Ukulele is a four-stringed instrument that originated in Hawaii. This instrument was named after its small size, cheerful and exuberant sound. The appearance of a ukulele resembles a small guitar. However, it is unique with the tuning and type of chords used in it. The characteristic sound produced by the ukulele is joyous and rejuvenates the enthusiasm within. Ukulele consists of three parts the body, neck, and hardware. The standard tuning of Ukulele includes G4, C4, E4, and A4. Despite its resemblance to a guitar, using a ukulele can be altogether a different ballgame.
The foremost step in playing the ukulele is bringing it to its perfect tune. A ukulele which is not in tune might prove to be a horrendous nightmare for the musicians. On stage, a ukulele that is out of tune will not deliver an exceptional performance as desired. Hence it is essential to bring a ukulele in tune before playing it professionally. For perfect tuning, it is recommended to check the ukulele every 5 minutes. Sometimes the struggle is on what parameters do the tuning of ukulele depends.
How to tune a ukulele is a question which is best answered with the knowledge of its various parameters
Knowledge of the strings
One should have a severe knowledge of the kind of strings for enhancing the quality of tuning. Good knowledge of the string will come with a good knowledge of the ukuleles. Soprano, tenor, and concert ukuleles are the most popular ukuleles having different sizes. An amazing thing about these ukuleles is that although they come in different sizes, they use the same kind of strings. The names of the string from 1st to 4th order are A, E, C, and G.
Ukulele could be tuned by an ear or by a tuner. A tuner can tune the ukulele faster and easier. The three most popular kinds of tuners include traditional handheld tuners, clip-on tuners, and ukulele tuning apps. Among all type of tuners, a chromatic tuner which comes under the category of a clip-on tuner is preferred the most since it identifies quickly the pitch of the string. It can tune the string by examining its vibrations. On the other hand, tuner apps are easy to access but they might not prove to be that accurate. However, GuitarTuna is regarded as the best tuner app in Android and iOS.
How to tune a ukulele in different ways
In this, the ukulele is tuned with a high G string. This is one of the supreme factors making the sound of the ukulele vibrant and charming. In reentrant tuning the pitch is kept in a smaller range, hence it gives the most perfect and even sound.
In linear tunings, the strings are arranged from the lowest pitch to the highest pitch. In this kind of tuning the sound delivered is more resonant and full since the ukulele has a broader range of tuning.
Most preferred methods for tuning a ukulele
In the present scenario, certain methods guide us on how to tune a ukulele perfectly. These methods help the players to tune their ukulele with supreme perfection and lasting comfort. Certain methods of tuning a ukulele are listed below for a better understanding.
Traditional Tuning Method
In this method, the four strings are tuned relative to each other. This method is not that reliable and accurate and requires a good amount of knowledge. Tuning the ukulele could be achieved in 4 steps. The first step has the use of the first string as a reference to tune other strings. The second step requires the adjustment of the second string concerning the first string by matching the notes. Similarly in the third step, the third-string is adjusted regarding the second string. In the same way, the fourth string is adjusted until the sound is the same as the tuning pegs of the headstock.
Electronic Tuning of a ukulele
Using an electronic tuner for tuning a ukulele is by far the most appropriate and accurate method. These tuners are very comfortable and do not come with a great expense. While shopping for an electronic ukulele tuner, look for the one which is specially designed to tune ukuleles or chromatic tuners. An electronic tuner makes the tuning of a ukulele simple and standardized. There are many electronic tuners available in the market such as Sparkle ukulele clip-on tuner, clip-on ukulele tuner UT-100 by Hola, guitar tuner by Juliet music for ukulele and others.
Tuning a ukulele using an app
Those ukulele players who play the ukulele for enjoyment and not as a profession prefer going for an easy and time-saving method. The use of an application to tune a ukulele might be one of the easiest available options but the ideal frequency for the desired tune is never guaranteed. There are various ukulele tuning apps available in the market; the best ones amongst them are a chromatic tuner, tuner lite, free chromatic tuner, and chord. An app for tuning a ukulele is the best way to learn it in a very short period.
There is no correct or best way of tuning a ukulele; it all depends on the method which is best suitable for you. It is required to tune a ukulele at least 4 to 6 times in a week if the ukulele is subjected to continuous use.
In some cases where the strings of a ukulele are old enough, tuning a ukulele is not going to solve the issue. It is best to find the replacement of strings or buy a new ukulele altogether. Tuning a ukulele is all a matter of practice, the first time might not be that amazing but it improves with every trial.
It is a truth that there is no instrument as soothing and rejuvenating as a ukulele. It can give you an out of the world experience if it is maintained in good shape and condition. Knowing how to tune a ukulele can serve this purpose fairly well.