Various Methods for tuning your ukulele.
This is tuning by using a reference note and comparing each string to this note. A tuning fork, piano or other instrument can be used as the reference note.
Using the open string as your reference note, in the case of "C" tuning, an A note and using an A440Hz tuning fork or other instrument. Tune the open string one to this reference note. Adjust the string higher or lower to match the reference note. I listen for any wobble or oscillation between the pitches and tune until this goes away. If I get lost and I'm not sure if I'm too sharp or flat, higher or lower in pitch to the reference note. I loosen the string until I know it is flat, or lower in pitch and start over.
Compare string two, fret (5) to open string one. These are the same note.
Now this is where most people make an error in tuning. They then compare string three to two. If you didn't string two just right, any error will be introduced to string three.
Compare string three fret (9) to open string one. This is the same note. String one might even vibrate on its oven when you play the note on string three if it is tuned. See the video for an examples of this.
Compare string four, fret (2) to string one open. If using a high "G" tuning this is the same note. IF using a low "G" tuning, this note is one octave lower and still a pure interval.
NOTE: Only compare pure intervals, unisons and octaves.
In order to really understand tuning, the harmonic series, intervals, and harmonic relationships, it is very useful to understand a little bit about the physics of sound and to be comfortable discussing ratios, fractions, and decimals. This lesson is a short review of some basic math concepts for students who want to understand some of the math and physics principles that underlie music theory.
Pythagorean tuning is a system of musical tuning in which the frequency relationships of all intervals are based on the ratio 3:2. Its name comes from medieval texts which attribute its discovery to Pythagoras, but its use has been documented as long ago as 3500 B.C. in Babylonian texts. It is the oldest way of tuning the 12-note chromatic scale. ( source Wikipedia )
In musical tuning, a temperament is a system of tuning which slightly compromises the pure intervals of just intonation in order to meet other requirements of the system. ( source Wikipedia )
The Problem with Tuning Using Harmonics - A harmonic a pure interval. The ukulele is not tuned using pure intervals. In fact the music play and listen to using equal temperament (see above). So unless you are comparing the same pitches or octaves, the only pure intervals then you will get errors.
You can use harmonics to get close then use octaves and unison notes for final tweaking.
If you have a good relative pitch and can recognized melodic intervals. You can tune your ukulele using by comparing one note to another. Using the open strings the comparison intervals are:
To develop Relative Pitch visit the Ear Training lesson page.
This is just tuning using an electronic tuner. There a lot of electronic tuners available that can be used for tuning your ukulele. There are foot pedals, clip-one tuners. LED tuners and strobe tunes. Visit my page on Electronic TUners for listings of manufactures and information on these types of tuners.
I recommend getting a chromatic tuner that can tune a string anyone of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale. A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#
This is an example of a one of the clip on tuners available for ukulele, the Planet Waves Chromatic Headstock Tuner
Check out the Electronic Tuners page for listings and more information.
The following lessons are directly related to .
Students and Site Members Only Public Lesson
Books directly related to .