Soprano Ukuleles: With only 21 inches from top to bottom and 12–15 frets, soprano ukuleles are the smallest members of the ukulele family. They are also referred to as “standard” ukuleles in Hawaii. Soprano ukuleles have that classic sound that is most associated with the ukulele, making them the most popular size choice for many beginners.
Concert Ukuleles: Being approximately 10% larger than soprano ukuleles, concert ukuleles are typically louder, warmer in tone, and are usually much easier to play if you have large hands. The neck is larger and usually has 15-18 frets, which allows concert ukuleles to reach higher notes than their soprano counterparts.
Tenor Ukuleles: Tenor ukuleles are even larger in size and volume, and are known to be the most versatile member of the ukulele family. Containing up to 19 frets, a tenor ukulele can do everything a concert ukulele can do, and even more. Ukes of this size are ideal for trying alternate tunings, making them particularly attractive for solo playing.
Let’s start with the open strings of the ukulele, which are as follows:
• G: the 4th string (most to the left on the fretboard)
• C: the 3rd string
• E: the 2nd string
• A: the 1st string
Standard tuning is what you need to play most of the songs.
Using an electronic tuner is by far the easiest and most accurate way to tune your ukulele. You can find many of these tuners online and also in your local music shop. They aren’t that expensive and will make your life a lot easier. When buying one, make sure to buy one that is made to tune ukuleles or a chromatic tuner (tune different notes). Tuning your ukulele with an electronic tuner is pretty straight forward. You put the tuner on your lap of clip it on the headstock and pluck the strings. It will then show the note you are playing. Use the tuning pegs to get the desired note.
Standard Ukulele Tuning Method
This is also known as “relative” tuning, why? Well, because you will tune the four strings relative to each other. This is a perfect method if you are playing on your own and you want to have all your strings sound good together, but it isn’t that accurate. This will cause issues though if you are playing with other people. Here are the steps to follow:
1. You will use the first string (A) as a reference to tune the other three strings, this is why this method isn’t that accurate. You won’t notice it if you play alone though, but you will if you play along with songs or friends.
2. Place your finger just behind the fifth fret on the E string (second string). That’s an A note. Now when you pick the first string (A), it should sound the same. You can adjust the the second string with the tuning pegs on the headstock until they sound the same.
3. Place your finger just behind the fourth fret on the C string (third string). That’s an E note. Now when you pick the second string (E), it should sound the same. You can adjust the the third string with the tuning pegs on the headstock until they sound the same.
4a. Most ukulele come standard with a High G string. Place your finger just behind the second fret on the G string (fourth string). That’s an A note. Now when you pick the first string (A), it should sound the same. You can adjust the the fourth string with the tuning pegs on the headstock until they sound the same.
4b. If you’ve chosen to use a Low G string on your ukulele you can use this method. Place your finger just behind the fifth fret on the G string (fourth string). That’s a C note. Now when you pick the third string (A), it should sound the same. You can adjust the the fourth string with the tuning pegs on the headstock until they sound the same.
This might take some practice to train your ear, but it’s an easy way to quickly tune your ukulele. If you know your notes on the fretboard you could also come up with other combinations.
Brand new strings can take about a week to settle in on any Ukulele after installation or straight from the factory. You’ll want to tune your instrument a couple times a day, and also stretch the strings to help them settle in.
Diagnosing the cause of a buzzing instrument can be very challenging. Before attempting any repair or modification on your instrument, please have an experienced repair technician examine it first. He or she will be able to fix it surprisingly fast or direct you to someone who can. If your instrument is still under warranty, you can arrange to have your instrument sent to Regalo for repair or replacement.
If you have a case for your Regalo ukulele, that is the best place to keep it. If the area you live in is very dry, or if you often use a heating system in your home, it would be a good idea to purchase a quality humidiﬁer that can fit inside your ukulele case. Doing this will keep your ukulele from developing cracks, and it will also optimize playability. If you don’t have a case, or choose not to store your ukulele in a case, you should place it on a stand or a wall mount.
It’s best to assess your own unique needs and choose the case that will best suit you and your instrument. For general use, Regalo gig bags provide excellent protection. If you travel or gig often, it may be wise to also invest in a hard shell case. If you often travel by air, we recommend that you do not check your ukulele with your other luggage. The small size of the ukulele lends itself to easy travel and will usually be acceptable as carry-on luggage.
Regalo ukuleles use nylon strings that do not have a ball end, therefore it is important to know how to tie a proper knot at the bridge. When replacing the strings, it is necessary to stretch them properly before playing, which will ensure good tuning and playability.
It can be said that the ukulele is not easy, but comfortable to learn. All instruments need dedication and constant practice to get better at. Because the ukulele has only four strings, learning chords will be less confusing for beginners, as compared with learning to play the guitar. Learning to play on a quality ukulele can make learning much easier also, because learning to play on a cheap ukulele that won’t stay in tune or sounds terribly can be very frustrating.
Ukulele and guitar picks are not quite the same, but you can use guitar picks to play the ukulele. The challenge with using guitar picks however is that they can scratch your ukulele more easily.
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