How to fine tune your ukulele

by Eduardo Mendoza 08 September, 2017

How to fine tune your ukulele

We have already talked about how the ukulele tuning is, but what to do in those cases when you can't count on an electronic tuner? You need to tune your ukulele and you need to find a quick way. Here is the practical guide to achieve acceptable tuning.

Warning: Before we begin we must know what the tuning of our ukulele is, For soprano, concert and tenor the tuning is: G (sol) C (do) E (mi) A (la)
For our baritone ukulele the tuning is: D (re) G (sun) B (yes) E (mi)

1 Electronic tuner

We go from the easiest and most obvious to the complicated. Having an electronic tuner is essential for any newbie or professional musician. It is practical, small and easy to use. This tuner is held up on the ukulele head, I always say that it works like a map because it tells you where you want to go or where you are, it works as follows.

Color mode

In this mode it is the "map" that will indicate in which position of the chromatic scale (do, do #, re, re #, mi, fa, fa #, sun, sol #, la, la #, si, do) we meet. When playing a string, our tuner will first indicate the letter of the note of where we are and for more accuracy with an arrow it will indicate how far we are from that note. We will only have to tighten or loosen the string until we find the letter that corresponds to the string of our ukulele.

    Ukulele mode

    In this mode our tuner will automatically detect the string indicating it with the string number and the letter of the note we are playing and we just have to tighten or loosen until we position ourselves in the correct pitch. This mode is very useful when we forget what note each string is.

      Remember: The tuner will turn on Green when we reach the correct tuning.

      2 Digital tuner

      Today almost all of us have a smartphone to which millions of applications can be installed and one of these is a tuner, this is a digital tuner that detects the frequency of the played note through the microphone of the cell phone, working just like the electronic tuner . being a cell phone because it is easier visually because in the application it alerts you if you are tensing too much or too little. The App that I recommend the store is GuitarTuna.

      This default application comes with a guitar tuner but you can easily switch to ukulele, just click on the part where it says "standard guitar" and look for the ukulele option. Ready! The application will guide us in the tuning process.

      3 Through a reference note

      There are some tuners that only emit the notes corresponding to that of our ukulele, as is the case with wind tuners. In these tuners, you must blow and listen to the note of the string you want to tune and through the ear go trying to match the sound. Just as this tuner works, you can ask a friend who already has his tuned ukulele to play the notes according to the string you want to tune, matching his sound string by string. Thus you will be entering the tuning of the ear.

      4 With the fretboard

      The fingerboard is an instrument that serves to fine tune us in A (La) 440Hz and works by hitting it by vibrating its metal bars giving us an exact note. This is a difficult way to fine tune since you must have a trained ear the note that gives you is the corresponding to the first string of our ukulele.
      • 1 Tune the string of La, matching the sound of the fretboard.
      • 2 Tune the string of My by pressing that string on the 5 fret by matching this sound to the first string.
      • 3 Tune the Do string by pressing on the 4 fret matching the sound of the Mi string.
      • 4 Tune the Sun string by pressing the 2 fret matching the sound of the La string.

      5 Remembering the sound

      Sounds absurd but we will train our ears and our musical memory, remembering how the tuned ukulele sounds. Imagining the sound of Do we will put the string corresponding to that sound. Taking this as a reference we will press the 4 fret that corresponds to the sound of Mi with this sound we will tune to the second string, with the second string tuned in Mi, we will press the 5 fret that corresponds to the sound of La, tuning with this sound the first string. In the same string of Mi we will press the 3 fret that corresponds to the sun note, with this sound we will tune the fourth string. We reviewed one last time for all the ropes. You may not be tuned to exact notes but at least you can play and practice.

      All this may sound entangled but we recommend you take it easy and study it step by step. If you still have doubts you can tell the workers of the Ukulelería and they will attend you with pleasure Do you know another method? Tell us how you found this blog.

      Eduardo Mendoza
      Eduardo Mendoza


      I am passionate about art in general, food and sharing. Instagram: @Anxolotes @Lalo_Anxolote

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