Need help relating notes on staff to strings and fret position

Gary Gill

Well-known member
Mar 5, 2010
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Indianapolis, IN USA
Let me say I know nothing about reading music other than what I have found on the 'net. I have created this chart showing the notes on a staff and where they are on a GCEA tuned uke. A little knowledge can be dangerous. Please comment on what I have correct or wrong.
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I think you've got it right. If your uke has 17 frets, you can get to the second F above middle C on the 17th fret of your C string and to the second A above middle C on the 17th fret of your E string, but that's just a minor quibble. Nice work!
Fantastic. I have been trying to set this up. Mind if I share it with my ukulele group?
Hey, Gary! Thanks for sharing your chart. Here's what I've added to it, if any here are interested.
For the record, I'm not trying to be "Mr. Music Theory" with this response. If you have read music at any point, you are used to a 5 line staff (I'm not talking TAB). is that same chart going from C4 to C6 in traditional notation on the staff...

I want to thank Gary Gill for starting this thread and Choirguy for his version of the chart. I am slowly forming plans to offer a ukulele course at my local senior center and this chart will form part of my handouts after the first few classes. This sort of chart may be overwhelming for some but it will be a life-saving way out of potential confusion for others. In any event, it clarifies things and offers lots of options for people trying to figure out melodies. Thanks!
I was asked to provide a chart for low G as well. So, here it is.

I have had two thoughts since last night.

1) There are many charts that show notes on the fretboard...but if you actually know something about music notation, those charts are a bit foreign. Yesterday I sat next to a lady at a ukulele jam who just started playing ukulele and used to play the baritone, and reading chords over individual notes while trying to sing was throwing her off. Again...we all come from such diverse backgrounds in terms of musical knowledge and experience! Still, if these charts make no sense to you, try a traditional note/fretboard chart. Look at this wonderful post by Dane here on UU:!

2) These charts say nothing about flats or sharps (well, dlsn's charts DO). That's a whole additional world of notes and possibilities. In music education, we don't introduce flats and sharps very early (if you learn an instrument--band or orchestra--you see them, but they are taught as general music, we very much stay in the major scale and related modes before moving to accidentals).

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Choirguy left out all the flat/sharp notes, but other than that I don't see a difference - have I overlooked something?
Anyway, should someone stumble upon this thread he will be able to chose between the simplified (without sharps and flats) and fully chromatic version - that should be sufficient for all ukulele players.

And I can only repeat myself:
All these were made with Musescore.

Adding other tunings is not rocket science, I just need to find some time - or I can provide the source files and you can adjust it yourself.

Having said that lets stop discussing which version is "better" (because neither one is) and go back to our ukuleles...
Interesting to see this old thread resurrected. Some things change but the notes remain the same.

Haha! One other trick you could try - use a chromatic tuner, rather than one dedicated to ukulele. Leave it clipped on and switched on, and if you want to know which note you're fretting, just look at the tuner!

I suggest this as a complement, rather as than an alternative, to Gary's/Choirguy's/Louis's charts :)
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