To tune your ukulele, choose a string, tap the play button, and adjust your tuning to match the pitch. Select a different tuning like slack-key or baritone tuning below.
Tuning the ukulele is the most important skill for beginners to develop.
In fact, tuning is the number one thing you can do right now to sound better as a ukulele player!
In this quick-start guide, I cover the following topics to help you use the online ukulele tuner above:
Using an online ukulele tuner like the one above is a quick and dirty way to tune but tuning by ear is hard for most beginners (I explain how to tune by ear below).
Heck! I've been playing ukulele for over twenty years and it's still difficult for me to tune by ear!
Even online tuners that use your microphone can be inaccurate and buggy.
The fastest and easiest way to tune your ukulele is to use a chromatic ukulele tuner that attaches to your headstock and automatically listens/detects the pitch.
Because a chromatic tuner is a physical piece of hardware that clips on directly to your ukulele and listens to the vibrations, it's the most accurate way to tune.
My top choice for a chromatic ukulele tuner is the Snark SNX6 ukulele tuner.
Watch me demonstrate how to tune your ukulele with this exact tuner in the following video.
In this video lesson, learn how to tune your ukulele with a chromatic tuner, like the Snark mentioned above.
This tuning method works for almost any ukulele including soprano, concert and tenor ukuleles.
With the aid of a chromatic tuner, you can quickly identify if you are sharp or flat (aka "too high" or "too low" in pitch) relative to the desired note. I prefer a chromatic tuner like the one above that clips on to the headstock of your ukulele.
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To tune your ukulele by ear, like by using the online tuner above, listen to the pitches as a point of reference for tuning each string of your uke. If you have a standard set of ukulele strings, make sure Standard Tuning (gCEA) is selected on the tuner.
Let's tune the ukulele's top string first or the 4th string. Click the "Play" button under the "g" note to hear the pitch.
Please note you can change the sound of the ukulele tuner using the second menu below the tuner. The two options for audio playback are:
The sine wave sound will be the purest, most correct reference pitch whereas the ukulele sound will have slight imperfections due to the natural sound of the instrument. Some players find it's easier to tune by ear to a sine wave reference pitch.
As the sound is playing (as long as the "Play" button is activated the sound will keep looping), first, hum the note and get it in your head. Once you're certain you've heard the pitch, pluck the top string, or the g-string (4th string), on your ukulele. Now, get this pitch in your head.
If the pitch of the plucked string is higher than the pitch of the sound playing on the tuner, that means the string on your ukulele is sharp.
If the pitch of the plucked string is lower than the pitch of the sound playing on the tuner, that means the strings on your ukulele is flat.
As the pitch of the reference note and the pitch of the string are ringing, turn your tuning peg on the ukulele to match the reference pitch. When the pitches aren't matching, at the initial attack of the two sounds, you'll hear "warbly" or "wobbly" sound between the two pitches like this:
When the pitches match, the warbly sound will be gone and the two sounds will ring out "smoother" against each other like this:
If you hear the pitches sound like this, then, that means you're in tune!
Follow the above steps for the other strings.
From the menu above (below the Ukulele Tuner), you can select from the following most common ukulele tunings:
For more help with tuning, check out my complete in-depth ukulele tuning guide to explore how a ukulele is tuned.
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