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Thread: So, this Low G thing...what's it all about?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    La Grande-Bretagne
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    Default So, this Low G thing...what's it all about?

    Hi guys

    After years as a sop-only player, I decided I wanted to explore the size of a tenor and playing with a Low G.

    I now have a beautiful walnut Weasley Wharf hand-made tenor. I'm really enjoying the size, scale and volume, but I am already feeling a little 'lost' with the Low G, having only ever previously played re-entrant. It sounds weird not having that higher note at the 'bottom'!

    I like fingerstyle and am reasonably competent, having nailed Aaron Klein's book and regularly working through Ukulele Aerobics, but I am really struggling to understand how to adapt finger picking to Low G.

    Questions
    - Is Low G really 'ukulele?!
    - Is it just trying to be a bit 'too guitar'?
    - Should I stick with it (I'd quite like to be able to play both)
    - If yes, what resources are good for Low G playing/picking?

    I know that there is an unbelievable amount of knowledge and expertise on here, so hopefully some of you will be able to guide me...

    Take care

    Ben

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
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    Default

    As a strumming instrument, re entrant is OK, but why waste a string, low G gives you more notes to finger pick.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2011
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Croaky Keith View Post
    As a strumming instrument, re entrant is OK, but why waste a string, low G gives you more notes to finger pick.
    Well yes, but I pick the high G too!

    There are some lovely picking patterns that use the 4th string and, being strange and re-entrant, it creates what is, for me, the unique sound of the uke (OK, the banjo kind of does it too!).

    And so many fingerstyle tabs seem to be written for high G, or am I just not finding the Low G stuff...?

    Thanks for replying!

    Ben

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    London
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    Default

    I don't understand, if you prefer high G get it restrung.
    Kamaka HF-3DC - Kamaka HF-2LD - Kanile'a Custom 5 string Super Tenor - KoAloha Special Issue Tenor - Pono MGTP5-PC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Durham, UK
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    Default

    Some of the listed questions won't get a definite answer. I think the only valid question is 'Should I stick with it?' You've given the reply yourself: yes, you should.

    As for resources there are many available in the public domain. Some material and music is for advanced players. Check out the links and suggestions folks here provide and keep some handy for when you get bored or need inspiration.
    Roger Ruthen has a varied website with tabs for many instruments, tunings, styles etc.:
    https://pdfminstrel.wordpress.com/

    The following link is also quite interesting if you like early music:
    https://renaissance-ukukele.blogspot.com/

    You can also try out different fingerstyle patterns and make it work for bossa nova and similar genres.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2011
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    La Grande-Bretagne
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    Default

    I think you missed the point of my post, Counter!

    I could happily restring it in 5 minutes!

    the question I was asking was of Low G players and, particularly those who play high and low.

    I've ever played high. I was interested in exploring low G. I'm finding it a bit odd and not very 'ukulele', to me at least.

    So I was looking for insight into the virtues of Low G voicing and whether or not I should stick with it as a new venture.

    Ben

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    London
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    Default

    I don't think that is a question anyone can answer but you. Try it for a month or two and see how it goes. As someone who exclusively plays Low G I wouldn't ask someone who exclusively plays High G what they like about it. It's a bit of an odd question.
    Kamaka HF-3DC - Kamaka HF-2LD - Kanile'a Custom 5 string Super Tenor - KoAloha Special Issue Tenor - Pono MGTP5-PC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Default

    First off low G tuning on ukulele has been around since the early to mid 1900s so it is not a new fade.

    I started playing reentrant only but loved the sound of low G when listening to someone else play it. When I first restrung my tenor to low G it sounded too weird to my “reentrant conditioned ears”. So I went back to reentrant, then tried low G again and again and again. It finally stuck and now I much prefer low G.

    It is a personal choice, there is no right or wrong. Give it time.......if you like....or not.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Finland
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    Default

    Seems to me that you're a bit of a traditionalist, similar to myself. For the longest time, I only played sopranos with re-entrant tuning as well. I wanted to try something new and different and got a baritone. If you think a low G tenor is too close to a guitar, think again.

    I think it's ok to be a traditionalist but not a purist. I don't think anyone can nor should say that an ukulele is less of an ukulele if you deviate from the standard even slightly. I think diversity is something that makes the uke (and any other instrument really) even more fun and interesting. I would encourage you to stick with the new tuning. I bet you'll eventually begin to appreciate the different sound and wider range of low G tuning.

  10. #10
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    Default

    I too don't think most of the questions can be answered as they are subjective (apart from the 'should I stick with it' one - yes - why not?)

    Low G / re-entrant G is just a choice thing. They are not mutually exclusive and there are fans and uses for both. I actually play both - have some ukes strung low G, some high G. If i was pushed on a preference I would say I prefer re-entrant more myself as I think it sounds more traditional, but that is NOT a slur on low G which I also really enjoy.

    Try both, play both, enjoy both. Neither is right or wrong.
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    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Fluke, Flea, Tinguitar Reclaimed Mahogany soprano, KM Ukuleles Dreadnought Concert, Brüko walnut soprano

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