TUNING YOUR UKULELE

Part 1 - Introduction

Here we begin an eleven part series on Tuning the Ukulele.  To many of today’s players, that’s got to seem like complete overkill.  Over the years of answering questions on stringing issues with our clients, however, we’ve found that the basic fundamentals of tuning a stringed instrument like an Ukulele are very often misunderstood.  This series will try to shed light on those basic fundamentals; practices that have been used throughout the centuries, were once traditional with Ukuleles, and are still widely practiced in more traditional cultures today.  Since every player places emphasis on different aspects of their music, this series is an expansive one in order to cover as many of those individual preferences as possible. You can see how we intend to approach this from the list of section titles to the left.  Many of those titles describe general classes of players, though very few people will match those general categories exactly.  Part 11 will show some ways to combine these techniques for your specific situation.  The temptation may be to read only those parts that pertain to how you play, and then skip to Part 11.  That’s not likely to yield the best result for you.  As we go along, we’ll be introducing a number of concepts.  Therefore skipping ahead will likely mean you’ll have less than a complete understanding of the discussion.  I would suggest at the very least, to read all parts in sequence up to the last one that pertains to you before skipping to the end.  But reading the entire tome, while it will take a bit of time, is what we feel will give you the most complete understanding of what can be done with your instrument.  It’s good to have that sort of knowledge, even though it’s unlikely that anyone would have need of every approach.  And, at the same time, the knowledge of these practices will likely open your eyes to future possibilities, even if they aren’t used now. First, let take a look at a common perspective on tuning today, and find out how it came about.
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