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Thread: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

  1. #1

    Default Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    Hello,

    I am new to forum. I just received this Outdoor Ukulele (https://www.outdoorukulele.com/colle...bon-gold-clear) as a present. I am having some trouble with finding answers to if I can find a way to tune it to like my mandolin, beginner level player here.

    Is this possible? I know that they make Aquila strings for soprano/concert ukes, but this scale length is 17 inches and am thinking those strings will definitely snap.

    Any help would be appreciated and I apologize if I posted in the wrong area. I would love to have this to play some fiddle songs around a campfire without having to bring my mandolin.

    Thanks,

    Chase

  2. #2
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    Well, 17" is very close to a typical mandola scale length (which is 16.5"), but it is pretty far away from a typical octave mandolin scale (20"-25"). If you want to tune your ukulele in musical fifths, you might consider using the same pitches as a mandola (same as a viola), namely: CGDA.

    If you are at a campfire playing by yourself, it might not matter if using the usual mandolin fingerings on a mandola/uke wound up with the fiddle tune being played in a different key (down by a fifth, or up by a fourth). If you're singing songs, though, you may need to transpose to bring things into your vocal range! Also, if you put a capo on the second fret of a mandola, you can easily play things transposed in yet another way (e.g., G positions come out in D; D positions in A, etc. This is up by a fifth, or down by a fourth). And the reduced scale length with the capo may help with easier mandolin-style fingering.

    You might even get away with using the Aquila "mandolin" nylon string set if you tune to CGDA, provided that the strings are long enough out of the box. But you would have to try and see how they sound.

    Yet another possibility, if your mandolin is still new and unused, would be to explore with OutdoorUkulele if you can return it for a soprano uke, instead (perhaps paying a small restocking fee). Their soprano ukes have a 13.5" scale length; nearly the same as a mandolin (13.875"-14"). The Aquila set will definitely work with that, and you would not have to worry about transposing. A soprano uke is also a bit more transportable for camping.
    Last edited by sblock; Apr-24-2021 at 3:53pm.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    I bought a set of the Aquilla fifth tuning strings some years ago with the intention of putting them on my Concert Uke but I’ve never got round to it. From memory, I think they’re intended for mandola tuning (CGDA) but I’m not sure precisely what scale length without checking.

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  6. #4
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I bought a set of the Aquilla fifth tuning strings some years ago with the intention of putting them on my Concert Uke but I’ve never got round to it. From memory, I think they’re intended for mandola tuning (CGDA) but I’m not sure precisely what scale length without checking.
    According to Aquila's website, their set ("Red series") is designed for mandolins, nor mandolas. Also, they specify Baroque or "Historical" mandolins, as opposed to modern ("country") or Neopolitan-style mandolins, which usually take steel strings. Most of the early mandolins had a scale length somewhere around 13".

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    5th interval tuning options : F.C.G.D.A.E.B.F# C#.. pick 4 ..

    My spruce topped banjo uke is with a mandolin-ish 14" scale & Its E,B,F#,C#..

    1st string is seeming tight enough Not wanting to push it too far .. like to D..

    Aquilla 1-M (Red) their mandolin set of 8 .. (the 4th is wound & red the others brown)


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  10. #6
    Curious Observer MB-Octo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    I have a concert uke (15” scale) strung with LaBella 900 series Gold strings, in GDAE, using strings 6421 respectively. Don’t know if they’d work at 17”, but it’s worth a try.
    Monte

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    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    From my experience, tuning in fifths with a Tenor Ukulele 17 inch scale, the Aquila 30U Nylgut Soprano Fifths Tuning GDAE Ukulele Strings are not an option for mandolin GDAE. They also don't work for mandolin GDAE at Concert Ukulele 15 inch scale. The E string snaps below that desired pitch. The Aquila 31U Nylgut Concert Fifths Mandola Tuning CGDA Ukulele Strings are designed for the 15 inch scale, but have also worked very well for me for CGDA Mandola tuning on 17 inch scale Tenor Ukuleles.

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  14. #8
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    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    According to Aquila's website, their set ("Red series") is designed for mandolins, nor mandolas. Also, they specify Baroque or "Historical" mandolins, as opposed to modern ("country") or Neopolitan-style mandolins, which usually take steel strings. Most of the early mandolins had a scale length somewhere around 13".
    Just dug them out. Apparently bought them in 2013 - still in the original shipping packet!

    They’re set 31U which, according to the Aquilla website, means they’re for a Concert Uke to be tuned CGDA - just as I thought.

    Looks like they also do a Soprano set for GDAe tuning - Set 30U. For the op’s info. be prepared to carry oit some adjustment to the Uke’s setup; e.g. nut slots, ‘cos the strings might be too big.

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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    Experiment with different gauges of nylon guitar strings. Buy really cheap single strings in different sizes and see what what will tune to pitch in each position at a reasonable tension. If you get the treble string snapping, go to monofilament nylon fishing line, which is really cheap and has a higher tensile strength.

    I have been doing this for years. I have a uke that is a 14.5" scale. I use the 4,3 and 2 strings from a standard nylon string guitar set for the G, D and A strings and a .4mm monofilament nylon fishing line for the E. It actually sounds pretty good. It will take a while for all these strings to "stretch in," especially the E. With yours being a longer scale, you will have to experiment.

    One thing you will run in to: The intonation will be off. I had to have a new bridge made for mine to make it work. I didn't have to do anything with the nut because my uke has a zero fret.

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  18. #10

    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    Aquila makes strings tuned in GDAE for soprano ukulele
    Aquila 30U Nylgut Soprano Fifths Tuning GDAE Ukulele Strings

    Rob MacKillop plays a ukulele tuned in fifths

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  20. #11

    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    I did something similar for my woodshed octojo. The scale is longer. I might try silk and steel with something like a .050 0r larger G (for octave tuning). It will be floppy but should be playable. It would be a bit more strain on the neck and a heavier head might work better. Mandola tuning (low C) could work well. I like the outdoor ukulele and your idea.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...-StarSun-banjo

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  22. #12

    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    Thank you everyone for all of the help! I think I am going to look into Aquila strings and see if I can tune them to CGDA. I will keep everyone updated.

  23. #13
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    @ first I used 3 from Martin's Baritone Uke set* + 1 from a Soprano set .. for 5th tuning
    * 1 is copper wound ,1 aluminum wound & 1 plain. & the plain Sop outer string..
    writing about music
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  25. #14

    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    Hi Chase...this was discussed extensively here in 2012. I'm wanting to do the same thing and have been reading these old posts. I think you will find some more ideas. Have a look:
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ne-Uke-in-GDAE

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  27. #15

    Default Re: Is it possible to get this tuned to GDAE?

    We recently bought a Kala U bass. Blown away! urethane and / or silicone strings. Who knew? (everyone but me I guess)
    Last edited by MrMoe; Apr-30-2021 at 8:07pm. Reason: caps

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