This video will help you get to know your ukulele! If you’re brand new to the ukulele this is a great way to get acquainted with some familiar terms we use frequently. Here’s what we’ll cover:
String numbers and pitches.
- There are four strings on the ukulele and we number them 1-4 beginning from the string closest to the ground and working up. So the string closest to the ground is string 1, while the note closest to the ceiling is string 4.
- The traditional tuning of the ukulele is G-C-E-A. (A is the on the 1st string and G is on the 4th.) Take some time to play through each string and say out loud the numbers of the strings and the names of the pitches to help familiarize yourself with each.
The parts of the instrument
The ukulele has four strings and those strings each make three different points of contact on the instrument.
- Starting from the body of the instrument the strings attach to the bridge and sit atop a saddle, usually made of bone.
- Next, the strings stretch across the neck and make contact again at the end of the neck on another saddle-like piece of bone (usually) called the nut.
- Finally, the strings wind around tuning pegs at the headstock.
- The ukulele is tuned from low to high (moving toward the ground): G-C-E-A.
- The traditional tuning is what’s called “High-G” or “re-entrant” tuning, where the G on the fourth string is higher in pitch than the next note and then “re-enters” the scale at a lower pitch.
- However, “Low-G” tuning uses a lower pitched G on the fourth string. Each successive string (again moving toward the ground) is higher in pitch than the others.
- To tune, you simply turn the tuning keys. Turn toward the headstock to make the pitch go sharp (or higher) and toward the bridge to make the pitch go flat (or lower). But keep in mind you only need to make tiny incremental turns to make a big impact on the pitch. Take a closer look at tuning in this video and blog post.
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