A banjo ukelele is a four-string banjo with a ukelele neck. Although banjos are usually tuned to open tunings, a banjo uke is actually tuned to the same notes as a ukelele. With a banjo ukelele, you can play ukelele music, but with a bright tone that cuts through like a banjo.
Hold your banjo ukelele so that your left hand is on the fret board and the body of the instrument is sitting on your knee. The banjo ukelele has four strings, which are, from top to bottom, G, C, E and A. Each string is attached to a tuning peg that you turn to adjust the tension of the string. The tighter the string, the higher the pitch.
Go to a ukelele tuning website (see Resources) and click on the G string button to hear the tone. Strum the first string and see how close it is to the note. Turn the peg to adjust the tuning until it sounds pretty much the same as the note being played on the computer.
Attach a clip-on tuner to the head of the banjo. A meter on the tuner will tell you how far away you are from the nearest note. Keep adjusting the tuning until the note is exactly G.
Tune the next string to C. It should be a lower pitch than the first note. You can either click on the C on the website and then use the tuner to fine tune the note, or simply use the tuner alone.
Tune the third string to E. It should be higher than the C, but lower than G.
Tune the fourth string to A. It should be just higher than the first string.
- Although you can tune without using the website, the page lets you know to which G you should be tuning the first string. If you accidentally tune it an octave down, the string will be too loose, and it won't play. If you try to tune it an octave up, you will break the string.
Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.