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Thread: Plectrum tuning on uke?

  1. #1
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    Default Plectrum tuning on uke?

    I was wondering if anyone had tried plectrum (banjo) tuning on uke: CGBD (linear). This tuning is traditionally used on long-scale 4-string plectrum banjos for jazz rhythm work. It occurred to me that this tuning would work well on concert uke, or even an octave down on baritone uke.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by aarondminnick View Post
    I was wondering if anyone had tried plectrum (banjo) tuning on uke: CGBD (linear). This tuning is traditionally used on long-scale 4-string plectrum banjos for jazz rhythm work. It occurred to me that this tuning would work well on concert uke, or even an octave down on baritone uke.
    I did exactly the latter last week, tuned my small-voiced bari down from DGBE to CGBD for an interesting (to me) 5-3-3 interval pattern. And I have the Mel Bay book of plectrum chords, and a couple books of trad etc for plectrum and tenor banjos. Haven't really gotten into that yet. And I haven't researched this, but do you know of online resources for plectrum players? I'll wager there aren't too many plectrum tabs floating around.

    Ukes: Alvarez 4- & Kala 6- & O.Schmidt 8-string tenors; 1 Ohana & 2 Kahalo sopranos; Harmonia concert & bari
    Mandos: Celtic (KE Coleman) & Soviet ovals; Kay & Rogue A-types; Harmonia F2 & mandola
    Banjos: Gretsch banjolin; Varsity banjolele; Orlando 5-string; fretless & fretted Cumbus o'uds
    Acoustic guitars: Martin Backpacker; Ibanez Performance; Art et Lutherie; Academy dobro; Ovation 12-string
    Others: Maffick & First Act dulcimers; Mexican cuatro-menor; Puerto Rican cuatro; Martin tiple; electrics
    Wanted: charango; balalaika; bowlback mando; Venezuelan cuatro; zithers

  3. #3
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    I don't much about the plectrum world -- I was just surfing around and happened on a couple of Youtube plectrum clips I enjoyed, which got me to thinkin'. Sorry I can't help you there!

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    This is a lovely, gentle rendition of the tune -- thank you, Campbell. I think I might experiment with this tuning on baritone--I really like it for 2 reasons. 1. It requires no re-stringing, unlike mandola/tenor banjo/fifts tuning (you just drop the D and E strings by a step); and 2. I really like the combination of the fifth on the bottom and the thirds on top. That combination results in a nice bass/treble balance in chording, and it also gives a lovely low C on the bottom in C and F chords.

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    And this also works for gCEA as fCEG ? I see Sandy Weltman does it on reentrant tuning as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCraftedCow View Post
    And this also works for gCEA as fCEG ? I see Sandy Weltman does it on reentrant tuning as well.
    Sure -- as long as the pitch relationships between strings are the same, it would work fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCraftedCow View Post
    And this also works for gCEA as fCEG ? I see Sandy Weltman does it on reentrant tuning as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by aarondminnick View Post
    Sure -- as long as the pitch relationships between strings are the same, it would work fine.
    The chord forms will remain the same. Melodic fingering will be rather different, of course. More skills to learn...

    Standard linear Plectrum tuning (CGBD) is also called Standard C tuning on 5-string banjo. That's the heritage -- plectrums evolved by removing the re-entrant 5th string. Much 5-string music/tabs are easily adapted to Plectrum. A close variant is Double C tuning (CGCD) but if I head in that direction I'll just confuse myself. Tunings are oozing out of my brain. Yow.

    Ukes: Alvarez 4- & Kala 6- & O.Schmidt 8-string tenors; 1 Ohana & 2 Kahalo sopranos; Harmonia concert & bari
    Mandos: Celtic (KE Coleman) & Soviet ovals; Kay & Rogue A-types; Harmonia F2 & mandola
    Banjos: Gretsch banjolin; Varsity banjolele; Orlando 5-string; fretless & fretted Cumbus o'uds
    Acoustic guitars: Martin Backpacker; Ibanez Performance; Art et Lutherie; Academy dobro; Ovation 12-string
    Others: Maffick & First Act dulcimers; Mexican cuatro-menor; Puerto Rican cuatro; Martin tiple; electrics
    Wanted: charango; balalaika; bowlback mando; Venezuelan cuatro; zithers

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