For some of my video lessons on Ukulele Tricks, my tenor ukulele is tuned to low G tuning, sometimes referred to as linear tuning. This means, while you and I can play along together using the same chord positions, the overall sound comes across as slightly different.
In standard ukulele tuning, the top g-string of the ukulele is tuned higher than the middle two strings of the ukulele. More specifically, the top g-string is tuned to the “G” note above middle-C on a piano (learn more about standard ukulele tuning).
In low G tuning, all of the strings stay tuned the same except the top g-string is tuned down an octave to the “G” note below middle-C, as shown in the following figures:
Low G tuning represented on the piano
Low G tuning represented on the music staff
By tuning the top g-string down an octave, you add five additional notes to the bottom of the ukulele’s range of pitch. This produces a fuller, deeper sound to the ukulele.
Often times, people prefer the low G tuning on a tenor sized ukulele versus a soprano or concert sized (read more about ukulele sizes). You can see why a lot of ukulele players have more than one ukulele! This allows them to tune each ukulele to a different tuning.
Please note that if you want to tune your ukulele to low G tuning, you need a special low G string set for your ukulele. If you try to tune the g-string of a regular ukulele string set down an octave, you will find that the string doesn’t hold tension very well and doesn’t stay in tune. To remedy this, you need a thicker, wound low G-string.
Whenever I tune my ukulele to low G, I like to use Aquila’s low G string set. You can buy a pack online depending if you have a soprano, concert, or tenor sized ukulele (links take you to product pages on Amazon for Aquila low G strings).
If you run into any problems tuning your ukulele to low G, just post your comment below! I’d love to help.