The Basics of How to Tune a Ukulele

No matter how good you are in playing the ukulele, whatever you play with it will sound bad if it is out of tune. Even if only one string is out of tune, your music will still sound bad.

To avoid embarrassing yourself or hurting the ears of your listeners, get your instrument in tune. This article will tell you how to tune a ukulele.


Ukuleles only have four strings; the standard tuning for a ukulele is GCEA. The tuning starts from the topmost and thickest string, which is the G string. The next string is C, followed by E, and the last string is A.

To tune the strings, you need to be familiar with the instrument’s tuning pegs or mechanism. They can be located on the ukulele’s headstock.


Each string is attached to one tuning peg. Tightening a string’s peg raises its pitch, and loosening lowers the pitch.

The direction where you should turn the pegs to tighten the strings may vary. So, gently attempt to turn a peg to know.

As a word of caution, never turn the pegs fast. Suddenly tightening or loosening the strings may result to snapping or breakage of the strings.

Getting an Electronic Tuner

To quickly tune your ukulele, use an electric tuner. You can buy tuners tailored for this instrument or use a guitar tuner.

If you do not want to buy a tuner, you can use your smartphone. Many free tuning apps can be easily downloaded from the Internet.

Using an Electronic Tuner

The tuner works by listening to the sound your ukulele produces. It will analyze the pitch in real time, and provide a visual feedback.

To use it, place the tuner near the sound hole of your ukelele. If it is a clip type, it is usually placed on the headstock.


Strike an open string; I recommend starting with the thickest — the G string. Check the tuner. The string is tuned if the tuner displayed G.

If the display did not match the supposed pitch of the string, use the tuning pegs to adjust. Tighten or loosen the string a bit.

Strike another note, and check the display of the tuner. Repeat these steps until you get the right note. Proceed to the next string when you are done.

Once you are done with the last string, strike a chord. If it still sounds bad, repeat the tuning process.

If you are using steel strings, which is a bit uncommon, and your ukulele remains out of tune, replace your strings. Or better yet, use nylon or gut strings.


Now, you and your listeners will be able to enjoy the music you will make with your ukulele. Did you find this article on how to tune a Ukulelehelpful? If you do, then do not forget to share it, and leave your thoughts on the comment section.

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