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Thread: High G or low G for fingerpicking?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Posts
    86

    Default High G or low G for fingerpicking?

    As a guitar finger picker, it seems more logical to go with low G, but curious as to popular opinion....
    Thanks


    Kala TEM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    888

    Default

    I will start by saying that I vastly prefer low G for any and every thing. However, it all depends on what you're fingerpicking. Some arrangements, like Daniel Ward's arpeggio studies, are written with high G in mind. And then there's anything arranged in campanella style. I have a few instructional books that teach traditional patterns and they swing both ways.

    When I am just playing from the heart, the high G string becomes dead to me. With high G I play scales and modes and such using only the first three strings. With low G I use all four strings. For example if I'm going to improv with E Phrygian, I do with the E on the 4th fret with high G and with the E on the 9th in low G. So I just play what I play and adapt to whichever tuning I have hanging around my neck.

    If I had to pick only one tuning it would be low G because with low G I can play the first three strings as if it were a high G as well as play with all four strings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Sunny Jersey - where the cows come from!
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    I've bought several collections of arrangements for high-G fingerstyle so that defines that reason ... I sometimes wonder why I bother with low-G arrangements on a ukulele when I can do the same on a capo'd guitar ... but somehow it's not quite the same

    There's certainly a place for all three instruments (and several others) on my wall

    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    314

    Default

    If you need a weak and feeble excuse for buying another Uke fingerpicking is that excuse.

    Two Ukes are mandatory, one high g one low G.

    Tongue now out of cheek.

    Let us know what you buy ;-)
    Col.
    From the UK with a bad case of MIAS.
    Korg PA700, Korg Kross 2, Gibson LP, Fender Jazz Bass,
    + Amps, PA, Boss GT100, mixer.
    Ukes - Kala KA-TEME and Risa ST electric solid body.
    Uke wish list, a Bass, make and model yet to be determined

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    5,659

    Default

    Both, if there's room in your budget and life for two ukes. If not, I'd go with reentrant/high for the sake of variety over the linear tuning of guitar.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by janeray1940 View Post
    Both, if there's room in your budget and life for two ukes. If not, I'd go with reentrant/high for the sake of variety over the linear tuning of guitar.
    I agree with you. Also agree what ripock told, I can't really play melodies in high G when improvising. But high G normal stringed uke is a variety from guitar.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default

    I've just started learning ukulele...unfortunately I have no time to practice it more than twice a week as I have lots of things to do for university but maybe this is the one you need ? If it's not sorry for taking your time body ! Good luck.
    Last edited by Mahito21; 01-14-2020 at 12:00 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    6,227

    Default

    Low G all the way, only use high G for 'sing & strums' - all but two of my ukes are low G.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    274

    Default

    Whose arrangements do you want to play?

    Each tuning has possibilities the other does not. In the surviving literature for Renaissance guitar (a 4-course instruments tuned gcea...) there are pieces written for Low G, High G, and with the fourth course tuned as a gg’ octave...

    So clearly this is a discussion that’s been going on since at least 1546, and probably won’t end any time soon.

    I have and enjoy both about equally.
    Concert: Lanikai LU-21C (Southcoast MU)
    Soprano: Kala KA-PWS (Southcoast Machete)
    Baritone "Rennaissance Guitar": Kala KA-SBG (C-Linear with Worth BL-LGs currently.)
    Tenor: Kala ATP-CTG (Southcoast LMU-NW
    Tenor "Low G': Kala KA-FMTG (Southcoast LML-NW
    Tenor: Kala SRT-CTG-E (Southcoast LMU-NW
    Baritone "Nui": Pono NS-10 (Worth B-B)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    106

    Default

    I would definitely tell people to try both tunings. If you like low G then, if possible have two instruments.
    It makes more sense, I think, to try jazzy stuff or bossa nova with low G. But I also watch tutorials on YouTube and some arrangements making use of the high G are also very nice to try and learn.

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