When is it a good time to try low G?

The re-entrant tuning is part of the uke design, and yeah there are five fewer notes compared to low G. But all instruments have limitations and the re-entrant tuning opens up possibilities of playing that are not possible on linear instrument. For example chord melody is very popular on uke and with re-entrant tuning you can enrich the playing with up strums in addition to the downstrums that linear uke is limited to. If you want to have only one uke then you will have to decide between the pros and cons, but many people here have more than one uke so they have even more playing options.
Why is linear tuning limited to down strums? It’s harder, but I thought it would get easier as I practiced. If it’s not going to, I’ll quit now. It would also explain a lot about how it sounds, strummed.
 
Why is linear tuning limited to down strums? It’s harder, but I thought it would get easier as I practiced. If it’s not going to, I’ll quit now. It would also explain a lot about how it sounds, strummed.
I think I meant strokes not strums, and was specifically referring to chord melody. Check out the Wilfried Welti materials for examples
 
I stuck a low G next to the high G on an old plastic-back Dolphin with a guineapig sticker. Best of both worlds, extends its tone - and lovely to play. Plus people wonder what the hell is happening there.
 
Switching back and forth is a chore I don't think is 'Worth' it.

Money aside, I'm starting to feel there's never a good reason to NOT get a new uke.
Not advocating switching back and forth but that you can try a low G with the purchase of a single string. If long enough AND you do not like the lowG, you can restring back to highG and stay there, or if you like it and purchase a lowG, then you can restring your current one back to highG.

Assuming you like the lowG, then the question is whether to buy a highG second ukulele or go back to highG with your current ukulele and purchase another that is strung lowG. Less issues when you get your third one...
 
Because it now seems a foregone conclusion that "when?" isn't really the operative question but "why?" or "how?", I'll chime in.

UU member @Patty was kind enough to gift me a Pepe Romero Low G (single string). I've since also purchased a single La Bella 908. Both are excellent (possibly identical) strings with two distinct advantages: (1) Because they're intended for a classical guitar, they're well over 30 inches long, which of course means a soprano uke player can install just one half at a time; (2) They're metal wound around a nylon core, which means only slightly larger girth than a High G fluorocarbon string, causing no discernable need to widen & deepen your G string nut slot.

As much as I continue to appreciate Patty's selflessness and kindness, I haven't warmed up to the Low G sound and recently re-installed a Fremont High G. My best guess is that my inability to get comfortable with the low G is a result of my 5-string banjo background. My ears and fingers are habituated to a high top string and my low-brow musical taste includes few of the tunes that Low G tuning is intended to accommodate.

@SeemingMusic, if you'll PM me your mailing address, I'll snail-mail you one full LaBella and the remaining half of the Patty-gifted Romero.
 
Because it now seems a foregone conclusion that "when?" isn't really the operative question but "why?" or "how?", I'll chime in.

UU member @Patty was kind enough to gift me a Pepe Romero Low G (single string). I've since also purchased a single La Bella 908. Both are excellent (possibly identical) strings with two distinct advantages: (1) Because they're intended for a classical guitar, they're well over 30 inches long, which of course means a soprano uke player can install just one half at a time; (2) They're metal wound around a nylon core, which means only slightly larger girth than a High G fluorocarbon string, causing no discernable need to widen & deepen your G string nut slot.

As much as I continue to appreciate Patty's selflessness and kindness, I haven't warmed up to the Low G sound and recently re-installed a Fremont High G. My best guess is that my inability to get comfortable with the low G is a result of my 5-string banjo background. My ears and fingers are habituated to a high top string and my low-brow musical taste includes few of the tunes that Low G tuning is intended to accommodate.

@SeemingMusic, if you'll PM me your mailing address, I'll snail-mail you one full LaBella and the remaining half of the Patty-gifted Romero.
The ukulele really is a great little instrument—among other things, it allows so much experimentation with alternative stringings & tunings. And as your musical life changes, as your tastes and preferences develop, your instrument can change with you. Pretty terrific!
 
I agree. I actually started with low G, but ever since I've had two or more ukes, I've had at least one high and one low.

I find that roughly half of my repertoire sounds better one way or the other. I would find it restrictive to be limited to one.

Jim
Exactly. +1
 
The one thing I'll add is this; the question seems to imply a graduation or a progression--like you get good enough with the entry level re-entrant and then move to the low G. That's not the case. You move to a low G when it will improve your ukulele life. And you move back when a new phase in your journey requires high G. I made the move to low G fairly early because I pick more than strum and, like the OP, I found I was only using 3 strings so I went to a configuration where I could use all 4. Nowadays it is a moot point because I saved money from every paycheck and got my kamaka which I keep in re-entrant for those times (which I must admit are rare) when I want re-entrant. In theory I can move from linear to re-entrant at any time now.
Thanks! Yes I did have that mindset of beginners should get good at re-entrant first before moving to low G which I soon got is not the case. It was a limiting belief that wasn't healthy!
 
Because it now seems a foregone conclusion that "when?" isn't really the operative question but "why?" or "how?", I'll chime in.

UU member @Patty was kind enough to gift me a Pepe Romero Low G (single string). I've since also purchased a single La Bella 908. Both are excellent (possibly identical) strings with two distinct advantages: (1) Because they're intended for a classical guitar, they're well over 30 inches long, which of course means a soprano uke player can install just one half at a time; (2) They're metal wound around a nylon core, which means only slightly larger girth than a High G fluorocarbon string, causing no discernable need to widen & deepen your G string nut slot.

As much as I continue to appreciate Patty's selflessness and kindness, I haven't warmed up to the Low G sound and recently re-installed a Fremont High G. My best guess is that my inability to get comfortable with the low G is a result of my 5-string banjo background. My ears and fingers are habituated to a high top string and my low-brow musical taste includes few of the tunes that Low G tuning is intended to accommodate.

@SeemingMusic, if you'll PM me your mailing address, I'll snail-mail you one full LaBella and the remaining half of the Patty-gifted Romero.
Your generosity is much appreciated and noted but I live on the other side of the world and that exercise would benefit the couriers more than us. Please offer it to someone more in need closer to you. Thank you for offering! I will also need to buy a tenor uke first as I do want to keep this sweet concert Acacia I have now in re-entrant.

I do intend to buy a fair few strings and sample them in same room and mic and listen to it just so I can understand the differences better. Not just high or low G. This will be more of a reference for me now and I can refer to it later as my skill and taste evolve over time.
 
Are the chord shapes the same for low G and high g?
If you finger them the same, they would be the same in that a C is a C an E is an E, etc. BUT they can be different inversions of the chord since the note on the lowG string is now below that of the C string.

So on a high G, you play C as the lowest note, and an E and two higher Gs. That is a first position chord. If you had a low G, you could play 000x, which is lower G, C and E. This is a second inversion (if I have it right, lol) of the chord since G is the lowest note being played. So a lowG gives a different sound. Sometimes it matters and sometimes it does not. If in a group play, does not matter since some will have each.
 
I agree. I actually started with low G, but ever since I've had two or more ukes, I've had at least one high and one low.

I find that roughly half of my repertoire sounds better one way or the other. I would find it restrictive to be limited to one.

Jim
I have a buttery smooth AMM3 strung in low G and adore it. My bright chimey Anuenue color series serves my re-entrant sensibilities nicely!
 
When to try, why to try etc...

When you want to play something that works well with low G. You get a few more notes for melodies, you get a few more inversions of chords that will leave the root as the lowest note. That can be very useful. In the OP the problem of missing some notes for the melody, in the preferred key, is mentioned. That is a perfectly good reason to try low G tuning.

I play mostly high G. I prefer that sound when strumming, and I like to attempt some clawhammer where the drone note is needed. But I keep some ukuleles tuned low G for when I need those extra notes and chord inversions. My tenor ukes are tuned low G, my concert ukes high G.

If you decide that you like both low G and high G after trying it, I suggest having at least two ukuleles. Each time you change strings, besides the money and ressources spent, it takes a few days before the strings have settled enough for comfortable playing. A long time to wait if you suddenly decides you want to play something in the other tuning!
 
When is it a good time to try low G?

High g affords you that beautiful voice that only a ukulele can create. Low G provides you with a note pallet akin to guitar-like instruments. There's no special skill set for trying low G tuning, so try it whenever you desire. I hope this addresses your questions.
 
When is it a good time to try low G?

High g affords you that beautiful voice that only a ukulele can create. Low G provides you with a note pallet akin to guitar-like instruments. There's no special skill set for trying low G tuning, so try it whenever you desire. I hope this addresses your questions.
I agree with this. My own opinion on it is the re-entrant tuning is what makes the ukulele unique. Adapting to it is part of the challenge. You might as well just switch to a baritone or even a guitar if you don't want to and you're going linear just to get more notes to play.
 
So I often suggest that a ukulele owner have a soprano/concert in High G and a Low D Baritone/Tenor in DGBE, and then there is very little musical repertoire that you cannot play on your ukuleles, just pick the right one for the job at hand. One good quality model of each is enough to last a lifetime.


Ok , so Ukes are like Lay's patato chips , I can't have just one . I need 2 , if not 3 .

I would probably tune a Baritone DGBD , to carry over from GBDGBD on Dobro .
 
I have 2 Baritones turned into "Super Tenors" both with a wound low g and a wound c.
Dearly love they way they both sound........ not take away from my Tenors tuned high g, wouldn't change them.
Just a different sound from each one. Experiment, Experiment, Experiment. Each uke is its own animal.
 
If you are used to this tuning, why not?

You can only play one at a time, but if you like to span most of the music repertoire available, you only need 2. You will save yourself a lot of money if you start with a low cost soprano, get over the physical training of your fingers and arms and start to move into the intellectual part of music, and then buy one nice soprano/concert size and one nice baritone, and wear them out over the next five years before buying anymore ukuleles. Keep saving, and when they wear out, step up another level. Spend your time and money on acquiring musical repertoire instead.

You could tune the your soprano GCEG to match the DGBD and then you can transpose from one to another as required.

My starting point is a Concert Uke. that I bought at yard sale once upon a time . then rediscovered . I'd have to re read my intro post , or call home to remind myself the brand , but I googled , and current price is USD $70- ish .Is that cheap , or edging medium ?

. I will make note of the GCEG .
 
My starting point is a Concert Uke. that I bought at yard sale once upon a time . then rediscovered . I'd have to re read my intro post , or call home to remind myself the brand , but I googled , and current price is USD $70- ish .Is that cheap , or edging medium ?

. I will make note of the GCEG .
By any measure, $70 is cheap.
 
I only play low G. It provides a greater dynamic range for the music I like to play.

If I come across something written in High G I’ll just adapt bits that don’t work.

I also find if you play with others or even with backing tracks the extra notes are extremely useful.

I’ve never felt the need to revisit high G but I’m sure at some stage I’ll delve into it
 
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