Ukulele For Guitarists

by Eira Mazón April 13

Ukulele For Guitarists

Normally when we try to describe a ukulele we listen to the classic "It's like a guitar but little girl" or even more classic to go down the street with our ukulele and listen to a "Look! The guitar!".

But it is important to know that a ukulele is not the same as a guitar and if you already play guitar and want to start with the ukulele here we tell you some things you should know and they will help you facilitate this process ☺

Main differences between a guitar and a ukulele


Normally a ukulele is tuned as follows: GCEA

This tuning is known as reentrant tuning which means that if you sound string by string from bottom to top you will notice that the notes become more serious until the C and then the Sun is sharper.

In this case the strings do not go from serious to acute as in a guitar, but the fourth string is the second sharpest string From the ukulele what can be a bit confusing if you are used to the guitar.

guitalele parts ukulele guitar

The exception to this is given in the size ukulele Baritone well this is tuned so DGBE like the first four strings of a guitar.

You can also tune the ukulele so Low G so that the ukulele will go from serious to acute from the last to the first string.


For the same reason that we have seen the tuning in the ukulele the strings are not accommodated from thick to thin, but the

While the guitar has three of its strings wound or metallic the ukulele traditionally carries the four strings of nylon unless it is tuned with Low G strings in which the first one is wound or Baritone size that carries the last 2 metal strings.

guitalele Mexico

Points to consider when choosing a ukulele

If you already play guitar here are a couple of points that can help you when choosing a ukulele:


As it is logical the neck and body of a ukulele are much smaller than those of a guitar, you should take into account that if you buy a soprano-sized ukulele, which is the smallest of all, it can be very difficult to accommodate the reduced its size since in addition to the neck being much thinner, the space between frets is much smaller than that of a guitar.

ukulele sizes Mexico

Normally we recommend a size larger than a soprano, such as concert, tenor and baritone.

Number of frets:

On average a guitar has around 22 to 24 frets.

Smaller ukuleles (soprano and concert) have around 12 or 16 and larger ukuleles (tenor and baritone) have 20 or more.


As we have mentioned before, traditionally the ukulele is tuned differently than a guitar so the positions for the chords are different.

ukulele and guitar differences

Since the tuning in a baritone ukulele is the same as that of the first four strings of the guitar you can play the same chords that you would play on these strings with the same positions.


In a ukulele the sound changes according to its size.

When you think of songs with ukulele you usually think of songs like Somewhere over the rainbow or Lava, this "squeaky" sound is that of a soprano ukulele. The bigger the ukulele, the deeper the sound it emits becomes.

The baritone size has a sound much more similar to that of a guitar than that of the soprano ukulele, so if you are looking for that high characteristic sound of the soprano ukulele this size is not for you.

Relationship between the guitar and the ukulele

On a guitar with a bonnet on the fifth fret the notes of the strings from the first to the fourth are the same as on a ukulele tuned in Low G.

This is how the notes on the guitar look:

guitar notes

And so they look in the ukulele with reentrant tuning:

ukulele notes

The main difference we can find is the highest tone of the sun, which gives its unique sound to the ukulele.

But what is important to note here is that the ukulele is four tones above the guitar, which can help you make the transition from guitar to ukulele easily as we will see below.

Ukulele guitar chords

If in your ukulele you make a guitar Re (D), remembering that the ukulele is four tones above the guitar you can take the conversion by counting the tones up from Re (D): 1 - Re (D) 2 - Mi (E) 3 - Fa (F) 4 - Sol (G).

We have made the Sol (G) chord on the ukulele using the guitar Re (D) position!

chord notes ukulele guitar

Let's go with another example: Suppose we want to find the Fa (F) chord in the ukulele.

We count four tones down from Fa (F): 4 Fa (F) 3 Mi (E) 2 Re (D) 1 Do (C). Thus we find that to make the layer of Fa (F) in the ukulele we will need the position of Do (C) of the guitar.

When placing the position of C (C) on the ukulele we will notice that we need to put a finger that would go on the fifth string, but since we do not have the last two strings we will omit the position of our third finger and ! Voila! we already have the chord of Fa (F) in the ukulele.

If you are lost you can guide yourself with the image above so you can more easily see the relationship between one and the other.

This is all you need to know if you want to play ukulele and you are already a guitarist!
Of course, with time and practice you will find what suits you best to play your ukulele, it may be easier for you to start with the ukulele from scratch without complicating the conversion of chords, or you may decide that you want a ukulele soprano although it may be a little more complicated at first. The important thing is that you know and enjoy the wonderful world of ukulele!

couple playing ukulele

Eira Mazón
Eira Mazón


Eira studied the degree of Audiovisual Communication and took a diploma in illustration at the Escena school. He was given a birthday gift Ukulele and since then he has not been able to release it. He is a big fan of Rebecca Sugar and the cartoons.

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