How to Tune a Baritone Ukulele in Alternate Tunings

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Baritone ukuleles use a standard D-G-B-E tuning like the top four strings of a guitar. You can tune a baritone ukulele in two alternate tunings, G-C-E-A re-entrant and D-G-B-E re-entrant. G-C-E-A re-entrant is the same tuning as a soprano ukulele. D-G-B-E re-entrant means the D string is pitched an octave higher than in normal D-G-B-E tuning.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pitch source (pitch pipe, keyboard or other instrument)
  • G-C-E-A strings made especially for the baritone ukulele
  • Strings made especially for D-G-B-E re-entrant tuning on the baritone ukulele

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    G-C-E-A Re-Entrant Tuning

  1. 1

    Tune your strings in the order of lowest, highest, second lowest and second highest to exert the least amount of pressure on the instrument's neck. G-C-E-A refers to the order of the strings on the neck, starting with the string that's closest to the player's head while playing.

  2. 2

    Start by tuning the G string an octave higher than the G note on your pitch source.

  3. 3

    Match the A string to the A note on your pitch source.

  4. 4

    Make your C string sound the same as the middle C pitch of your source.

  5. 5

    Adjust your E string so it sounds like the E note of your pitch source.

    D-G-B-E Re-Entrant Tuning

  1. 1

    Use a pitch source to find a D note and tune the re-entrant D string until it plays one octave higher.

  2. 2

    Tighten or loosen the E string of the baritone ukulele as needed, until it matches the sound of the pitch source's E note.

  3. 3

    Do adjustments on the G string so it sounds like the G note you play on your pitch source.

  4. 4

    Fret the G string on the fourth fret and tune the open B string until they sound the same.

Tips and warnings

  • Re-entrant tuning means that the bottom string is tuned an octave higher than the top three.
  • Always buy two identical sets of strings in case you break a string while tuning.
  • G-C-E-A baritone ukulele strings often come labeled "Key of C."
  • G-C-E-A sounds like the song "My Dog Has Fleas."
  • Musicians sometimes indicate re-entrant tuning by writing it "G-C-E-A."
  • Use special G-C-E-A re-entrant strings for the baritone ukulele, because otherwise you can damage the instrument.
  • Make sure to check the string package to see if the strings are for re-entrant tuning. If it doesn't say on the package, ask a music store employee to look it up.

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