If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we may receive a commission but at no extra cost to you. Learn More

Ukulele String Notes: Everything You Need To Know

As a beginning ukulele player, you will encounter instructional videos that use either ukulele string notes or ukulele string numbers to convey the lesson. That’s fantastic, except you’re unfamiliar with the strings’ names and numbers.

This post will discuss the differences between string names and numbers, why you might choose numbers over terms, and how this simplifies tuning. This is a simple tutorial and after completion, you will have a sufficient understanding of ukulele tuning to learn some simple ukulele tunes.

Ukulele String Notes


Ukelele String Notes and Names

The art of ukulele tuning may be rather challenging. Baritone ukuleles are tuned differently from soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles. You can adjust your ukulele to either standard or reentrant, even if you have the three most common sizes.

First, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with all the open strings on your ukulele, including their names, pitches, and numbers.

When discussing ukulele string names, we use the open string’s sound to identify them. A chord is open if no string is held down on any fret, hence, it’s open to playing. Strings are often referred to by the available note they produce.

In music, the G string is the one that is closest to your fingers as you perform a song. The G string is also the heaviest if you’re using reentrant tuning. The ukulele’s lines become thinner as you progress down the neck. A C string is the following string below. The second string is tuned to E, and the first string is set to A.

Soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles all use the same standard set of string notes, and this is what you want to hear while tuning. Ukuleles in the baritone range are the sole exception to this rule.

Expert Tip: The strings’ arrangement will be reversed if you play a standard left-handed ukulele. Please consider purchasing a left-handed ukulele since it will make it easier to play and learn.


Ukelele String Numbers

Ukelele String Numbers
Ukelele String Numbers

Numbering the strings 1, 2, 3, and 4 establishes the ukulele string order. It’s the A string, which is usually the first to be played. You’ll come closer to strings 2, 3, and 4 as you move up in numbers, and they’re linked to the E, C, and G strings in the name.

As a side note, the chord names for baritone ukuleles won’t alter, but the numbering will remain the same.


Why Use both Ukulele String Names and Ukulele String Numbers?

Instructors have a strong preference for one naming system, which is evident in the abundance of materials available on the internet. The applications that we really like teach and make to use both so that you will become acquainted with them quickly and easily.

However, if pushed, we’d go with ukulele string numbers. A significant benefit of using numbers rather than names is eliminating the need to understand tuning.


Tuning Changes

The two most common ukulele tunings are high and low G. Fortunately, these tunings are available in all four sizes of ukuleles. Utilizing D, G, B, and E strings is better if you have a baritone.

Soprano ukuleles may also have various lines. When playing this ukulele, the strings can be tuned ADF#B or d-tuning. String sets for other tunings or those designated “high tension” may also be available. The regular tuning of your ukulele is the best option unless you’re explicitly seeking certain strings.

It’s not uncommon to hear ukuleles tuned in a half step up or down from the standard G-C-E-A tuning, which radically alters the adjustments of every single string. A simple adjustment in tuning is needed when describing string changes.

Expert Tip: String 1 is the top the farthest from the artist when playing, however, if the tune changes, the A string might be a B note.


Conclusion

That concludes our complete guide on ukulele strings and tuning. Playing an instrument is not easy, especially when you first begin, but it may become your favorite activity once you get it.

If you’re a newbie, this information will get you started. You’ll find it simpler to not only choose the correct strings for your instrument but also to observe your trainer’s directions while studying.

Take some time to learn the various chords, and always make sure your instrument is tuned correctly for the most incredible experience. Check your ukulele tune every 15 minutes as a standard guide. Have fun, and don’t be scared to make errors since that’s how you improve.

About Jayden Buckley

Hi, my name is Jayden and I am author/editor for PlayTheTunes. I remember the first time I hopped on the drums, I was hooked. Music has played an enormous part of my life, and I'm honored I get to share my experiences with you!