First time trying B6 tuning and need help understanding what I'm hearing and playing!

Eggs_n_Ham

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Fooling around with my fave little Millar concert and on a whim thought I'd try tuning down a half step to B6 tuning. I watched a Brad Bordessa video of him explaining and comparing this tuning to standard C6 tuning and he mentioned "hard chords". I don't know what that means!

I read that chord shapes are the same and tabs can be played the same as C6 tuning and on other sites the chord shapes are totally different. I'm really just exploring this but would like some suggestions for available tutorials or websites related to B6 tuning and chord shapes.

TYIA!
 
You are now tuned to a different (B vs. the standard C) "key." Playing the same chord shapes and expecting they will sound the same will become a problem while playing with others.

If playing detuned a half step down only with yourself, that's OK. But playing in B tuning with others playing in C tuning will cause unbearable dissonance if you try to use the same chord boxes.

If you expect to play with others, your responsibility is to rename (transpose) every note and chord to reflect the "B" tuning. That is, every chord shape in C will need to be renamed 1/2 step lower. As an example, playing a C chord shape will result in a B chord. Conversely, if you want to play a true C chord you will have to use the C# shape if in B tuning.

In essence, you will need a new chord chart for B (or any other non-standard) tuning. Perhaps someone has made a chart for B tuning...

<edit> Alternatively, you could use a capo* at the 1st fret to be compatible with C players and chord boxes. Or just tune up a half step to C.
(*Gasp, I can't believe I suggested that!)
 
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In essence, you will need a new chord chart for B (or any other non-standard) tuning. Perhaps someone has made a chart for B tuning...
that's not how I think of these tunings. I treat them as a transposing instrument. I always "think in C" in terms of what chords/notes I'm playing even if the uke I'm holding isn't GCEA. This means I might have to rewrite my chord chart to fit but I don't have to know different names for the same chord shape.

another way to think about B tuning is that you have a "built in capo" at the "minus first" fret
 
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If you are not going to play with others then there is a really easy and or a very difficult way to understand what is going on.

The easy way is to pretend it is tuned in C and ignore everything else and you will be fine.

The other requires myriad levels of music theory… essentially you have transposed the ukulele 1/2 step down.
 
I do what Jim does. My point of reference is standard GCEA ukulele chord shapes. I don't have enough brain power to transpose chords on the fly.

I never play with anyone else, so what I do when I pick a new song to play is (if it's on a website or source that automatically handles transposition) switch it to the key that I'm tuned to. But, IF that results in chords that are difficult for me (maybe those are the "hard chords" that Brad was talking about?), I might just play it "wrong" in its original key, or even chose another key just to make it more playable for me. Sometimes changing key can make a song MUCH easier to play.

If I was playing with other people who were in standard tuning, I'd have to transpose to the proper key. In my case, that would be 3 half-steps down. In your case, just one.

I also don't sing, so I don't have to worry about choosing a key that works for my vocal range.

Half-step down is not enough. Go for at least two!
 
I'm sure it depends on the uke, and personal preference. My redwood concert with "just the right set of strings" sounds good at A, and the strings are loose enough for easy bending and such, which is part of why I'm there.

Practically speaking, IF I'm trying to transpose and play common keys, I think tuning to Bb would be a lot better. Being 3 half-steps down puts me in a lot of weird sharp/flat keys. C becomes A, which is easy. G goes to E, cool. But, something in A becomes F#. E becomes C#. Lots of keys where it would just be easier to be an even number of half-steps from "normal".

Now that I think of it, same would apply to being one half-step down.

The peril of not liking to retune all the time, and hating playing with a capo. Good thing I play solo.
 
I'm sure it depends on the uke, and personal preference. My redwood concert with "just the right set of strings" sounds good at A, and the strings are loose enough for easy bending and such, which is part of why I'm there.

Practically speaking, IF I'm trying to transpose and play common keys, I think tuning to Bb would be a lot better. Being 3 half-steps down puts me in a lot of weird sharp/flat keys. C becomes A, which is easy. G goes to E, cool. But, something in A becomes F#. E becomes C#. Lots of keys where it would just be easier to be an even number of half-steps from "normal".

Now that I think of it, same would apply to being one half-step down.

The peril of not liking to retune all the time, and hating playing with a capo. Good thing I play solo.
I am in a uke "no man's land" so I play at a hobby level and solo- sold out cat crowd! I have two other concerts, an aNueNue UC-10 and an Aklot that I can try other tunings- so far I really like the interesting sound of the B6 tuning, I think these alternate tunings will help learn and understand music more and get more out of my ukulele playing.

Thanks you guys!
 
Be careful of the cats. They are ankle-biters. At least mine are with the harmonica. If you stick with Bb tuning and ever want to play with others tuned to C, all you need to do is transpose. Transposing on the spot is difficult and the best solution is not to transpose on the spot. Do it now. on a little 3X5 flashcard you can annotate which key you must play in while tuned to Bb in order to sound like people tuned to C and playing in the key of C or G or F.
 
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