Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: mando tuned ukes?

  1. #1

    Default mando tuned ukes?

    I don't often look in this section, but as I'm currently on with making a batch of ukes, I wondered if many of you ever tune a uke to mandolin tuning? It's the same scale after all...

    Nigel
    www.nkforsterguitars.com

  2. #2
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Picardie
    Posts
    1,858
    Blog Entries
    81

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    Good Morning Nigel,

    I have tuned a concert uke to mandola. Aquila make string set for this purpose. Nice result: the mando family equivalent of a classical guitar sound.

    If you search Youtube you'll find videos of people who have tuned soprano ukes GDAE. To my taste they're a bit brittle sounding, but they may sound better in person or recorded properly.


    Daniel

  3. The following members say thank you to Daniel Nestlerode for this post:


  4. #3
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ardnadam, Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    1,409

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    I got a cheap soprano uke a while back in a gift and fitted it with Aquila Nylgut strings in GDAE tuning, Nigel. It is a huge inprovement on the uke strings it had fitted to it, and sounds rather gentle. Suits some tunes more than others, but certainly worth offering as an option on your new uke builds, and your intonation will be better than that of a cheapy instrument. I had to lower the nut slots a fair bit on this one to get the intonation to an acceptable level.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

  5. #4

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    I have an Ohana Vita-ukulele, a CKP-70 tuned to mando-tuning.
    The problem was the e-string, that broke quite often.
    But I got La Bella charango-strings and they hold.
    Sounds nice for certain kinds of music, e.g. for this piece by German composer Marlo Strauss:

    It has kind of F-holes, so the departure isn't that dramatic.

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to crisscross For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    11,898

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    A slight aside: the great Tal Farlow's father started young Talmadge on a uke-tuned mandolin.

  8. #6

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    Right, so how about making a steel srting GDAE 4 string uke. Anyone got one of those? I need a simple project to make in batches for the next fe weeks whilst I'm waiting for all my tools to arrive from the UK. I've got enough stuff here already to make small instruments.

    Nigel
    www.nkforsterguitars.com

  9. #7
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ardnadam, Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    1,409

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    Would you need to strengthen or alter the bracing pattern, Nigel? I don't know how ukes are braced! Tailpiece and loop ends or fixed bridge and ball-ended strings?
    What about a few campfire-style flat top mandos with four strings? As it is a transitional period for you there will be just a few instruments made and they could well become collectors' pieces in later years!
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

  10. #8

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    I have a 17in scale tenor uke tuned as an octave mandolin with strings G2D3A3 from the wound strings of a light tension classical guitar set, and the E4 from from the E string for a standard mandolin strings set (I used EJ74). It works fairly well and the tension isn't a problem.

    I have been meaning to try the following on a soprano uke tuned as a mandolin but haven't had time yet:

    0.0070 in. plain steel 8.26 lbs (PL007)
    0.0100 in. plain steel 7.51 lbs (PL010)
    0.0170 in. nickel plated steel round wound 8.25 lbs
    0.0240 in. nickel plated steel round wound 7.28 lbs

    The total tension is about the same as nylon strings so I imagine it will be fine.

    For nylon strings the Aquila 1M set is much better in my opinion than the Aquila 30U - the E string from the 1M seems to hold up a lot better.

  11. #9

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelly View Post
    Would you need to strengthen or alter the bracing pattern, Nigel? I don't know how ukes are braced! Tailpiece and loop ends or fixed bridge and ball-ended strings?
    What about a few campfire-style flat top mandos with four strings? As it is a transitional period for you there will be just a few instruments made and they could well become collectors' pieces in later years!

    Yep, all of that John, you'd be making a 4 string mandolinetto really. A much more complicated beast to make than a soprano uke. But, I think i might have a go.

    Nigel

    www.nkforsterguitars.com

  12. #10
    Registered User JH Murray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Burnstown Ontario Canada
    Posts
    763

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    Cafe regular Martin Jonas has a baroque ukulele that he put mandolin strings on to nice effect.

  13. #11
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    south florida
    Posts
    2,723

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    I have all my ukuleles tuned in fifths - the tenors are CGDA and the baritone GDAE. I cobble together my own string sets.

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!
    MandolaViola's YouTube Channel

  14. #12

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	uke-tops-768x576.jpeg 
Views:	11 
Size:	83.7 KB 
ID:	172206

    And they're off!

    Made a start today on tops and backs.

    Nigel
    http://www.nkforsterguitars.com/blog...ion-king-ukes/

  15. The following members say thank you to nkforster for this post:


  16. #13
    Registered User vwfye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The Green District, Oregon
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    My tenor uke in 4 string is gda and octave dropped e. I could not keep from snapping them at normal e. I have been playing them that way for several years.
    Crafter acoustic-electric
    Surf City Octave
    Eastwood Mandostang
    Tomo Electric Octave
    Tomo Electric
    Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele
    Epiphone El Capitan Bass
    Epiphone 1924 Recording A Tenor Banjo

  17. #14

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?


  18. #15
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ardnadam, Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    1,409

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    Quick progress here, Nigel. I look forward to pix of your bracing pattern.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

  19. #16

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelly View Post
    Quick progress here, Nigel. I look forward to pix of your bracing pattern.
    Hehe, there won't be any of those pics John. Sorry.

    Nigel
    http://www.nkforsterguitars.com/blog...ion-king-ukes/

  20. #17

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	uke-necks-689x1024.jpeg 
Views:	1 
Size:	136.2 KB 
ID:	172394

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bog-oak-768x1024.jpeg 
Views:	1 
Size:	84.9 KB 
ID:	172395

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Uke-side-laminating-jig-768x1024.jpeg 
Views:	4 
Size:	82.4 KB 
ID:	172396

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	uke-side-jig-768x1024.jpeg 
Views:	3 
Size:	72.2 KB 
ID:	172397

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Laminating-ukulele-ribs-768x1024.jpeg 
Views:	6 
Size:	82.8 KB 
ID:	172398

    Things are ticking along...

    Nigel
    http://www.nkforsterguitars.com/blog...ion-king-ukes/

  21. The following members say thank you to nkforster for this post:


  22. #18

  23. #19
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    Beautiful work.
    All my Portuguese cavaquinhos are tuned as single strung mandolins.
    Very user friendly for old arthritic hands.

  24. #20

  25. #21

  26. #22

  27. #23
    Registered User Bunnyf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    This thread got me thinking, so I ordered a set of Aquila mando (1M) soprano ukelele strings and tried them on avery nice LoPrinzi walnut soprano. The results were very disappointing. I can only describe it as a choked sound. It’s usual sweet, clear ringing voice was now dull and lifeless. The only possible use would be to be able to sit on the couch and quietly noodle, practice scales, review fiddle tunes, etc. But mostly, it made me want to go do one of two things. Either go play my mandolin or grab a set of uke strings and putthis uke back in reg.tuning. Anyone want the other half of the uke/mando string set? I won’t be using them.

  28. #24

    Default Re: mando tuned ukes?

    Bunny, I've been curious, and have done *lots* of retuning experiments. Drop me a PM with your PayPal address, and please let me cover at least the postage, and I'll give you my address.

    Cheers!
    Playing a no-point 14-fret-to-the-body oval-hole with scroll, a Flatiron 1SH mandola (original owner), a McNally Ukulele Strumstick in CGDA mandola tuning, a McNally 4-string Chromatic Strumstick in GDAE octave mandolin tuning, and rocking my six-course, unison-tuned 12-string Ovation mandophone/extended cittern in CGDAEB Full Fifths Tuning...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •