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Thread: Uke for Guitarists

  1. #1
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    Default Uke for Guitarists

    I just bought my first uke a couple days ago. To be honest, as a guitar and bass player of fifteen years, I picked it up and learned to play it almost immediately, but that being said, I'm having a little bit of difficulty wrapping my brain around the theory of this little instrument. Is there a resource out there somewhere (over the rainbow) that will help me understand how to play scales and whatnot geared towards somebody who already plays guitar? Sorry if this gets asked a lot. I've tried a couple of searches to no avail. Thanks!

    DK

  2. #2
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    This is what I usually tell all my guitar playing friends who are trying to learn uke:

    1.) Capo the 5th fret on your guitar.
    2.) Only play the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th strings.

    That's pretty much it. Although the 1st string on the uke is typically high (e.g. High-G), that's just a small thing to deal with. Everything else you know with guitar playing and music theory should carry over easily.

  3. #3
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    Yeah I've read that somewhere else but it doesn't make sense to me. That isn't the order of the tuned guitar strings, so how does that translate...

    guitar: EADGBE

    uke: GCEA

    I must be missing something...

    DK

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahanamoku View Post
    Yeah I've read that somewhere else but it doesn't make sense to me. That isn't the order of the tuned guitar strings, so how does that translate...

    guitar: EADGBE

    uke: GCEA

    I must be missing something...

    DK
    If you just look at the first 4 strings (highest to lowest), DGBE up 5 semitones/notes give you GCEA w/the difference being that the "G" is usually tuned reentrant AKA "high G" above the C string. So that's equivalent to a guitar capo'd at the fifth fret w/o the two lower strings. Does that help?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gmoney View Post
    If you just look at the first 4 strings (highest to lowest), DGBE up 5 semitones/notes give you GCEA w/the difference being that the "G" is usually tuned reentrant AKA "high G" above the C string. So that's equivalent to a guitar capo'd at the fifth fret w/o the two lower strings. Does that help?
    Oh yeah... duh! Got it now. I'm not a capo guy so I got a little thrown off. Makes sense now. Thanks guys!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahanamoku View Post
    I just bought my first uke a couple days ago. To be honest, as a guitar and bass player of fifteen years, I picked it up and learned to play it almost immediately, but that being said, I'm having a little bit of difficulty wrapping my brain around the theory of this little instrument. DK
    I've been playing uke for over 10 years now, and I never seem to be able to entirely "wrap my brain" around the little rascal. For the last couple of years I've been concertedly trying to not "think guitar" while playing uke. Meaning thinking of uke chord names rather than thinking guitar-chord-shape-to-uke chord names.

    I've been pretty successful. My first sign of success...? I sometimes get confused when playing guitar now!

  7. #7
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    A fairly new book out there, nearly the same name as the title of this thread.

    http://www.curtsheller.com/books/UKEGTR/
    Last edited by PhilUSAFRet; 09-10-2012 at 08:20 AM.

  8. #8

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    Consider changing out the high G fourth string for a low G. You can use the wound D string from a classical guitar string set. Once you have the ukulele strung in a linear fashion it may make more sense.
    Mike
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    Collings UT1

  9. #9
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    If you get guitar, you should get ukulele theory too as it is identical - the relationship between notes is exactly the same as those on first four strings on a guitar at 5th fret up.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike hardee View Post
    Consider changing out the high G fourth string for a low G. You can use the wound D string from a classical guitar string set. Once you have the ukulele strung in a linear fashion it may make more sense.
    I'll go ahead and disagree on this one. Re-entrant tuning is a big hunk o' the fun on uke--At least for me!

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