Accurate Ukulele Tuning: How to Tune a Ukulele 7 Step Guide

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Ukulele tuning allows you to improve the sound of the songs you play. While many musicians tune by ear, manual and electronic tuning devices make tuning easier and more accurate for most people.

Whether you’re playing a soprano, concert, tenor, baritone, or bass ukulele, each string has to be tuned to a certain note in order for the instrument to sound like it’s supposed to on each note.

Once you purchase a new ukulele, you will need to learn ukulele tuning skills. Being in tune is important to make songs sound correct when you perform. Tuning the ukulele is similar to tuning a guitar or a piano. 

If you do not take the time to tune your ukulele, you won’t have the best sound on your instrument. 

There multiple different methods to harmonize your ukulele, but they boil down to two categories. One can perform it the old-fashioned way, that is, by hearing. Or you can utilize an electronic or digital tuner that will allow you to obtain a more precise tuning.

1. How to Tune Soprano, Concert, Tenor, Baritone, and Bass Ukuleles

Tuning the Soprano Ukulele

Ukuleles have four strings. The strings on a soprano ukulele are G, C, E, and A, with A being the first string and the one to the right of the fretboard. The easiest way to tune any ukulele is to use an electronic tuner. 

Electronic tuners are by far the most accurate type of tuners so you can hear exactly how each note is supposed to sound. They also tend to be easy to use. If you play with others, tuning, the relative method is not usually recommended. This method involves tuning each string relative to the others and can cause your instrument to be out of tune with other instruments.

Tuning the Concert Ukulele

Just like the soprano ukulele, the concert and tenor ukuleles have strings in the order of G, C, E, and A. You can tune the G string to either a high or a low G, and most ukulele players use the reentrant method of tuning.

This method involves using a piano to tune the instrument and tuning the G string to the G above the middle C on the keyboard. Expert concert ukulele tuning gives you a nice, even tone that is pleasant to listen to.

Tuning Your Tenor Ukulele

A tenor ukulele is usually tuned using the linear method and not the reentrant method, meaning that the G note is actually lower than the middle C on a standard keyboard.

Tenor ukulele tuning is easier when you start by tuning the G note first because this makes tuning the remaining strings much faster. You can tune the instrument using a pitch pipe, piano, or even by ear as long as each of the strings is tuned properly in the end.

Tuning the Baritone Ukulele

Unlike the smallest three ukuleles, a baritone ukulele is tuned to the notes D, G, B, and E. Baritone ukuleles are easy to tune because these notes are the same as the four highest notes on a guitar.

If you’re a guitar player, baritone ukulele tuning therefore should be very simple for you. When tuning the instrument, some people tune the D string an octave higher relative to the remaining notes.

Tuning the Bass Ukulele

Bass ukulele tuning is similar to tuning a bass guitar or upright bass, and the notes are in this order: E, A, D, and G. Sometimes the notes are difficult to hear because they are so low, which can also make tuning difficult. 

For best results, use tuners specifically made for bass ukuleles. The ones that attach to the instrument work best and you can also tune the top two strings with a tuner and the other two by ear.

How to tune a ukulele

2. Ukulele tuning with an electronic tuner?

If you’re not sure the way strings shall sound, you’re better off using an electronic tuner to tune one’s ukulele. With this method, you could be sure your instrument is in tune.

After you have been playing for a while, you can learn to tune by ear. There are many different electronic tuners available on this market now. They are usually called chromatic tuners, and they’re inexpensive and easy to find.

And here are some electronic tuners that will help with ukulele tuning or a guitar-type instrument in general.

Top 5 Electronic Tuners for Ukulele

Plucking each string will play the notes clear enough while using an electronic tuner. During ukulele tuning, you will notice that your 4th string needs to be tuned lower than the 3rd string which is attuned to middle C. The 4th string should be attuned to G.

You’ve to be sure that the below note on this ukulele is the 3rd string. This is different than attuning a guitar, though once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you could do it correctly. Also by using an electronic tuner, you will be able to stay in tune if you are playing with other musicians

Comparison Chart

41Go5z5NaJL. SL160
Snark SN6 Clip-On Ukulele Tuner (Black)
41qsRkmKPiL. SL500
KLIQ UberTuner – Professional Clip-On Tuner for All Instruments (multi-key modes) – with Guitar, Ukulele, Violin, Bass & Chromatic Tuning Modes (also for Mandolin and Banjo)
41412FEqWbL. SL500
Clip-on Ukulele Tuner UT-100 by Hola! Music with Chromatic Tuning Mode
31GSq3QsphL. SL160
Guitar Tuner by Juliet Music for Guitar, Violin, Ukulele, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin, Chromatic Tuning. Large Colorful LCD Display
41tSZecUnnL. SL500
Guitar Tuner – Chromatic Clip-on Tuner for Guitar, Bass, Violin, Ukulele, Banjo, Brass and Woodwind Instruments – Bright Full Color Display – Extra Mic Function – A4 Pitch Calibration – White

3. Tuning Your Ukulele Using Online Tutorials

If you acquired a new ukulele either as a gift or bought an instrument to learn, you would most likely need basic instruction on how to play the ukulele. Most tutorial videos and lessons include sections on tuning. We recommend Uke Like the Pros Beginner Bootcamp if you are looking for basic online ukulele lessons.

This is the best kind to purchase if you perform gigs or are part of a ukulele club. If you decide to seek a teacher, they should be able to help you with tuning a ukulele with a tuner.

There exist many choices for ukulele tuning. You will probably have to search online and test tutorials to find the one you like the best.

4. How to tune a ukulele Using Tuning Notes Online

There are a number of websites and apps that play notes to tune your strings. You hear a note and turn your tuner as close as possible on your ukulele. 

You would need some practice until you could consistently get the right notes quickly, but it is a fairly easy process. Improving one’s ear is useful in many methods and is extremely worth the energy. Better quality ukeleles often stay in tune for longer than poor quality instruments.

Ukulele tunning

5. How to tune a ukulele with Downloadable Tuners

There are some tuners available free online. My personal preference is AP-Tuner.

You download this software onto your computer, play your uke into the mic, and the tuner would tell one if you remain sharp, on pitch, or is flat.

The drawback of this is that you’ve to be close to your computer.

6. Using Pitch-Pipes

Pitch-pipes are instruments that play one or more pitches.

They operate like a mouth organ and have holes: each one delivering the right sound for among the ukulele strings. 

You strike one note later tune one’s ukulele to suit it. If you are ready to chose your first ukulele, be ready to check out the best ukulele brands we have selected and reviewed.

7. Tuning by Ear

With practice, you will eventually be able to tune your ukulele without any aids or tuners. There are tutorials online if you want to increase your skill with tuning a ukulele by ear.

If you are playing with others, it’s always a good idea to keep an electronic tuner with you, but you can tune by ear to the strings of the other players.

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