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Ukulele Tab: Ukulele Tuning For Beginners

Aug 17, 2007
How can you be in tune with your ukulele? The ukulele is a fantastic little instrument with many possibilities. You can play chords and melodies on it but a requisite is that your ukulele is in tune. Let's tune up!

The most common ukulele tuning is the standard C tuning.

It is of course preferable to use a tuner or piano or tuning fork in ukulele tuning but it is not necessary to tune exactly to the concert pitch if you don't play with others.

You can tune the ukulele by ear, using the method outlined below.

The strings on the ukulele is numbered from the highest pitched string. When you hold your ukulele in playing position string number one will be the string nearest your feet.

Now I will show you some steps in ukulele tuning to get your ukulele in tune.

1. Tune your first string to an A or a pitch that sounds okey to you.

2. Press down a finger on the fifth fret on the second string. Tune the second string until the pressed down fret will have the same pitch as the first string.

3. Press down a finger on the fourth fret on the third string. Tune the third string until the pressed down fret will have the same pitch as the second string.

4. Press down a finger on the third fret on the second string. Tune the fourth string until it sounds the same as the pitch of your pressed down fret on the second string.

We can test if your ukulele is in tune by playing the first part of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

The first notes you will play are on the third string without pressing down any finger. I will use a form of ukulele tab with numbers.

The first number indicates the fret. The second number after the slash indicates which string to play:

0/3 0/3

This means: Play two notes on the open third string. Let's play some more ukulele tab:

0/3 0/3 3/2 3/2 0/1 0/1 3/2

Let's explain some of the numbers: 3/2 means press down the third fret on the second string and play the note. 0/1 means that you play the note on the open first string.

Let's play one more part:

1/2 1/2 0/2 0/2 2/3 2/3 0/0

If this sounds like the beginning of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star you can be quite sure that your ukulele tuning is correct.

We haven't used the fourth string in this melody but you can listen to the two notes 3/2 and 0/4. These two notes should have the same pitch if you have tuned the ukulele correctly.

Good luck with your ukulele tuning!

P.S. Why not try to find out the rest of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by ear!
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit his site Capotasto Music and download your free sheet music and ukulele tab at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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