Playing Uke in the key of D
January 3, 2019 at 4:41 am #23743
Hi folks. So, i have added a Sopranino to my Uke collection and I’ve never been quite happy with the string tension and how it plays since i got it. On speaking to the store I bought it from today they have given me two pieces of advice, the first of which is to tune my sopranino to the key of D rather than the key of C. I’ve done this but now my mind is blown. I can’t work out my chords any more. So, is there a resource where I can relearn my chords. My music theory has never been hot but I hear well enough. I’m blind so graphical charts will not work for me. I use the numeric or short cord system to learn chords so I know that on a standard C tuned Ukulele, c Maj is written 0003 for example. Any help much appreciated. I’m sure once I’ve worked out how this all works I’ll be fine but in the meantime I can’t play my sopranino and I won’t let the matter of tuning to a different key put me off. 🙂January 3, 2019 at 4:03 pm #23749KukyMember
I don’t know that much about music theory. I’d hazard a guess and say every chord you play goes down. So if you’re playing a G on a regular ukulele on your sopranino you’d play a F chord to get the same G chord sound. But until someone else who actually knows what they’re talking about answers, I have a suggestion. I looked at getting a sopranino before and was told something similar as well. The person at the store told me I could play it as normal as long as I was playing solo.. The only time I would need to worry about it is if I played with other people. I did not end up getting it so do not have any personal experience but was wondering if that was an option. Just enjoy your little sopranino with the understanding you aren’t technically playing the same chords for the sopranino. But the chord shapes are correct and you are getting practice in and having fun.
Edit: After reading your post I thought to tune up a small uke I got months ago to key of D. I never thought of tuning it alternatively. The strings do feel nicer now. 😀 Then I tried playing a song on it after working the chords around. I hope someone can point you in the right direction because it was quite tricky. My music theory lingo isn’t great but it’s like 2 half steps down to get the same sound. It worked but difficult to do on the fly in my head. There has to be an easier way.
January 3, 2019 at 10:05 pm #23755
- This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by Kuky.
Hi. I did have a go at it last night, and like you say, transposing on the fliy is really difficult. I did some research and spoke to a few people who make/build nano Ukes . Their recommendation is to purchase Worth BE strings. The BE stands for brown extra Tension. I plan on doing this today so will let you know how I get on. There are also Worth CE which is clear extra Tension. This allows you to continue playing in standard tuning, but your strings have higher tension. / Like you say though, it feels so much better now I’ve gone up to tuning in the key of D.January 4, 2019 at 2:59 pm #23764kahaiMember
I’m so glad Kuky tried to help you. She is correct. If you tune up to D, you’ll basically have to play the chord shape that is one whole step down, so if you want to play a C chord, you would need to play a Bb chord shape. I hope that makes sense. We actually talked about your question in yesterday’s Live Lesson:
I think you pretty much have it figured out, and came to the same answers that we did. Hopefully, there’s something from the Live Lesson that will help you out. I’m sorry we don’t have a more straightforward answer to your question. Transposing the chords from C to D might seem hard, but it should get easier, the more you practice. Good luck, and we hope you have fun with your Sopranino.
-KahaiApril 28, 2019 at 11:32 pm #24544
I’m a wuss. I opted for Worth BE strings and can now play my little sopranino in the key of C. Hurrah!
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