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Thread: Converting a classical guitar

  1. #1
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    Mar 2018
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    Default Converting a classical guitar

    Hello,
    Since I do not have a tenor ukulele yet, would it be possible to convert a classical guitar with strings one to four only to practice chords played on a ukulele.
    If yes, would you place the high E string on the fourth string and move D, G and B on the first three strings?
    Ron

  2. #2
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    No, eDGB is not a typical ukulele tuning. DGBE is already baritone ukulele tuning, so no adjustments are needed! If you wanted a reentrant tuning, your easiest solution would be to leave the GBE as the top three strings and get an extra 1st string and tune to "d" as your 4th string to give dGBE tuning. This is a not too uncommon tuning for tenor ukulele, though not as common as gCEA. I think you would have a hard time getting up to gCEA tuning on a full size guitar. Unless you want to use a capo on the 5th fret which incidentally does get you close to tenor ukulele scale length (or at least baritone)

    Hope this helps
    Current Stable:
    -Ohana TKS-15E - Eb cuatro
    -Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    -Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    -KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    -Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    -Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    -Imua iET-Bb, M600
    -Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    -Rogue bari
    -Bonanza super tenor, FBL cFAD
    Once upon a time:
    -RISA Concert Stick
    -Bruko sop. custom #6
    -Lanikai lam hog bari
    -Kala SLNG
    -Bruko bari
    -Gold Tone BUT


    Jim's Blog

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    No, eDGB is not a typical ukulele tuning. DGBE is already baritone ukulele tuning, so no adjustments are needed! If you wanted a reentrant tuning, your easiest solution would be to leave the GBE as the top three strings and get an extra 1st string and tune to "d" as your 4th string to give dGBE tuning. This is a not too uncommon tuning for tenor ukulele, though not as common as gCEA. I think you would have a hard time getting up to gCEA tuning on a full size guitar. Unless you want to use a capo on the 5th fret which incidentally does get you close to tenor ukulele scale length (or at least baritone)

    Hope this helps
    Yes, Jim is perfectly on point here, and I agree completely.

    Also, if you do as he said here, and additionally put a CAPO on the 5th fret you get gCEA or GCEA, and pretty close to tenor scale length.

    The only problem is that as you get closer to where the neck joins the body, you may have trouble accessing further frets, but if you are just starting and strumming out first position chords, you will likely have an actual uke before you are learning tunes that will have notes up near the 12th-14th fret area.

    The capo lets you get a taste of both baritone tuning in G6 (DGBE) as well as tenor/concert/soprano tuning in C6 (GCEA), same chords as guitar without the 5th and 6th strings, and ALL are the same shapes, just in different keys...

    i.e., as you would finger a D Maj chord on guitar is ALSO how you would finger a D Maj chord on baritone, but on tenor it is the SAME fingering, but the pitch is a G Maj chord because the tuning is a 4th higher.
    This FAQ link will help you learn about many things.
    You should click it, as the answers are waiting for you.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I also want to add this besides the already knowledgeable information given.
    You can maybe sort of get the baritone approximation by leaving the bottom E and A strings out what comes in keeping your thumb on chords behind the neck. Otherwise the wider neck will hinder in some chords.

    And with putting a capo on fifth fret, it is not in my opinion such a good idea to practice GCEA tuning. First the capo most likely will get in the way.
    And secondly especially if your classical is a cheaper laminate one, but also in general the top won't be maybe able to produce the higher frequences the same way as an ukulele that is built for those. You maybe fine if you fingerpick, but something like index finger strumming might produce a very weak/unresponsive sound from you guitar.

    So my recommendation is to get an ukulele and leave your classical for other stuff
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 03-11-2018 at 01:17 AM.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2018
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    Hello,
    what about if I tune the fourth string to a Low G by using a High E string.
    Surely the chord would be played the same ( I think).
    I am on social services and just cannot buy anything at the moment
    In fact, since I have all kinds of tonewood for classical guitar building it would be cheaper to try
    and build one.....for now.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Denis View Post
    Hello,
    what about if I tune the fourth string to a Low G by using a High E string.
    Surely the chord would be played the same ( I think).
    I am on social services and just cannot buy anything at the moment
    In fact, since I have all kinds of tonewood for classical guitar building it would be cheaper to try
    and build one.....for now.
    You will not have enough string tension taking a string that is typically 12 lbs of tension at the E4 note on a 25.5" scale and tuning it almost an octave lower to a G3 note for the 4th string at the same scale length.

    if you try it, likely you will have only ~1-2 lbs of string tension and if you get any sound at all, it will be bad, like a rubber-band across a shoebox, and you can forget about intonation with such low tension.

    You can buy classical single nylon strings for like $1.50 at most music shops and the D'Addario EJ27N full set is like $5 retail in most shops and online.
    This FAQ link will help you learn about many things.
    You should click it, as the answers are waiting for you.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Or you could just take off the low E and A (5&6) strings and you will have a big baritone. The chord shapes remain the same as tenor, just called something else. You said your goal was just to practice shapes, well, this would work until you can get a tenor uke.

    Or Sam Ash has a tenor Kala Makala for $79 with free delivery.

    https://www.samash.com/kala-makala-m...iABEgIUnfD_BwE

    Or these from amazon.. a tenor bundle for $59, free shipping

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073Q5PC7X...&pd_rd_w=pIuKh

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J4A70M8...073Q5PC7X?th=1
    Tenor Ukes
    KoAloha KTM-00
    Pono MTD-(All Mahogany)
    Big Island BI-MO-TR-(All Spalted Mango)
    Compass Rose Style B Tenor-(All Claro Walnut)
    Boat Paddle ML style Tenor-(Red Spruce/Cocobolo)

    Baritone Uke
    Pono MHBSSC-(Spruce/Mahogany)


    Tenor Guitar
    Ibanez AVT1-N-(Spruce/Mahogany)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Default

    OK...now I see.
    The problem is the instrument size and the string length.
    Well taken.
    Ronald

  9. #9
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    I'm confused. What tuning do you want to achieve?
    Current Stable:
    -Ohana TKS-15E - Eb cuatro
    -Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    -Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    -KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    -Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    -Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    -Imua iET-Bb, M600
    -Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    -Rogue bari
    -Bonanza super tenor, FBL cFAD
    Once upon a time:
    -RISA Concert Stick
    -Bruko sop. custom #6
    -Lanikai lam hog bari
    -Kala SLNG
    -Bruko bari
    -Gold Tone BUT


    Jim's Blog

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default

    I think I will just try and get a ukulele , albeit a cheap one
    Ron

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