Modern electronic tuners make it easy to tune your ukulele, but the classic methods are good to know, and my sneaky tricks are just FUN!
How to Tune Your Ukulele – 4 Sneaky Tricks and 3 Classic Techniques
Four Ways to Tune Your Ukulele
You can't play your ukulele if it's not in tune! This post shows you four different ways to tune your ukulele, including my clever little tricks that you won't find anywhere else.
There are so many ways to learn how to tune your uke:
- How to tune your ukulele by ear (see below)
- How to tune a ukulele with a tuner (electronic tuner) (see below)
- Pay someone to do it for you (don't do this!)
Honestly, keeping your uke in tune is like keeping your axe sharp if you're chopping down trees — it's the very first step, without which everything else is impossible!
Which Ukuleles Can Be Tuned Like This?
As you probably know, there are four main sizes of ukulele. The tuning tips above apply to:
- Soprano ukulele tuning
- Concert ukulele tuning
- Tenor ukulele tuning
These *methods* in general WILL work for
- Baritone ukulele tuning
BUT beware! The actual notes that a baritone uke needs to be tuned to are not the same as the other three sizes. You can use the methods, but if you're tuning to another instrument or a clip-on tuner, you'll need to specify those baritone notes
Common Questions: How do I tune my ukulele?
OF COURSE, I have to reference you to my uke tuning videos above! But I know lot of folks like to skim, so here are the essentials A's to all your Q's in one place:
How do I tune my ukulele?
Easiest way learn how to tune your ukulele is to buy an inexpensive clip-on tuner. This device will detect the note on the string you pluck, so you can adjust until you're in perfect pitch.
What notes are the 4 strings on a ukulele?
Most standard ukes have strings 4, 3, 2, 1 (that's from ceiling to floor) tuned to the notes G, C, E, A. The Baritone uke is different — see next question.
What are the notes for Baritone ukulele tuning?
From ceiling to floor, the strings are tuned to: D, G B, E — the same notes as the top four strings of a guitar (and a fourth down from standard ukulele GCEA tuning.)
How to tune a ukulele to F# BD G#?
This is an alternate tuning for ukulele that some players prefer. The easiest way to tune this way is by using a clip-on tuner. The interval between notes are the same as standard tuning, you've just got a different starting point — so all the “how to” videos on this page still apply.
What about alternate tuning ADF#B?
Same as above. These notes are the same intervals as standard tuning, to the tuning tricks in the videos still work. Just find the notes using a clip-on tuner, or “by ear” to a piano. — This tuning shows up often on old sheet music, and it seems popular with banjo-uke players, who claim the slightly higher pitch is brighter.
What is a good, free, online ukulele tuner?
If you just need some comparison notes to tune by ear, you can go the useful UkeBuddy site, or my pitch-by-pitch video here.
A Rock-Solid Tip to Make Uke Tuning EASIER:
Every single time you pick up your ukulele, run your fingers across the strings and LISTEN.
Does it sound right? Or does it sound wrong?
It won't take long for you to start to quickly spot the difference and quickly make the adjustments you need. You might surprise yourself and start make corrections without any outside source for comparison–your ears will simply know!
As Always, Focused on the Fun
Whenever you need to know how to do something, whether it's how to tune your ukulele, or how to rid the world of all known diseases, your friends at Monty Python are always a great resource.
Focused on the fun,