Beginners Guide: Simple Steps to Help You with Tuning Your Ukulele

Beginners Guide: Simple Steps to Help You with Tuning Your Ukulele

Are you the newest member of the Ukulele community? Well, congratulations for choosing this musical instrument, there is non-other that can give you greater joy. But first things first. As a beginner you should know all the parts by heart, and there are not so many.

The Parts of the ukulele

  • The Headstock

This is the topmost part of the ukulele. In essence it is the part that houses the tuners that you are to play around with to attain the harmonious melody you are expecting.

  • The Neck

This part of the ukulele is composed mainly of an important part known as the fretboard. The fretboard has frets, fret markers and the nut.

  • The Body

Lastly there is the body. This is the hugest chunk of the uke and the part that you will mostly be holding. On the body there are other parts including the bridge, the saddle, the strings and the sound hole.

The Ukulele strings

Although it may seem complicated at first when you need to know the basics, learning the structural features can help you in adjusting your unit to your preference. The Ukulele strings run all the way from the headstock to the body. They are a total four in number. You should know how to re-string them as you may be required to do this at some point in the life of your ukulele. Also, tuning is mostly done on the strings.

The standard play mode strings of the ukulele are:

  • A: the 1st string
  • E: the 2nd string
  • C: the 3rd string
  • G: The fourth string mostly located on the left on the fretboard.

The Standard Ukulele Tuning Method

This tuning method, called by some “relative tuning”, mostly tunes the strings in close comparison to one another. This is perfect tuning when playing alone and in need of a similar sound from all the strings, but not when playing in a group. So how do you perform the relative tuning?

Step 1: use the first string (A) as the main reference for the others.

Step 2: Put your fingers slightly behind the fifth fret on the second string (B) to create an A note. This will make the first string sound like the second one when you pick on it. To adjust the second string, play around with the tuning pegs on the headstock until you attain harmony in the sounds.

Step 3: Placing your fingers slightly behind the fourth fret on the third string (C), create an E note. This will make the second string sound the same (E) when you pick on it. Re-adjust the pegs on the headstock until you attain perfect harmony.

Step 4: There is a standard high fourth (G) string that most ukuleles come with. To create an A note, place your finders slightly behind the second fret on the G string. Picking the first string (A) should now produce a similar sound. To create a perfect balance, play around with the pegs on the headstock.

Step 5: This last method is for those wishing to use the Low G string. To create a C note tune, place your finger slightly behind the fifth fret on the G string (fourth). Picking on the third string (A) should now produce a similar sound. Re-adjust the tuning pegs on the headstock until you arrive at equilibrium.

The standard tuning method is not very accurate, and you will mostly only notice it when playing in a group. It’s however the quickest way to tune your uke, and once you have mastered your fretboard notes you can even invent other note combinations.

Electronic Tuning

This is the easiest and the fastest way of tuning your ukulele. Most local stores will stock the electronic tuners, and you could also purchase one from the online stores. They should not be a hefty price on your pockets, and they are definitely worth buying as they will lessen your burdens. Just ensure that the tuner you buy is designed as a chromatic (multiple notes) or for ukuleles. The process of tuning is easy, place the tuner on your lap, pluck the strings and read the notes shown. The tuning pegs can help you harmonize the notes.

Piano Tuning

To use a piano in tuning your ukulele, match the piano key notes with those of the uke by carefully listening. It will take you practice to master so determination is key.

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