How Do I Tune a Ukulele? Before playing the ukulele, it’s important to check whether it’s in tune. This helps you play with confidence and avoid mistakes. Playing a ukulele that’s out of tune might even get in the way of your practice time because you’re worried about how your playing sounds. If you're a beginner, then it might be difficult for you to know how to tune a ukulele by yourself.
Luckily, there are many ways of tuning your instrument. In this article, we cover how to know whether your ukulele is out of tune, standard ukulele tuning, and different methods to tune a ukulele.
Is My Ukulele Out of Tune?
You can't expect your ukulele to be in tune all the time. It can go out of tune while you play it or, even when it’s just sitting in the corner of your bedroom. You can usually tell that your ukulele is out of tune when the notes or chords you play don't sound right.
Some people can immediately tell if their ukulele is out of tune because they're very familiar with certain pitches, but others may have trouble hearing any difference between two different tunings. Another way to determine whether your ukulele is in tune is whether you hear a buzzing sound when strumming. This can be caused by the strings being too tight or loose.
Standard Ukulele Tuning
Before learning to tune a ukulele, you need to be familiar with the strings on the ukulele. Unlike the guitar, the strings on a ukulele aren’t arranged by pitch. Rather, the two outermost strings make the highest pitch because they’re thinner, while the two inner ones are lower in pitch because they’re fatter.
The most common ukulele tuning is gCEA. When you hold the ukulele with the neck on your left hand, the string nearest to you is tuned to a high G. The second one is C, then E, and the string farthest from you is tuned to A. If you’re not too familiar with how these different notes should sound like, then it’s okay. You can use different tools and techniques to keep your ukulele in tune.
Different Ways to Tune a Ukulele
When tuning a ukulele, you should remember that the tighter the string, the higher the note. Twisting the tuning pegs clockwise will make the string’s pitch higher while twisting them counterclockwise will make the string’s pitch lower. Here are some different ways to tune a ukulele:
1. Clip-on Ukulele Tuners
Ukulele tuners come in different varieties, and one of the most common ways to tune a ukulele is to use a clip-on tuner. Simply attach the tuner to the head of your ukulele and twist the tuning pegs accordingly until you find the strings achieve the right pitch. You may also want to try using an electronic tuner instead since these devices usually give more accurate results than their mechanical counterparts.
2. Phone Tuners
You can use an electronic tuner app on your phone to help you find out whether your ukulele is in tune. The best thing about using an app is that they have preset settings so you can easily tune your ukulele even when you’re on the go. Phone tuners are pretty straightforward, but they can sometimes tune your ukulele incorrectly because of certain external factors. For example, your phone’s mic might not pick up the string’s pitch properly.
3. Tuning By Ear
The last way to tune a ukulele is to tune by ear. You can do this by listening to how the string sounds and tuning it higher or lower until it achieves the desired tune. It’s best to use a reference online to make sure that you’re doing it right. This method of tuning will not be as accurate, but if you are just starting out with your instrument and don’t have access to a tuner, then this may work for you.
Ukulele Tuners at Bondi Ukuleles
If you're looking for a trusty ukulele tuner, look no further! We've got a wide selection of quality ukuleles and ukulele accessories here at Bondi Ukuleles. So whether you're after a new set of straps, a tuner, or even a brand new ukulele stand, our Bondi Ukuleles family is here to help and answer any of your questions!