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Old 06-23-2024, 06:48 AM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Default Ukulele tuned in 5ths like a violin?

I was listening to someone holding and playing a violin like a ukulele--strumming it. I liked the sound a lot. Is there a ukulele that can play in the violin tuning (low to high) GDAE, without strings breaking often or any other concerns. Thanks.
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Old 06-23-2024, 11:54 AM
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warfrat73 warfrat73 is offline
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You've kind of just described a mandolin.
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Old 06-23-2024, 12:30 PM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Originally Posted by warfrat73 View Post
You've kind of just described a mandolin.
In response to your sentence, I will look online for a nylon string mandolin with a GDAE tuning possibility. This will be an adventure. Thanks.
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When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down, “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. —John Lennon
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Old 06-23-2024, 12:39 PM
FingahPickah FingahPickah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
I was listening to someone holding and playing a violin like a ukulele--strumming it. I liked the sound a lot. Is there a ukulele that can play in the violin tuning (low to high) GDAE, without strings breaking often or any other concerns. Thanks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhXzoHCzpDQ

Last edited by FingahPickah; 06-23-2024 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 06-23-2024, 01:45 PM
jricc jricc is offline
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Hi Karen, Aquila makes a set for 5ths tuning on a soprano.
https://juststrings.com/aqu_30u.html
This sounds interesting to me, let us know if you try it.
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Old 06-23-2024, 01:51 PM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Thanks Fingahpickah. There it is.
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When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down, “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. —John Lennon
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Old 06-24-2024, 03:07 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Karen, a buddy of mine in Anchorage (now deceased) had a small music shop in his backyard. He used to get cheapo soprano or concert ukulele and swap strings to tune them like a mandolin. Many local players would get these inexpensive practice instruments for travel purposes, leaving their good mandolins at home.

The genius of what he did was to get fluorocarbon fishing line from Cabela's. It took some experimentation and research to get the right "test weights" that describe fishing line to approximate the right gauges of nylon strings. Then four $8 rolls of fishing line would yield literally hundreds of string sets. He could even color-code which string for which position, ie: yellow = first string, green = second string, etc. I always regret not documenting which lines he used for this but it is too late to ask now. At that time there were no Aquila "fifth tuned" strings as mentioned in the video. Hope this helps.

One of the reasons that I have not pursued mandolin is the tiny 1-1/8" nut widths that are typically used. A ukulele neck is usually 1-1/2" wide, much easier on my sausage fingers. I would need a custom mando if ever getting very serious (I have tried -- and liked -- custom wide-neck mando's on occasion).
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Old 06-24-2024, 08:10 PM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Earl, what a great story! Your friend was so creative to think of using fishing line for ukulele strings.
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When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down, “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. —John Lennon
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2024, 04:21 AM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
I was listening to someone holding and playing a violin like a ukulele--strumming it. I liked the sound a lot. Is there a ukulele that can play in the violin tuning (low to high) GDAE, without strings breaking often or any other concerns. Thanks.

Hi Karen

Options for fifth tuning GDAE or CGDA
- use appropriate mandolin chord charts
- mandolin doubled steel strings are played with a pick

Violin G3 D4 A4 E5
- metal strings, soft feel
- approx 13” scale

Viola C3 G3 D4 A4
- metal strings, soft feel
- 15-17” depends on style
- bigger body cavity to support the low C3


Mandolin G3 D4 A4 E5
- doubled metal strings, tension varies with gauge
- 13-14” scale

Magic Fluke mandolin G3 D4 A4 E5
- built on soprano ukulele body (new)
- 14” scale
- **single** metal strings

Mandola C3 G3 D4 A4
- doubled metal strings, tension varies with gauge
- 16-17” scale
- bigger body cavity to support the low C3

Octave Mandolin G2 D3 A3 E3
- an octave below regular mandolin
- doubled metal strings, tension varies with gauge, sometimes the two bass pairs are split into one string at the bass octave and the other an octave higher (similar to 12 string guitar)
- 20-23” scale
- big body cavity to support strings tuned an octave lower


Mando Banjo G3 D4 A4 E5 or C3 G3 D4 A4
- antique instrument
- doubled metal strings, tension varies with gauge
- the 11” membrane head is extremely light compared to spruce which means polymer strings (nylon or fluoro) can be used and still have good sound volume
- 13-14” scale


Tenor / Irish banjo G3 D4 A4 E5 or C3 G3 D4 A4
- single metal strings, tension varies with gauge
- 11-12” membrane head is extremely light compared to spruce which means polymer strings (nylon or fluoro) can be used and still have good sound volume
- Irish banjo 18-20” scale
- Tenor banjo 20-23” scale
- can also be tuned Chicago (guitar DGBE) or ukulele (GCEA)

Cello banjo C2 G2 D3 A3
- GoldTone newish
- single wound nylon strings
- 14” membrane head
- 24” scale


Tenor guitar C3 G3 D4 A4
- metal guitar strings
- guitar body “0 size” or smaller
- 22-23” scale
- can be tuned Chicago (DGBE) or ukulele (GCEA maybe, or octave GCEA)
- Plectrum guitar (antique) 26-27” scale; plectrum style C3 G3 B3 D4, or openG D3 G3 B3 D4, or mandocello low C2 G2 D3 A4


Ukulele
- nylon or fluorocarbon strings
=> soprano 13” scale - Aquila 30U - G3 D4 A4 E5
=> concert 15” scale - Aquila 31U - C3 G3 D4 A4
=> ténor 17” scale - adapt linear tenor ukulele set G3 C4 E4 A4
. use G3 as 4th string (nearest your nose)
. use C4 tuned up to D4 as third string
. use A4 as second string
. do not use tenor ukulele E4 string
. for the E5 first string find a ukulele or guitar string that is thinner than the A4 string
=> baritone ukulele 19-20” scale - adapt linear baritone set D3 G3 B3 E4
- baritone option1 - C3 G3 D4 A4:
. use D3 tuned down to C3 as 4th string (nearest your nose)
. use G3 as third string
. use E4 tuned down to D4 as second string
. do not use baritone ukulele B3 string
. for the A4 first string find a ukulele or guitar string thinner gauge than the adjacent A4 string
- baritone option2 - octave fifths G2 D3 A3 E4
. use D3 as third string
. use G3 tuned up to A3 as second string
. use E4 as first string
. do not use baritone B3
. for fourth string find a ukulele or guitar string thicker gauge than the adjacent D3 string


Cheers
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  #10  
Old 06-25-2024, 04:27 AM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
Karen, a buddy of mine in Anchorage (now deceased) had a small music shop in his backyard. He used to get cheapo soprano or concert ukulele and swap strings to tune them like a mandolin. Many local players would get these inexpensive practice instruments for travel purposes, leaving their good mandolins at home.

The genius of what he did was to get fluorocarbon fishing line from Cabela's. It took some experimentation and research to get the right "test weights" that describe fishing line to approximate the right gauges of nylon strings. Then four $8 rolls of fishing line would yield literally hundreds of string sets. He could even color-code which string for which position, ie: yellow = first string, green = second string, etc. I always regret not documenting which lines he used for this but it is too late to ask now. At that time there were no Aquila "fifth tuned" strings as mentioned in the video. Hope this helps.

One of the reasons that I have not pursued mandolin is the tiny 1-1/8" nut widths that are typically used. A ukulele neck is usually 1-1/2" wide, much easier on my sausage fingers. I would need a custom mando if ever getting very serious (I have tried -- and liked -- custom wide-neck mando's on occasion).

Hi Earl

I have recipes to use fluorocarbon fishing leader on ukuleles. Got into it while experimenting with ukuleles and banjos with different scales and tunings.

Startup costs are steep to buy 25 yard spools, but costs per set are low for the 30ish string sets. Recommended only for folk who are certain they like the sound and won’t want to experiment with newest and greatest string sets from vendors.



Big Muddy offers mandolins with an optional wide fretboard at affordable prices:

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...3&postcount=24

Cheers

.
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Last edited by casualmusic; 06-25-2024 at 04:36 AM.
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  #11  
Old 06-25-2024, 07:16 PM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Thanks Casual Music! That is some resource your posted. Much appreciated.
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When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down, “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. —John Lennon
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Old 06-25-2024, 08:36 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
I was listening to someone holding and playing a violin like a ukulele--strumming it. I liked the sound a lot. Is there a ukulele that can play in the violin tuning (low to high) GDAE, without strings breaking often or any other concerns. Thanks.
It's certainly possible to tune a uke like a violin or mandolin, but you'd need to put together a custom set of strings.

If it were me, I'd just call the situation an irrefutable argument for getting a mandolin.
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Old 06-27-2024, 04:55 PM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
It's certainly possible to tune a uke like a violin or mandolin, but you'd need to put together a custom set of strings.

If it were me, I'd just call the situation an irrefutable argument for getting a mandolin.

Agreed. Mandolins sound much much nicer than ukuleles, with good loudness to play with other instruments.

Ukuleles are cute but much too quiet to play acoustically with any instruments except other ukuleles.

Regardless that I’ve organized weekly outdoor ukulele sessions at the park since the 2020 slowdown. It’s mostly about singing together.


.
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Old 06-27-2024, 07:35 PM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Thanks Charlie and Casual!
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When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down, “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. —John Lennon
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  #15  
Old 06-28-2024, 07:22 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by casualmusic View Post
. . . Regardless that I’ve organized weekly outdoor ukulele sessions at the park since the 2020 slowdown. It’s mostly about singing together.
Another guitarist tragically stricken by the uke pandemic. See you at the luau!
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