How to Tune Your Ukulele - four ways. Image of pretty ukes.

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!

The EASIEST way to tune your ukulele is with an inexpensive clip-on electronic tuner.

This quick video shows you the model I like, but the principals work for any electronic tuner.

BTW, you do NOT need a special ukulele tuner. The device works by on any instrument, so you can just buy “a tuner.”

I have other videos in this little series showing how to tune by ear (matching pitch), how to tune the uke to ITSELF (“Desert Island Tuning” :) ), and Sneaky Tricks that will help you recognize when you've gone out of tune — so you can fix it.

How to tune your ukulele with a clip-on tuner. Danno's favorite!
This D'Addario brand tuner is now my favorite, and the one I recommend. Here's the link to Amazon, or buy one at your local music shop.

With this method, you can get your ukulele in tune, using only the ukuele itself! No batteries, no other instrument required.

This method works with soprano uke, concert uke, and tenor uke sizes. Of course, a baritone ukulele is a different beast and the string names are different — but the intervals are the same, so you can use this trick, too!

Tuning by ear is easy if you have a sound to compare with — and that's what I have for you in this simple “how to tune” video.

This is the most boring method — but it's tried and true, and works any time you have another instrument to compare note sound with: a piano, a harmonica, another ukulele.

In this video, I'll give you the correct string pitch and you adjust your tuning pegs till you're perfectly in tune.

The string names / pitches shown here apply to soprano uke, concert uke, and tenor uke sizes. Of course, a baritone ukulele is a different beast.

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,

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