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Ukulele Tunings

Of the four common types of ukulele, soprano, concert and tenor models are all tuned the same way – to G, C, E, A. This is known as standard ‘reentrant’ ukulele tuning.

The top G string is tuned higher than the middle two strings (C and E strings). This is one factor that plays a role in giving ukes their distinctive bright and ‘happy’ sound.

Some ukulele players decide to tune their G string down a whole octave to play in low G tuning (also called linear tuning). This means the strings are arranged from low to high in pitch, giving you a broader note range and arguably creating a fuller sound. Note: Bear in mind that you will need to restring your ukulele with a special set of low G strings if you decide to play this way. Simply tuning the high G string down does not sound good!

Baritone ukes are tuned to D, G, B, E, which you keen eyed guitarists out there will notice is the same as the highest four strings on your guitar. This makes the baritone ukulele a great choice for guitarists wanting to transition to the uke for the first time.

A relatively new type of ukulele on the scene is the bass ukulele. This uke is tuned the same way as a bass guitar – E, A, D, G – and is therefore a great instrument for bassists to pick up and immediately transfer their skills to.

Like all stringed instruments, ukuleles require frequent tuning and their nylon strings take time to settle in and are prone to naturally stretching for a while after being fitted. It is always good practice to tune your uke before playing, and a chromatic ukulele tuner such as the TGI Clip-On Ukulele Tuner is the quickest and easiest way to achieve this.