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Thread: 4 vs 5 string uke-- what's the tuning?

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    Default 4 vs 5 string uke-- what's the tuning?

    Posted this on Facebook but wanted to try here
    4 vs 5 string-- what's the tuning called? GCEA is reentrant. gCEA is linear. What do you call it on a 5 string uke as gGCEA? I like to fingerpick a lot of country ballads that are linear, but the low g really sounds jarring to me. I don't know if the 5 string would help. Anyone do this and what did you think? I've never actually been able to play a 5 string to try. I know, get a guitar,but I can barely play a concert with the size of my hands. Thanks.

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    I'm curious as well. I don't know if it's the same question, but I wonder: do 5 string ukes typically play linear or re-entrant arrangements?

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    I play linear, re-entrant, and 6-string ukes and have my preferences using each for different songs and playing styles. When I played a 5 string for the first time I also was confused and got the impression that they are ukes for people who are undecided. But if you watch performances of people who have them integrated into their style then it is obvious that there are ways to make them work. An example is Taimane: she seems to play leads and intricate stuff on the three high strings, but integrates the octave gs for powerful strumming that punches trough. For fingerpicking a low G is the way to go. If it sounds funny then possibly because it's a wound one. Try an Aquila Red for better balance with other strings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowdenn View Post
    I'm curious as well. I don't know if it's the same question, but I wonder: do 5 string ukes typically play linear or re-entrant arrangements?
    They are mix with two G strings an octave apart.

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    Octave-G,CEA?

    Lin-entrant?
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 04-26-2020 at 08:01 AM.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    They are mix with two G strings an octave apart.
    Arrangements meaning written music. For ukulele they are typically written specifically for high or low G. I'm curious which arrangement folks with 5-string ukes play: if it's one or the other, or if you can play either. I like playing both high and low G ukes, but for fingerstyle, I find much of the music is arranged for re-entrant ukes. If I'm using a low G instrument, I have to adapt it if I can. I'm wondering if 5-string uke players prefer high or low G arrangements, particularly for fingerstyle playing.

    Do 5-string players usually pluck/play both high and low G strings together, or do they just play one, according to the arrangement, despite the two strings being so close? If I were to go out and get a 5-string uke, would I be looking to use it primarily with high or low G fingerstyle arrangements? Both? Would it not matter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowdenn View Post
    Arrangements meaning written music. For ukulele they are typically written specifically for high or low G. I'm curious which arrangement folks with 5-string ukes play: if it's one or the other, or if you can play either. I like playing both high and low G ukes, but for fingerstyle, I find much of the music is arranged for re-entrant ukes. If I'm using a low G instrument, I have to adapt it if I can. I'm wondering if 5-string uke players prefer high or low G arrangements, particularly for fingerstyle playing.

    Do 5-string players usually pluck/play both high and low G strings together, or do they just play one, according to the arrangement, despite the two strings being so close? If I were to go out and get a 5-string uke, would I be looking to use it primarily with high or low G fingerstyle arrangements? Both? Would it not matter?
    For fingerstyle it would be a gamble but more likely to emulate low G. It requires more care for thumb technique to hit both strings at the same time with equal force. Five string is more suitable for strumming.

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    I could be wrong, but I believe Taimane plays her 5 string Kamaka with 2 low G's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cFloor View Post
    I could be wrong, but I believe Taimane plays her 5 string Kamaka with 2 low G's.
    I wasn't close enough to her to see in detail. But she certainly had a potent sound when she hit the strings. Would be a unique set up for sure.

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    HMS had a couple of videos of, I think Corey, finger picking tenors with 5 or more strings. I think there was an 8-string as well as a 6-string. But it's been a while since I've seen them.

    I was amazed that his picking was so accurate that he could choose which of the octave strings to play as he went. Just lovely.

    I have my 8-string strung gGcCEA so I would imagine it wouldn't be too hard to just play the High-g with your thumb's down stroke. As long as you don't bend the string much. Playing only the Low-G will be tougher. But it can be done.

    I'm going to have to experiment...
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

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