. The short story is that you need to move the G3 string and buy an 019 string to make the C4, tune the D4 up to make an E4 and keep the A4 as it is. The long story is as follows. My motivation was wanting something louder than a uke and with a steel string sound but without learning any new chord patterns. I started by assuming that the Viaten strings were the same as the D’addario J66 and so I had a plan to swap them around a bit and retune to make GCEA. Standard tenor J66 is C3 G3 D4 A4, so I planned to swap the C and the G and then tune the D up to an E and keep the A. The E and the A were fine, but the C string was too short to reach the second string tuning peg and the C3 was always going to sound a bit low. So I had to buy a new 020 string to make the C4, this sounded great and I played it like this for a year or so. I also tried one recommendation to use an 042 string to have a very low G2 but this did not sound right at all. I decided to re string when I broke the A, as I had purchased a new set of strings based on my initial findings, but this time using an 020 for the C4 resulted in a high string tension, not sure why, so I changed it for an 019 and all was OK again. I have also tried a wound 022 and a non wound 022 for the G3, the wound sounds and feels better to me. The Viaten is really nice, it sounds great and always generates interest, I don’t really play anything else anymore. After I started playing it I soon found the need for amplification as I usually play with a very loud piano, the Viaten has a small sound hole meaning most easy guitar solutions don’t work. In the end I got an I rig acoustic stage which is a really good bit of kit, the one problem with it is the silly long fragile cable from the processor to the mike, so I have made up a short lead inside the body going to a jack socket fitted into the body, then I use a short lead to connect neatly to the processor clipped to my strap. I also remade the saddle because I found the action a little high.
    Last edited by sam_the_uke; 02-24-2018 at 09:08 PM.

  4. #14
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    Jan 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam_the_uke View Post
    Inspired by this thread and various bits of information on the Internet I purchased a Vintage Viaten to retune in GCEA.
    Iíve been using ukulele like tunings on my tenor since I got it. Not really because I donít want to learn new fingerings, but because I feel for the kind of music I play (jazz/swing) an open minor 7th tuning like the uke's works great. (For example: Minor 7, major 7, 9ths, m7b5's etc are slight modifications on barre chords and so are all movable.) Iíve been tuning it tenor uke style (gCEA) all along, but recently I have been wanting a little more power and not as close spacing.

    So, on my new tenor (blueridge br-70t) I'm trying CGEA - just raised the D string one step. (I.e. C is the lowest note... I refuse to enumerate the strings in the other direction like a lot of tenor players do.) Still getting used to it, but initial indications are really good. It still keeps the wide range, tenor guitar sound - almost bouzouki like - but maintains the open minor 7th tuning I've grown to love. If I get bold I might actually try my bouzouki in GDBE (I normally play it in GDAD) but I fear the finger stretches will be too large there.

    The thread goes on...

  5. #15
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    I don't see why not. It would just be a steel string uke, and early ukes, or at least their ancestors, had steel strings.
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  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Default the solution....

    I tuned my tenor banjo to G3C4E4A4 with steel strings: 0.018 0.014 0.010 0.007 and it is a wonderfull sound and I can go straight from my banjolele to the tenorbanjo (fret 0 to bridge is 57,5 cm)

    Quote Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
    I don't see why not. It would just be a steel string uke, and early ukes, or at least their ancestors, had steel strings.

  7. #17
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    I agree, G3C4E4A4 is a good tuning. I’ve been using it for the better part of a year. So far I’m very happy with the new one (C3G3E4A4). The fact that the chording isn’t much different is a definite plus.

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