View Poll Results: How many of you play cousins of the uke?

18. You may not vote on this poll
  • Tiple

    3 16.67%
  • Charango

    5 27.78%
  • Cuatro

    4 22.22%
  • Guitelele

    8 44.44%
  • Cavaquino

    4 22.22%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Results 11 to 14 of 14

Thread: Cousins of the ukuele

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013


    Coming from classical guitar, prior to getting into ukulele, I had purchased a Yamaha GL-1 guitalele.

    Once the shiny wore off from being new, I realized that the nut width of 45mm was WAY too tight compared to the 51mm of my full size classical, but I still have it. I consider it 'replaced' with the Cordoba Mini SM-CE (spalted maple back and sides (lam), cedar top (solid) and pickup/preamp).

    Since getting into 5ths tunings, and having several instruments strung this way, I have considered hacking the GL-1 to be a 5-string instrument, tuned in 5ths F2-C3-G3-D4-A4, but currently lack the time to make the modifications to the nut an bridge...

    I have also been looking at some of the other instruments mentioned at the top of the thread, primarily those that are built for steel strings, so as to have a 4-course, 4-string instrument to tune in 5ths like a mandolin, G3-D4-A4-E5, but with a much more comfortable nut with and string spread and only 4 strings instead of the 8 of a mandolin.

    I tried a few mandolins in the local music shop, and found the 30mm nut and 28mm string spread near impossible to play compared to my custom tenor guitar with a 42mm nut and 38mm string spread, so a steel-string soprano uke cousin would be great...but they are all considered 'exotic' or niche instruments here in the USA and most are selling for about 3-4x of what I'd be willing to spend...

    I also have a Lanikai LU-21B baritone uke tuned in 5ths G2-D3-A3-E4, and a mango tenor Fluke tuned in 5ths, but re-entrant, as C4-G3-D4-A4.

    So whether these are mando-style or some alien world of 5ths tuning, they are still ukes in construction, but with different string configurations.

    I spend about equal time in 5th tunings, and uke tunings, as well as with the Cordoba Mini, which is in fact in Terz tuning, G2-C3-F3-Bb3-D4-G4, which is similar to the ukulele Bb tuning, and Terz as the name is derived from the Italian word meaning 'third' as in 'a minor third up from E tuning' and there's a significant amount of classical music written specifically for Terz guitars from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods, but I use it mainly for my own songwriting....
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada


    My Tiple is a Regal, made in Chicago. I tune it gG-cCc-eEe-AA. I only play a few songs on it, but it's a cool sound.

    Tiple on chair.jpg

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada


    Quote Originally Posted by mds725 View Post
    It isn't on your list of poll options, but I play tenor guitars tuned DGBE, like baritone ukuleles. I think of them as longer-scale, steel string baritone ukuleles. In fact, Rick Turner built me a steel string Compass Rose baritone ukulele that is, for all intents and purposes, a short scale tenor guitar tuned DGBE, but Rick is insistent on calling it a steel string baritone ukulele because DGBE is not traditional tenor guitar tuning.
    I don't know what "traditional tenor guitar tuning" means, but tenor guitar players are pretty evenly split between CGDA and DGBE (usually called "Chicago tuning").
    Many of us were introduced to tenor guitar by Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trio, who always tuned to Chicago tuning.
    Jazz guitarist Tiny Grimes also used Chicago tuning on his arch top tenor electric.
    Eddy Condon played a "plectrum guitar"; a longer scale than the tenor, but with 4 strings. He tuned CGBD, the same as a plectrum banjo.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    West Palm Beach, Florida


    Similar to the above post, you also left off Tenor Banjo (Chicago Tuning). I got one last year and a better one recently. Changed the 5ths tuning to the same as baritone ukulele DGBE which in tenor banjo is called "Chicago" for some reason. The nice part is that all the chords and songs I learn can instantly transfer to my concert uke, just up a 4th (if memory serves me).

    Commonly available in 19 and 17 fret versions with the 19 having a scale of around 22" and the 17 around 19/20". Closer to ukulele scales than tenor guitars.

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