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Thread: Tuning Down A Full Step On A Concert-Scale Ukulele

  1. #11
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    Thank you so much, guys, for all of your thoughts. To be honest, I'm a non-reader, and I pretty much do solo outings (with uke and voice), so whether I tune downward a step, or upward a step (from "standard"), I still play the same chord shapes that I would use in standard. In the first situation, my singing will therefore be in a lower range; in the second situation, my singing will be in a higher range and will require a little more effort-- but my chord formations on the uke won't be any different. I guess I'm lucky that I'm able to manage the variations in vocal range without too much trouble. I tend to get infatuated with a different tuning every couple of weeks. I'll be fine with "g C E A" for a while, and then I'll get the bug to go up to "a D F# B"; and soon I'll decide to relax things down to "f Bb D G" for that more laid back vibe. But in all of those situations, I'll use the same chord shapes across the board, regardless of which of the 3 tunings I'm using.

  2. #12
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    It is fun trying out different tunings, and I'm digging the F Bb D G on my tenor. Have you retuned your concert yet to this tuning?
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned F-Bb-D-G w/Worth Browns)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned D-G-B-E w/Martin 22 Baritone strings)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (tuned A-D-F#-B w/Savarez classical guitar strings)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Sheehan View Post
    Hi friends, I have had good results in the past with tuning a tenor-scale ukulele down a full step, to "f Bb D G", using Martin M-620 tenor-scale strings. I liked the tone and the feel it produced on the tenor uke in that lower tuning. I am wondering if any of you might have tried doing the same thing on a CONCERT-scale ukulele, and if so, what kind of results you had? Thanks!
    Hi Bill,

    I was interested to see your post because I've had great results doing this with the Kiwaya. I found the sweet spot to be even a half step lower than you did. It really brought out the woody sound of an all mahogany concert.
    Last edited by etudes; 10-06-2019 at 04:49 PM.
    "Everyone I know who is into the Ukulele is 'crackers' so get yourself a few and enjoy yourselves" - George Harrison

    I'm still trying to determine how many George meant when he said "few"..

    Pono RTSH-C-PC Cedar/Rosewood tenor
    Koaloha KSM-02 Koa longneck soprano
    Blackbird Farallon
    2008 Kiwaya KTC-02 Mahogany concert
    aNueNue Moonbird Spruce/Rosewood concert
    2012 Koaloha D-VI Guitalele
    2000 Larrivée U-01 Koa soprano

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by John boy View Post
    It is fun trying out different tunings, and I'm digging the F Bb D G on my tenor. Have you retuned your concert yet to this tuning?
    Actually, John, I haven't tried the lower tuning on a concert-scale uke yet; I have one on order from The Ukulele Site (an Islander), but I'm not expecting it for several more days. I'll be looking forward to seeing how it likes the lower tuning. I had a nice experience a couple of years ago, where a buddy and I played for an open-house at a small-town hardware store; I used a tenor uke tuned down to "f Bb D G", and he put a capo on the 3rd fret of his acoustic six-string, and we were then able to build our songs around the same chord shapes, which helped us as we improvised our way through them!
    Last edited by Bill Sheehan; 10-07-2019 at 03:37 AM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by etudes View Post
    Hi Bill,

    I was interested to see your post because I've had great results doing this with the Kiwaya. I found the sweet spot to be even a half step lower than you did. It really brought out the woody sound of an all mahogany concert.
    Thanks, Etudes, that is interesting, and probably goes to show that each instrument has its own sweet spot. Now, your Kiwaya is a concert, is that right? And do you use standard soprano/concert strings, or tenor-scale strings?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Sheehan View Post
    Thanks, Etudes, that is interesting, and probably goes to show that each instrument has its own sweet spot. Now, your Kiwaya is a concert, is that right? And do you use standard soprano/concert strings, or tenor-scale strings?
    Yeah I put soprano/ concert worth browns- high G. I made a recording with it over a year ago and to this day it's still tuned e A C# F#

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm4Vdstu6P4
    "Everyone I know who is into the Ukulele is 'crackers' so get yourself a few and enjoy yourselves" - George Harrison

    I'm still trying to determine how many George meant when he said "few"..

    Pono RTSH-C-PC Cedar/Rosewood tenor
    Koaloha KSM-02 Koa longneck soprano
    Blackbird Farallon
    2008 Kiwaya KTC-02 Mahogany concert
    aNueNue Moonbird Spruce/Rosewood concert
    2012 Koaloha D-VI Guitalele
    2000 Larrivée U-01 Koa soprano

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by etudes View Post
    Yeah I put soprano/ concert worth browns- high G. I made a recording with it over a year ago and to this day it's still tuned e A C# F#

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm4Vdstu6P4
    That sounds really nice! Beautiful composition too! I'll be anxious to try a "lower-than-standard" tuning on my concert Islander when it arrives! Thanks again for your input!
    Last edited by Bill Sheehan; 10-07-2019 at 03:37 AM.

  8. #18
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    I tuned soprano ukes down 2 full steps to be able to play with a clarinet without transposing.

    They sounded OK.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by aremick View Post
    I tuned soprano ukes down 2 full steps to be able to play with a clarinet without transposing.

    They sounded OK.
    Cool, Aremick! It's fun to experiment; you never know when you might stumble onto something interesting!

  10. #20
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    Nov 2010
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    Well my friend's teacher actually wrote it out ukulele chords transposed for a song for her , but they were pretty much unplayable, at least by me.

    I'm never quite understood why we have transposing instruments anyway.

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