Tuning Your First Ukulele

For this lesson, we’ll only deal with re-entrant GCEA tuning.

If you don’t know what this means, don’t worry. Basically, there are different ways to tune the uke, but re-entrant GCEA is the most popular, so we’ll only deal with it for now. For more information on re-entrant tuning and low-g Tuning, check out our Ukulele Low G vs. High G article.

We’ll use a method of tuning a ukulele to itself, so you only need one reference note, and can tune it to itself even when you don’t have the reference note.

1. Tune the C string to middle C.

Ukulele Tuning

First tune the 3rd string (from the bottom) to middle C. You can get middle C from any source (tuning fork, keyboard, etc.) as long as it’s accurate. To tune a string to a note, start with it slack, play the source note, and tighten the string gradually until the source note and string seem to echo each other.

2. Tune the E string to match the 4th fret of the C string.

Next, put your finger on the 4th fret of that tuned C string, pluck the string, and tune the next string down to that note (E4).

3. Tune the G string to the 3rd fret of the E string.

Now tune the top string (4th string) to G by matching it with the 3rd fret of the 2nd string you just tuned to E.

4. Tune the A string to the 2nd fret of the G string.

And finally, tune the 1st string to the 2nd fret of the G string.

There you go, your uke is ready for strumming! Have fun!

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