How to Tune Your Ukulele with an Electronic Tuner - dummies

How to Tune Your Ukulele with an Electronic Tuner

By Alistair Wood

Using an electronic tuner is by far the easiest way to tune your ukulele. If you’re just starting out with the ukulele, use a tuner. You can branch out into other tuning methods as you become more experienced.

Although electronic tuners vary in their displays and modes, most are basically the same. The best type is one that clips onto the end of your ukulele. These work by picking up the vibrations in your ukulele and translating them into notes. If you’re planning on playing your ukulele out and about, a tuner is pretty much essential because it’s the only method you can use without being able to hear what you’re playing.

Here’s how to use one:

  1. Clip the tuner onto the headstock of your ukulele and switch it on.

  2. If the tuner has different modes, choose the C mode.

  3. Start by plucking the g-string (the first one, nearest your face).

    You’re aiming for the g note. If the tuner has an arrow display, when the arrow is pointing toward the left, you need to tune up. When the arrow points to the right, tune down.

  4. When you get the arrow pointing straight up, you’re in tune and you can repeat the process with the next string.

Not all electronic tuners work in the same way. Some use a system of lights (for example, red for too high/too low, green for in tune). The important thing is to make sure that you know which note you’re tuning your string to. That’s particularly important when you first get your ukulele, because often ukes are very out of tune when you buy them.

Don’t worry about getting everything dead-on. Some tuners are very sensitive. So long as you’re close, you’ll be fine.