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Thread: Soprano Tension-- due to size or strings?

  1. #11
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    Just be careful about octave. Guitar is transposing instruments and centre C is one octave below (see the photo below).



    Ukulele's C is high C in guitar.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestyShane View Post
    Would the uke even be playable at all if the strings were that slack?
    No idea, I was just throwing it out there. The first time I ever tuned my ukulele I tuned one string in a lower octave. Chased it all day before I figured it out. I always mention it when someone says that they are in tune but it is still wonky. Several people have gotten back to me and told me that was the problem. For me it was that one string. It was playing just fine, but an octave low. I don't know if all four strings being an octave low would be playable. But it is something easy to check before one runs out and starts buying sets of strings.
    Last edited by Rllink; 06-20-2019 at 11:18 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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  3. #13
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    There's definitely a difference between soprano and concert tension. Especially since some string sets are labelled for both sizes.
    Glenn

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    No idea, I was just throwing it out there. The first time I ever tuned my ukulele I tuned one string in a lower octave. Chased it all day before I figured it out. I always mention it when someone says that they are in tune but it is still wonky. Several people have gotten back to me and told me that was the problem. For me it was that one string. It was playing just fine, but an octave low. I don't know if all four strings being an octave low would be playable. But it is something easy to check before one runs out and starts buying sets of strings.
    You can't tune an octave lower unless being like you a real string instrument newbie. Or an octave higher, then the string breaks before most likely.
    In a balanced set the tension in strings is about even.

    Soprano strings are quite slack in gcea tuning. Teaches proper fingering of chords, to not bend notes out of tune

  5. #15
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    Those suggesting tuning to D rather than C forgot to mention that this has actually been quite common in surden areas and eras.
    When I wanted to learn "shine on harvest moon", I was delighted to find sone really old sheet music for it online. To my surprice it had chord diagrams above the notation for the melody. For ukulele tuned to D!
    I use C tuning, so I had to barre all the chords, but it shows that D tuning has been common.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Anuenue African Mahogany Tenor, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkingViking View Post
    Those suggesting tuning to D rather than C forgot to mention that this has actually been quite common in surden areas and eras.
    When I wanted to learn "shine on harvest moon", I was delighted to find sone really old sheet music for it online. To my surprice it had chord diagrams above the notation for the melody. For ukulele tuned to D!
    I use C tuning, so I had to barre all the chords, but it shows that D tuning has been common.
    Good points, UV. I've found that most of the sopranos I've played sounded sweeter, intonated more accurately, and felt more solid (string-tension-wise) when tuned up to "a D F# B". And I've not had any bridges react badly or pop off when tuned that way. Also, I guess if you prefer to stay tuned to "gCEA" when using that sheet music that you referenced, you could consider just playing those chord shapes shown in the sheet music, but without barring them, even though the sheet music may assume an "a D F# B" tuning for the uke. It'll still sound fine, but it'll just be a step lower, which may or may not be welcome news for your vocal cords. (By the way, I do realize that you are undoubtedly perfectly aware of all this, so I hope you won't feel that I'm trying to be a know-it-all!!) Being a "non-reader" myself, I don't pay a lot of attention to what key I'm in, or to the names of the chords, but rather I just tend to go by "shapes". Of course, we all have differences in the way we approach the instrument, and I say whatever each of us does to make it work and to result in having FUN, is fine !!

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Sheehan View Post
    Good points, UV. I've found that most of the sopranos I've played sounded sweeter, intonated more accurately, and felt more solid (string-tension-wise) when tuned up to "a D F# B". And I've not had any bridges react badly or pop off when tuned that way. Also, I guess if you prefer to stay tuned to "gCEA" when using that sheet music that you referenced, you could consider just playing those chord shapes shown in the sheet music, but without barring them, even though the sheet music may assume an "a D F# B" tuning for the uke. It'll still sound fine, but it'll just be a step lower, which may or may not be welcome news for your vocal cords. (By the way, I do realize that you are undoubtedly perfectly aware of all this, so I hope you won't feel that I'm trying to be a know-it-all!!) Being a "non-reader" myself, I don't pay a lot of attention to what key I'm in, or to the names of the chords, but rather I just tend to go by "shapes". Of course, we all have differences in the way we approach the instrument, and I say whatever each of us does to make it work and to result in having FUN, is fine !!
    Heck, I even play a lot of the songs I know from soprano on my baritone! Completely different sound, but a lot of the time it still sounds good. But then I don't sing along, so I don't have to worry about lowering my voice.
    Glenn

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkingViking View Post
    Those suggesting tuning to D rather than C forgot to mention that this has actually been quite common in surden areas and eras.
    When I wanted to learn "shine on harvest moon", I was delighted to find sone really old sheet music for it online. To my surprice it had chord diagrams above the notation for the melody. For ukulele tuned to D!
    I use C tuning, so I had to barre all the chords, but it shows that D tuning has been common.
    Yes indeed D tuning was the original tuning for ukuleles at their peak, when they all were sopranos. There are still string sets from the main manufacturer for that tuning. As for the OP question, since he does not know for sure what kind of strings are on the uke (they may be from a different sized instrument for all we know) I suggest to toss them out and string up with a brand new set. Fluorocarbon seems to work well on KoAlohas, or a D set such as Aquila 33U might be interesting. Strings are cheap and it's a good experience to try a new kind once in a while.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarmo_S View Post
    You can't tune an octave lower unless being like you a real string instrument newbie. Or an octave higher, then the string breaks before most likely.
    In a balanced set the tension in strings is about even.

    Soprano strings are quite slack in gcea tuning. Teaches proper fingering of chords, to not bend notes out of tune
    Well, don't tell me it can't be done, because I've done it and so have others. Now I've come to appreciate your expertise in most all things musical and instrumental, but when it comes to screwing things up, I am unrivaled. And I am not afraid to admit it. In fact, I've been known to screw things up on purpose just to see what will happen. So believe me when I say that it is quite possible to tune strings in the wrong octave.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  10. #20
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    Hi, Jarmo_S!

    It is shame but I tuned octave lower for about 7 months when I started ukulele 4 years ago. I started ukulele June 2015. I visited to music shop and I realized that my tuning was one octave below at Christmas shopping. I asked sales person if his tuning collect was. I am guitarist and I'd tuned it same as guitar.

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