This tuning method works for almost any ukulele including soprano, concert and tenor ukuleles.
The fastest and easiest way to tune is to use a chromatic tuner, which I show you how to use in the video above.
A chromatic tuner is a device that detects the pitch of a note as you pluck a string of the ukulele like the one aabove. With the aid of a chromatic tuner, you can quickly identify if you are sharp or flat (that is to say “too high” or “too low" in pitch) relative to the desired note. I prefer the Snark SN-6 ukulele tuner that clips on to the headstock of your ukulele, but you can use the online chromatic tuner above (if you're on desktop and have a built-in microphone).
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How to Tune Your Ukulele by Ear
To tune your ukulele by ear, listen to the pitches as a point of reference for tuning your ukulele. 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.
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.
For more help with tuning, check out our in-depth ukulele tuning guide to explore how a ukulele is tuned and the different types of tunings.
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