How To Make A Guitar Sound Like A Ukulele: Beginner’s Guide

guitar sound like ukulele

Frankly speaking, ukulele songs have been gaining popularity in the past few years in popular music. And it means that you have fun, quirky, and cute.

Did you know that there’s a way for “making your guitar sound like a ukulele?” It’s pretty straightforward. But first, we must understand the significant differences between a guitar and a ukulele that we’ll explore in this read.

sound like a ukulele

Also, we will learn how to play ukulele chords on the guitar? We would play the same chords with only a few changes. A ukulele is a well-known string instrument that closely resembles a guitar. It is, however, smaller and has only four strings as opposed to six. However, a Baritone uke is much larger in size.

How to make a guitar sound like a ukulele: Overview

Before proceeding further, you should know some basic settings of both instruments. To get the same sound as a ukulele from your guitar, tune the four strings to the same pitch as the Ukulele. It is easy and fast to do. Guitars also have distinctive sounds which add fantastic flavor to a song.

sound like ukulele

Besides, we’ll also discover how to turn a guitar into a ukulele with a capo. Hence you can get the ukulele sound without actually buying a uke for yourself. Plus, you could apply these techniques to your guitar to make it sound like a ukulele.

Differences Between A Guitar and A Ukulele

There are several differences between a guitar and a ukulele, but the most obvious difference is that a guitar has six strings and a ukulele has 4. That’s a relatively easy fix; the more challenging part of dealing with it is that those strings are tuned differently.

So beginning from the bottom to up, E, B, G, D, A, and E are the guitar strings. In the case of the Ukulele, the strings are A, E, C, and G, again going bottom to top.

a guitar a ukulele

Here’s a simple way to simplify things by not paying attention to the top two strings of the guitar. They are unnecessary for us. The note from that is as follows “again, from bottom to top.”

Guitar             Ukulele

E                        A

B                       E

G                       C

D                       G

Thus, dealing with it is much easier.

Hence, the question might still linger in your mind about how to turn a guitar into a ukulele with a capo. The most crucial thing is that you have to place a capo on a standard-tuned guitar so that you can play it in the same manner as a ukulele does.

You have to play only the bottom four strings with the capo on the fifth fret. It’s hard to avoid playing the top two strings. However, if you are persistent, you can turn a guitar into a ukulele and practice it when a guitar and a capo are the only things around you.

differences

Although the main sound difference is that the guitar’s top string would be an octave lower than on a ukulele. Both instruments have the same notes and chords, except the Ukulele has a high string on the up, while the guitar has low strings first and then high strings.

G C E A is the tuning for a soprano ukulele, tuned to the same pitch as a guitar, but with a capo at the 5th fret. This note is usually tuned an octave higher. A capo on this location is a significant starting point when playing the guitar with ukulele sounds.

Employ 6th Chords

You have to use open C6 chords on ukuleles (5th, root, 3rd, 6th); that’s why ukulele players frequently use the 6th chord when playing the instrument. Instead of dominant chords, use 6th chords.

employ 6th chords

Always Use Chord Inverses

When you play guitar, root position chord voicings can be monotonous. Most guitarists find it easy to chord root notes on the low E and A strings, but it becomes more complicated when those strings are defined.

To produce a more original ukulele sound, you must be proficient at playing chords with a third, fifth, sixth, or seventh as the lowest note.

Play the Nylon String Guitar

A ukulele is an instrument with gut or nylon strings. The nylon-string guitar will give you a more original sound than a steel-string guitar.

nylon string guitar

Now you know! Take advantage of these five tips, and you will be able to create the sound with your guitar that resembles a ukulele.

Role of Fretboard

The fretboard of any musical instrument such as that of guitars or ukuleles plays an important role in changing the musical tone. Basically, it is the shape and structure of the fretboard that is responsible for this feature.

Re-entrant Tuning

The re-entrant tuning can make a  great difference to the tone and music produced by a ukulele or other instruments like a guitar. In re-entrant tuning, all the strings of a baritone uke or any other instrument like a guitar are tuned in an irregular manner.

re entrant tuning

Electric Guitar

Nowadays electric guitars are also available in the market which you can connect to an external amp. Larger ukuleles such as the Tenor uke can also be connected to the amplifier. The sound of these guitars is converted to electric signals and then reproduced with a higher or lower sound.

electric guitar

However, if you want to learn guitar, you should go with the standard ukuleles or guitars.  For a beginner, it’s a great opportunity if he has an electric guitar. Playing an electric guitar is much easier as compared to other ukuleles or guitars.

Frequently Asked Questions:

In this section, we will answer a few FAQs to clear your mind further. 

Can you tune a guitar to sound like a ukulele?

Use A Capo!

Yes, it is possible to tune a guitar to sound like a ukulele; therefore, the Ukulele has four basic strings. However, you can adjust a guitar in fourths, similar to a ukulele.

Consequently, for that purpose, you should have used a CAPO. Ukuleles are tuned in G C E A, just like a guitar with a capo on the fifth fret. It is common practice to raise the G note an octave.

Hence the capo on the fifth fret is a significant starting point for getting the guitar to sound like a ukulele. 

Can you use a guitar as a ukulele?

Yes! You can, but you need to practice a capo on the high fifth fret and play only the four bottom strings. Thus, the top two are difficult to avoid, however, if you manage them. You will certainly play your ukulele lyrics even if there is only a guitar and capo available.

How do you convert a guitar to a ukulele?

Converting guitar chords to uke chords is straightforward. That’s it for standard tuning!

The ukulele bottom or fourth string is tuned to a G. Tune the third string to C. So tune the second string to E. In comparison, the first string is tuned to an A. Thus, it is the same as using the four strings on the guitar’s top when a capo is placed on the 5th fret.

‘GCEA’ on a uke matches the intervals of the top four strings of a guitar if you move it up a fourth!

Fourths refer to spaces between notes of four letters. Every letter, including the opening note, is counted to get your fourth, for example. A to D and A, B, C, D = four. Therefore, the A chord on the guitar corresponds to the D chord on the Uke.

Final Thoughts

Well! Now you would have learned much about how to convert the sound of a guitar to a uke? Also, you can tune each string to the correct pitch.

final thoughts

Each guitar string must be tuned according to the notes, from the thickest string to the thinnest. Tune the tuning pegs until each string has the correct pitch.

Every string will need to be de-tuned to the correct tone. It would be fantastic to tune the string continuously while adjusting the tuning peg and using a tuner’s display as a manual.

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