Any tuning is possible on a ukulele as long as the ukulele's construction supports it and a string is available.
There are three somewhat common tunings in popular use today, C, D and G tuning - with C tuning the most popular - with two popular variations.
Re-entrant ukulele tuning?
If coming from the guitar where the strings are tuned low to high, ofter called a linear tuning. An instrument like the ukulele with a re-entrant tuning where the lowest note of the instrument might not be the lowest string can seem a little strange at first. This re-entrant tuning, which places all the notes of a chord within one octave is part of the unique ukulele sound. This is especially for the smaller soprano and concert ukuleles.
For C Tuning ( G C E A ) the above fretted notes are ALL the exact same pitch (A) when using the re-entrant tuning. And when using a low G string the A on the string four is one octave lower than the re-entrant tuning's string four A.
To tune the ukulele relative to itself, compare the fretted notes on string four ( closest to your nose ) fret(2), string three (fret 9), and string two (fret 5) to the open string one. Tune up or down to the match this open string one's note.
No Excuse For Being Out Of Tune
In this electronic age where it is better to ask, "Who doesn't make a clip on tuner?". Simply get an electronic tuner or download an app to your smart phone and get in tune.
Software and iPhone/iPad apps
Here are a few of the software tuners I've used. - The Peterson iStroboSoft is the software tuner I currently use.
- or - just buy an electronic tuner and get in-tune quickly and accurate.
And - be sure to actually learn to tune by ear. If your ever stranded on a desert island and are without your tuner or have it with you and thye battery dies. You need to learn how to tune the uke to itself.
The Planet Waves, NS Micro Headstock Tuner is my favorite tuner. I have it on all my performance ukuleles. As well as the new Peterson StroboClip HD. I really have grown to like strobe tuners.
At our family music store, Funky Frets in Boyertown, PA USA we carry a lot of clip-on tuners and the one I carry with me all the time is either the Fender FT-004 or Ko'olau's O'ahu Chromatic Tuner. I clip one on in the morning at home as part of my `Ukulele uniform for the day. The repair and setup bench always has a Peterson Strobe Tuner fired up.
In 1994, Howard and Robert Silagy started a small guitar strap company in Hicksville, N.Y. Their approach to business was simple: make attractive, durable straps using high-quality materials and people will buy them. Over the next four years, the company grew, with sales skyrocketing because of the growing popularity of Planet Waves colorful, attractive designs and the line's thick, heavy-duty leather tabs.
In 1948, 10 years after the invention of the strobe tuner, Chicago-based Peterson Electro-Musical Products began building instrument tuners under the direction of Dick Peterson, a pioneer of solid state electronics. The first Peterson tuner was the Model 150 in 1952. This was updated to become the Model 200 in 1959 and the design was advanced to solid state with the Model 300 in 1966.
Pono instruments are professionally designed and handcrafted by the Ko'olau Guitar and `Ukulele Company on the Island of Java, with final adjustments and set-up on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is the world’s leading guitar manufacturer, and its name has become synonymous with all things rock ‘n’ roll. Iconic Fender® instruments such as the Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars are known worldwide as the instruments that started the rock revolution, and they continue to be highly prized by today’s musicians and collectors.
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Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books! — Peter Rhee
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