The ukulele is one of those amazing musical instruments that produce a sound truly unique to itself. Originating from the Hawaiian Islands, this little beauty has made remarkable contributions to the world of music, bringing joy to thousands of people around the world.
It only makes sense that you feel like picking up the uke instrument to learn how to play it. And if you do, we’re sure that you have plenty of questions, such as how many strings does a ukulele have?
How Many Strings Does a Ukulele Have: Explained
A lot of people have little to no knowledge about stringed instruments other than the guitars they have seen in local guitar stores. You may have misconceptions about ukuleles if you have never played one. For one, people just assume that a ukulele is nothing more than a smaller version of a guitar.
A ukulele does have strings, a neck, frets, and basically everything that a guitar has structurally. It definitely looks like a miniature version of a guitar, but there are a few key differences.
One of them answers the question of how many strings a ukulele has. Most have four. Now, a traditional full-sized guitar happens to have five to six strings. The other key difference is, of course, the sound. However, there are ukuleles with more strings, often six or eight.
Often, the four traditional strings are called the “four courses” and so additional strings are tuned to the original four courses, either on the same pitch or an octave higher or lower.
Often, these are tenor or baritone ukuleles, which are larger and have more space for extra strings. A six-string ukulele usually tunes the extra two strings to two of the other four strings. This creates a more resonant and broad sound.
On eight-string ukuleles, the strings are often set in pairs of two so you can hold them down at the same time. Like in a six-string ukulele, the pairs are tuned to each other, but usually an octave apart.
This is the Kala KA-8 8-String Tenor Ukulele:
But if you want something really interesting, there are double-headstock ukuleles, which also have 8 or more strings! Some may combine two types of ukuleles, such as this concert/bass ukulele from AKLOT.
Check out the affordable Kmise Double Headstock Electric Tenor Ukulele, which combines a 4 string and an 8-string ukulele:
How Are Ukulele Strings Tuned?
The tuning of a ukulele is completely different from a guitar. The chords and playing techniques for both these instruments are different too. If you are thinking that someone with mastery over guitars can claim the same for a ukulele, you would be wrong. Also, take a look at the best ukulele amplifier products.
You see, the general skill might definitely be there, but if they take a hold of a ukulele for the first time, they have to start from scratch and learn how many strings on their uke. Music theory, when translated from guitars to ukuleles, changes entirely.
What are the Strings on a Ukulele?
Unlike standard guitars, the four strings and the standard tuning for a ukulele is actually G – C – E – A. Two fewer strings and the keys on all four are different from the larger stringed instrument.
This means that there is no way for you to simply transfer the same scales and chords from your guitar to a ukulele. It isn’t simply a question of how many strings a ukulele has, but their order and tuning.
The ukulele is definitely one of the instruments usually overlooked but it is capable of delivering powerful musical notes that can light up the face of a listener in an instant. The sound is just so crisp, clear, and oddly delightful.
While learning about how many strings a ukulele has is a vital part of understanding this beautiful and quirky little instrument, you should know that mastering the ukulele takes a lot of hard work and practice.
Remember to train hard and stay true to your commitment. If you do, you will bring smiles to the faces of people around you by playing some wonderful tunes on the ukulele.