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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Finally back in the shop, and back with a question.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by jamorudd, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. jamorudd

    jamorudd Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2012
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Hey all! I’ve been absent for a few months now, and am happy to be back. I got married in October, so I haven’t had much time in the shop, but life is finally starting to settle down a bit, and I’m slowly working back in some shop time.

    This thread is concerning a soprano Ukulele I have started for my nephew for his 3rd birthday. My plan is, to make it as simple to play as possible, to fret it for the diatonic scale, much like a dulcimer. However, I would prefer to keep it with 4 individual strings, like a typical uke.

    I’ve got the fretting side of things figured out, what has me stumped is nailing down the open string tunings. Any music theory nerds here who can help straighten things out for me?

    Ps... I’ll try to get some pictures up of the progress this evening. I know how we all love pictures!
     
    RogerC likes this.

  2. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Oklamerica
    Hey Jamison! Good to see you back!

    I don't have any advice on your question, but I'm sure someone around here does. Where's @Rich Rice when you need him?
     
    jamorudd likes this.

  3. jamorudd

    jamorudd Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2012
    Oklahoma City, OK
    After hitting a couple dulcimer and CBG websites, here’s what I am thinking at the moment:

    Typical uke tuning being GCEA, I think I’ll aim for open C tuning, and swap the first two strings, giving me a low C followed by a mid G.

    On the top two, as far as I can tell, I would have 2 options:

    1) tune them to unison G, and run them as a double course, effectively making it a 3 string instrument. In which case I might ACTUALLY cut one out, leaving 3 strings for the sake of simplicity.

    OR

    2) I could tune it CGCG. I would likely need 2 sets of strings to mix and match string gauges, and I’m not sure if the C strings would need to be unison or if I could get CGcG out of it...
     

  4. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2005
    Chicago 'Burbs
    Ha. Love the idea.

    That being said, open tunings are usually nice for obvious reasons- but at 3 years old it will be some time before music comes out of it.

    Another thought would be to go with straight fretting tuned to 5ths...

    That way fingering patterns and so on can be taken from many different instruments and internalized from the start. Down the road, the same patterns and shapes will apply directly to lots of other string instruments and act as a springboard for the player.

    Getting into simplifying the tunings can sometimes backfire, as the simpler tuning will probably be instrument specific, forcing a change of habit later- which can be harder to deal with for many people.

    That said, I'm sure you will find something that you're happy with.
     

  5. Preacher

    Preacher Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 17, 2007
    Big D
    interested in your Uke build, I am getting the bug as well.
     
    jamorudd likes this.

  6. scottser

    scottser Tele-Holic

    655
    Mar 6, 2009
    dublin
    Keep the uke tuning. One fretted note on the bottom string gets you a c major chord, one fretted at the top gets you the a minor. He can hold down one note and belt out 'twinkle twinkle little star' easily. Then later on he can learn to play it properly using loads of freely available teaching aids rather than develop on a specialist instrument
     
    ukepicker, jamorudd and Rich Rice like this.

  7. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    I remember my grandfather tuning his banjo Ike to " My Dog Has Fleas", so maybe it's M-D-H-F, which sounds pretty high to me.
     
    Barncaster, kwerk, RogerC and 2 others like this.

  8. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Feb 24, 2015
    South Lyon, MI
    I have a 4 string dulcimer, and I tune to G-D-gg or A-E-aa.

    Now, I know next to nothing about dulcimers. This is just what the builder told me to do when I bought it. I have since read this is a tuning for a “baritone “ dulcimer.

    Who knows? It’s lots of fun. It never sounds bad.

    Half the reason I bought it is because I want to build a copy...with a BC Rich shape!

    4D0235AC-2BE5-4D35-BC50-AA16D02D5CBF.jpeg

    39AA9841-DD20-4669-A5A2-683F637ADF2C.jpeg

    Let me know if interested in string spacing or anything else. I know you are going for a uke, but maybe they are similar?

    Good luck and have fun!
     
    dr_tom likes this.

  9. jamorudd

    jamorudd Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2012
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Thanks guys, for all the feedback. Lots of good stuff to keep in mind. I like the open tuning because, like someone said, it will be a couple years yet before any real music comes out. He does, though, enjoy banging on the Piano and guitar, so I figure, if it at least sounds like a pretty chord when he does it, maybe it will get on Mom and dad’s nerves a bit less!

    I toyed with the idea of just going with standard uke tuning, because that would last longer. But My thinking now is, one, if I go with a 4 string open tuning, it will still feel familiar if I build him a Uke in a couple years, or it wouldn’t be a terribly hard conversion to make later on. And, since he is the oldest niece/nephew, if this one survives the wear and tear of a three year old, it can get passed on to a little brother or sister in the future.
     
    Rich Rice likes this.

  10. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2005
    Chicago 'Burbs
    Ruined my daughter
    FB_IMG_1512610380396.jpg
    Then I ruined hers, too. FB_IMG_1512610534310.jpg
     
    DrASATele, Barncaster, 2blue2 and 8 others like this.

  11. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    Aww, that's great, Grandpa built her a uke.
     
    RogerC likes this.

  12. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2010
    New Zealand
    Wear a mask if you're working with MDHF, that stuff is toxic.
     

  13. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    Hey, Phil, glad to see yo. Been a while.
     
    kwerk likes this.

  14. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2010
    New Zealand
    Hiya, Rick! Gotta poke my nose in once in a while to make sure the place hasn't exploded or anything. ;)
     
    DrASATele, Barncaster and RogerC like this.

  15. 2blue2

    2blue2 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 20, 2013
    Island of Oahu
    The uke / kid pictures are fun to see.:):p:D
     
    MarkJT likes this.

  16. scottser

    scottser Tele-Holic

    655
    Mar 6, 2009
    dublin
    Would it be easier for you tune a standard uke to open C? G,C,E, and either down to G or up to C?
     

  17. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    Beautiful babies!! Love those pics.
     

  18. jamorudd

    jamorudd Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2012
    Oklahoma City, OK

  19. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee

  20. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    Wow, love the thought behind it. Looking good!
     

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