How To Tune A Ukulele – 6 Ways From Easier To More Difficult

When you buy new or replacement strings in particular, you need to tune your ukulele over and over, until the strings are stabilised.

But you’re probably wondering: how to tune a ukulele in the right way?

Well today I’m going to make it easy for you.

There are different ways to tune, some easier, others harder. I will list them, according to my own opinion, from easier to more difficult.

how to tune a ukulele - 6 ways from easy to difficult

How To Tune A Ukulele – Here Are My 6 Ways

1: Digital Tuner

how to tune a ukulele by digital tuner

The easiest way to tune your ukulele is to use a digital tuner. I believe the best are the ones that stick to the headstock of the ukulele – known as clip-ons.

Some of these are specific to ukuleles, but any of them will do the job – if you already have one, no need to buy another.

Tune as follows for a soprano ukulele: The first string should be tuned down to G. Now pick the sting with the tuner clipped onto the headstock.It will most likely show an arrow moving either left or right – tighten or loosen the tuners to centre the note. Some tuners have a green light that will flash when the correct note is reached.Follow the same steps for the C, E and A strings.

  • My own subjective precision rating: 5/5

2. AP Tuner

how to tune a ukulele by AP tuner

The AP Tuner software is a tuner that works from the sounds captured by your computer’s microphone.It works exactly the same way as a common tuner, but isn’t quite so accurate.

  • Price: $ 0.00 ($ 10.00 if you have to buy a microphone for your computer)
  • My own subjective precision rating: 4/5

3. Using a tuning fork or video.

Pitch pipes are available for ukuleles, though they’re not always easy to come across. This method can be a bit difficult for beginners, as you have to judge when the notes are identical. You can find them more easily on the internet.Working in the same way as a tuning fork, there are YouTube videos that give you the correct notes as a reference to tune to. Obviously if you have a friend with a tuned ukulele, you can simply compare tuning string by string.

  • Price: I have no idea how much pitch pipes cost around the world.
  • My own subjective precision rating: depending on our own hearing, it can vary from 0 -5/5.

4. With the help of a guitar

Assuming you have a perfectly tuned guitar available, you can use it as the basis for tuning your ukulele. This sometimes proves a little difficult for beginners. The following notes are identical on the guitar and ukulele – the string count is from bottom (the closest to the floor) to the top (closest to your face):

  • 3rd fret on the 1st guitar string = on string 4 unfretted on the ukulele
  • 5th fret on the 3rd guitar string = on string 3 unfretted on the ukulele
  • On string 1 unfretted on the guitar = on string 2 unfretted on the ukulele
  • 5th fret on the 1st guitar string = 1st string on the ukulele

The above is based on a guitar with standard tuning i.e. EADGBE with a high G. If your ukulele is tuned in low G, you should play the 5th fret of the 4th guitar string and compare it to the the 4th ukulele string.

  • My own subjective precision rating: depending on our own hearing and how well the guitar is tuned, it can vary from 0 -5/5.
  • Price: $ 0.00 (unless you have to buy a guitar)

5. With the help of a piano

how to tune a ukulele by piano map

As with the above two methods, a piano can be used, with the distinct advantage that these are tuned with guaranteed certainty, because pianists usually pay people to fine tune their piano properly.

  • My own subjective precision rating: depending on our own hearing and how well the piano is tuned, it can vary from 0 -5/5.
  • Price: $ 0.00 (unless you have to buy a piano )

6. The most difficult method is to compare one string to another

This method is awful, and very difficult, due mainly to not having any reference. You can use the call tone on your phone as a reference – depending on the region and operator, or a fork tuning fork.Once you have one string tuned, using whichever method, you will have to compare it with the others following the formula below

  • String 4 unfretted (G) = 3rd fret of the 2nd string
  • String 3 unfretted (C) = nothing, as this is the lowest note on the instrument. You can get a C note on the 3rd fret of the 1st string, but it won’t be identical, because it’s on a different octave
  • String 2 unfretted (E) = 4th fret of the 3rd string
  • String 1 unfretted (A) = 5th fret of the 2nd string
  • My own subjective precision rating: -1000/5. I utterly detest this tuning method.
  • Price: Your soul and your happiness. Never, ever tune this way – just buy a digital tuner.
  • Warning: don’t forget that in most cases, ukuleles are tuned in high G, therefore the G string will be higher than C.
  • Warning 2: If your ukulele has friction tuners, it’s a good idea to grab a screwdriver and tighten them, otherwise the string will loosen.

Are you ready to use the one of the 6 way to tune a ukulele from this post?

Do you know how to tune a ukulele after reading my post?

If so, then I recommend you do it by yourself now.

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