What tuning/stringing do you prefer for playing instrumental/classical music on the ukulele?

What is your preference for tuning/ stringing for playing instrumental music?

  • Reentrant (high g)

    Votes: 10 32.3%
  • Linear (low G)

    Votes: 15 48.4%
  • Alternate tunings

    Votes: 4 12.9%
  • High or low g in standard tuning

    Votes: 5 16.1%
  • All of the above

    Votes: 4 12.9%

  • Total voters
    31

engravertom

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Hi there!

As I write and share compositions and arrangements, I want them to be as accessible and helpful to the community as possible.

Let me know your preferences above!

Two votes per person!

Thank you!
 
I keep trying low G on my ukes and so far they all complain, so I voted for reentrant. Alternate tunings are also way fun and my other vote, but I will add that I wouldn’t have voted for them until a few weeks ago when I tried one of your lovely, easy compositions in alternate tuning. So I hope you keep doing alternate tunings even if that option doesn’t get a lot of votes :).
 
I've only got the low-G uke, unless I borrow my 4-yr old granddaughter's (rather cheap) high-G Soprano. I'm still just barely getting used to standard uke tuning so haven't ventured out past that yet... Though I have played a little normal guitar ever since about 1965 (even owned a couple of 12-strings) but not ready to venture out into anything more exotic yet. Mostly a keyboard guy, this uke thing is still new to me.
 
I've only got the low-G uke, unless I borrow my 4-yr old granddaughter's (rather cheap) high-G Soprano. I'm still just barely getting used to standard uke tuning so haven't ventured out past that yet... Though I have played a little normal guitar ever since about 1965 (even owned a couple of 12-strings) but not ready to venture out into anything more exotic yet. Mostly a keyboard guy, this uke thing is still new to me.
Borrow the tiny uke!
 
Thanks for all the participation so far! No wrong answers, and no need to ever change your preferences.

🙂
 
It kind of depends on who did the arrangement. I do a number of pieces from Mustafa Kamaliddin that are in Low G, but I also do quite a few by Sam Muir that are in High G. Probably more Low G than High G but that's why I have ukes with both tunings readily available. :p
 
The answer to this question is easy: It depends…
 
Reentrant tuning is what attracted me to ukulele from guitar. I'm mostly a rhythm player and I always say, if I want linear tuning, I'd go back to guitar. But I do see that many finger style uke players prefer low G, notable exceptions being Jake Shimabukuro, Kalei Gamiao, and Kris Fuchigami.
 
It's worth noting that each tuning has its own conventions. Just something to keep in mind as you arrange.
 
I didn't vote, but I love reentrant and linear for different reasons and different arrangements. I love my DGBE bari for many pieces too!
 
Since we could vote for two, I voted for All of the Above and Reentrant (high g). Right now, I have three ukes tuned to high g, two to low G and one to Deentrant low a (low G with a low A first string). I strum and fingerpick instrumentals with all of these tunings, even the same tunes, but adjust my picking accordingly.
 
All I play are fingerstyle melodies and all of my ukes are high G. I don’t play any classical selections and my foundation was driven from Jake, so that is the direction I’ve gone. I have tried low G.

I have found pris and cons of both.

A limitation to 2 octaves with high G can eliminate some songs. If there are only a few very low notes the majority of the piece might have to be played up the neck. It can become more of a constant high screech at times.

But the high G can be used more as a drone at times which allows for semi-open/open shapes up the neck. At times it will just blend into the background.

Low G gives added range so you can pick up that A or B below C and keep the melody in the sweet spot. Kind of like a 5 string bass and an Eb note.

But, at least for me, the low G string has to be covered more, or muted, or not played as a drone as it will over-power the piece unlike a high G.

I’m guessing what a person plays drives the tuning.

John
 
For me it depends on what I’m playing. When I sing I prefer mostly a louder instrument with low notes, so I had my Moonbird stringed linear with a low G. And I also play low G vlassical arrangements on it. For Irish songs I use often my 8-string Baton Rouge tenor, which has both high and low G. For classical pieces in general I use the high g re-entrant option. I’m working on the Campanella style. And for playing some pop songs I am starting to experiment with other tunings, but I’m still learning about that.
 
Hi there!

As I write and share compositions and arrangements, I want them to be as accessible and helpful to the community as possible.

Let me know your preferences above!

Two votes per person!

Thank you!
It depends on the arrangement, R. Potter has classical in both Hi and Lo G, Sam Muir almost exclusively Hi G (but many pieces sound good in lo), Jeff Peterson Lo G. I enjoy both. I haven't gotten to alternative tunings yet.
 
I haven't got around to putting any ukes in low G. For me it's high G, sometimes with alternate tunings especially where drones are an important element or 5-string with high and low G which I particularly like for early music such as Le Roy and Sanz.
 
Thanks for all the input so far!

I’m glad to see alternate tunings getting some love.

Low G is probably what I have written for and arranged for the least. Probably because a lot is already available in that configuration.

But, I did successfully arrange one of my high g originals for low G, so that opened my eyes a bit.

Low G is very popular, with good reason.

My few original instrumental pieces so far have been composed for high g or open major 7th tuning.

I have been able to convert one high g to low G, and one major 7th piece to high g.

Thanks again!
 
I went looking last month for high g classical and it was slim pickings. (Voted for Low g, but should have voted for High g.)

Lute to Uke sounds good in low or high g and it's probably my favorite because of that. Just started in on some of Putters, so that may be similar.

Looks like you're writing something I'd be interested in.
 
Thanks for all the input!

I’m glad to see all the interest in high g, and a notable interest in alternate tunings.

I have been experimenting with open C, Gceg. There are a lot of possibilities with that tuning, which is the same intervals as Dgbd.

I’m seeing that some pieces fit these tunings very well, but can be adapted to standard low G, also.

I’m planning to work on a few arrangements in open C, as well as versions for low G, unless the piece is already available in low G.

I plan to convert all of my original pieces to low G if possible.

I want to clean up my high g arrangements, too.

Oh yeah, I have to go to work 5 days a week!

Well, I will chip away at it.

I do have a particular low G arrangement that I am working on that doesn’t seem to be out there in the wild yet.

I have some ideas for new high g compositions, too.

Thanks again!
 
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