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Ukulele strings order and how to correctly tune them

With a cool trick that will help you out!

by Marialejandra Araujo

Learning the ukulele strings order and the actual tuning of the ukulele is, for sure, one of the first things every ukulele player has to learn before getting into more difficult stuff like ukulele chords, rhythms or – why not? – starting to grow your ukulele collection (Yes, we need to be honest about this: we’ve all been in that position! Tell me your opinion about this in the comments below). So… without going any further, let’s just jump into the basics.

Ukulele Strings Order

There’s a basic law for music players worldwide: you have to be in tune! This is mandatory. You cannot play your instrument without being in tune. If you play by yourself and you’re out of tune, your songs will have a pretty weird sound; and if you’re out of tune and you start playing with other musicians, you’ll end up damaging the sound of the complete group.

Read more: How to play “Riptide” on your Ukulele

To avoid this trauma, you have to know and memorize the ukulele strings order so you can be absolutely sure how to tune your instrument every time it needs to get some adjustments. Read this sentence: “GOATS CAN EAT ANYTHING”. I know, we’re not talking about goats in this article, but if you pay attention to the sentence, each word starts with one black letter: “Goats-Can-Eat-Anything”. If we leave the only the letters in black, this sentence will become the order of your ukulele strings, going from the 4th string to the 1st string of your ukulele: G-C-E-A.

As you can see in the image above, each string has a specific tuning depending on the number of each string. In conclusion, the 1st string of your ukulele (the one closest to the ground) becomes your A string. The 2nd string of your ukulele becomes your E string. The 3rd string becomes your C string and the 4th string becomes your G string. Again, remember the sentence: “GOATS CAN EAT ANYTHING” and you’ll be good to go.

Great, you’ve just learned the ukulele strings order. But why is this such an important thing to know, and why am I constantly asking you to remember the sentence about the goats? Because when you have to get your ukulele in tune, you need to know exactly what’s the tuning of each string to get the proper tuning.

Not everything works with magic. Let’s say that you have a tuner placed at the headstock of your ukulele, you turn it on and start playing the 1st string (the A string), but somehow that string got really loose due to the weather. Chances are your tuner will start showing you a different letter instead of “A”. What do you do if you’re playing the A string but the tuner says you’re playing “Gb” or “F”?

Read more: Learn how to play “Old Time Rock & Roll” on your Ukulele

If you don’t know the actual note that you need to get in each string, you’ll end up tuning your ukulele in a random tuning like: “FBDG” instead of the correct G-C-E-A tuning. Sounds too obvious, but you have no idea the amount of ukulele beginners that are struggling right now with this problem, when it can be fixed by simply learning the ukulele strings order or remembering the friendly goat: “GOATS CAN EAT ANYTHING”.

If you don’t have a tuner, you can get one at the #1 ukulele shop. We offer a great variety of ukulele tuners that can help you out with those tuning emergencies. Try them out, practice tuning the string up and down a few times and you’ll see how easy it is to fix the tuning of your ukulele, especially when the instrument is brand new and the strings are getting used to the stretch.

Left-Handed Muting

Ok, you now can tune your ukulele and have the correct strings order. Now what? Well… It is time for you to start playing some songs, learning some chords and practice your first strumming patterns! How? By becoming a Platinum Member at Uke Like The Pros; that way you can have access to not only our awesome ukulele content, but also workshops, giveaways, special lessons and the opportunity to be part of our ULTP Nation.

Hope to see you there!

Good luck and happy strumming!

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