How To Tune A 6 String Ukulele: Beginner’s Guide – 2021

how to tune a 6 string ukulele

Well, have you purchased a new 6 ukulele and are looking for how to tune a six-string ukulele? If so, this article is going to help you. You don’t need to worry much as there is no rocket science, and it’s a rapid process and simple to learn.

If you have used a four-string uke before, you can understand the steps easily. There are a few differences between the strings’ arrangements and functions. We’ll discuss that later below in this article.

If you have an electric guitar or use a ukulele, you’ll not feel the sound difference. All you need is to tune your ukulele in the right way. So, for beginners, we have come up with this guide to help them learn how to tune a normal uke.  

So, keep reading.

Ukulele Tunings and Instrument Type

Ukulele has four different standard types of tuning, which vary according to its tuning and that of the instrument. It depends mainly on the size of the instrument you are tuning your ukulele with. So, here are the details.

ukulele tunings
  • Soprano Ukulele – 21 inches
  • Concert Ukulele – 23 inches
  • Tenor Ukulele– 26 inches
  • Baritone Ukulele – 29 inches

Terms To Learn Before Tuning 6 String Ukulele

Firstly, ukulele tuning differs from one ukulele to another. The GCEA tuning method is the same for soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles.

Using DGBE tuning, however, is the correct tuning for a baritone, not a tenor ukulele.

tuning 6 string ukulele

Before tuning your device with any instrument, whether a guitar, piano, or even itself, you need to learn some key terms. These include:

  • Open String – When the string is played without being held in place.
  • Fretted String – When you hold the string in place at a particular fret while playing.

Parts To Understand Before Tuning 6 String Ukulele

To get started tuning any kind of ukulele, though, the first thing you’re going to need to do is to familiarize yourself with your uke.

Hold your ukulele in front of you, either up at your chest or down lower if it helps you to see the strings better for tuning. 

6 string ukulele

Now, there are four parts of your ukulele. You need to know about them to help you before you are going to tune your ukulele.

The Headstock

The headstock is the first and the top part of the ukulele. When you hold the uke in front of you, it points towards the left.

The Neck

The second part of your uke is the neck. You can keep track of notes when you play ukulele chords by looking at this place where the strings and frets run.

The Strings

We now move on to the strings. Strings are from where you start the tuning process. When tuning your strings, you should look at their top to bottom. 

the strings

Tuning Pegs

The tuning pegs are the last thing you need to note. When you tune your strings, you’ll adjust them with these metal things. 

How To Tune A Six-string Ukulele: Steps To Follow

As a ukulele player, understanding the tuning process can let you know how to play a 6 string ukulele. As we know, a 4 string standard ukulele needs tuning in pattern G-C-E-A. This is the standard pattern. 

steps to follow

But, for the 6 string device, the pattern is simple and is G-C-C-E-A-A. So, follow the following steps to tune a six strings ukulele:

Steps For Tuning 

Now, we’re going to talk about how to string a ukulele or tune a six strings ukulele. The tuning pitch-wise is just like a regular one. You’ll be C, E, and A.

But the difference which makes this a six-string is the C string has an octave. There is a low C and then a high C. Keep this in mind throughout the process. 

steps for tuning

In addition, there is also the A string that has an octave as well. The lower octave is usually a wound string on the A. The best way to do it is to go with a tuner that seems to work the best. 

You can go to your 12th fret on your C string if you don’t have a tuner. Play the C string and match them just like that. As a final step, also do the same for the A string. 

Difference Between A 6 String Uke and A Guitar

Both the guitar and ukulele come in the stringed instrument family but have different sounds and sizes. A guitar may look like a ukulele, but the differences in tone and size are significant.

Below we’ll discuss the differences between a guitar and a ukulele. We’ll be explaining based on the number of strings, types of guitars, and other features. 

a 6 string uke and A guitar

Strings found on guitars range from six called as six-string guitars, or even more, sometimes up to twelve.

There is a wide range of string compositions and thicknesses of the strings attached to it. Most of them are made from nylon and steel.

Furthermore, if we talk about the playstyle, it has two ways. One is plucking at the strings with the plectrum and second is using the fingers. 

There are two types of guitars, electric guitar and acoustic guitar, which determine the sound generated by the device.

Strings of an acoustic guitar vibrate through the hollow construction and produce their sound, which can be heard when the instrument is plucked. A guitar powered by an electric amp must, however, be plugged into an amplifier.

tune a 6 string

There are four standard nylon strings on the ukulele. As mentioned above, there are four classes of ukulele: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone.

Also, the pineapple and the triangular fluke are two examples of different sizes of ukuleles.

All these are the significant differences between a ukulele and a guitar. Now, you can go for an instrument you need for your upcoming play. 

Should You Prefer 6 Strings Over Four Strings?

The simplest answer is Yes. The reason is based on its string difference and then its efficiency. In terms of tuning, they both are tuned with the same notes.

But in a six-string uke, the A and C strings are doubled up in pairs. It’s better to go with the best 6 string ukulele for good features.

prefer 6 strings

A six-string ukulele provides the player with more flexibility, more playability, and a significantly richer sound despite the instrument’s size.

It is necessary to have some experience or learn using all the strings. It won’t take you long to impress your audience, though.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

What are the notes on a 6 string ukulele?

All the ukes create the same notes, whether it’s a 6 string or 4 string. The strings are tuned in A, E, C, and G patterns moving from the bottom (first string) to top (fourth string). But in 6 string ukuleles, the A and C strings are doubled.

Can you tune a 6 string ukulele like a guitar?

Yes, it’s pretty simple to play a 6 string ukulele like a guitar, but with a few differences. You have to apply the same pattern G-C-E-A. Due to the high-pitched sound of the guitar, it feels like that of a ukulele. 

How should ukulele strings be tuned?

An open string ukulele usually has four pitches picked: G, C, E, and A. Tuning ukuleles this way is called standard. 

Some ukulele players prefer to string their instruments with low G strings instead of high G strings to produce a more even sound. There is nothing more to it than personal preference.

Final Words of How to Tune A 6 String Ukulele

Well! That’s all about how to tune a 6 string ukulele so far. We hope that this guide might prove fruitful for you as a beginner. Before going to start tuning your 6 string ukulele, make sure you understand the relevant things. 

six string ukulele

So, if you have any questions regarding tuning your ukulele, you can ask in the comments section. We would love to answer your queries.

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