Ukulele String Notes, Names, and Numbers: The Ultimate Guide

There is either a ukulele string note or string number in every ukulele tutorial or resource you’ll come across today.  

This is why the first step in making ukulele music is to learn the ukulele string notes, names, and numbers. 

Learning this information will help you create sad, dull, bright, happy ukulele songs like your favorite ukulele artists. Most importantly, it will allow you to compose music in any key and play various scales.

If you don’t know the notes and names of the ukulele strings, you might end up making a bad song. Additionally, you will be unable to tune your ukulele correctly.

In this guide, you will learn the string names, notes, and numbers for the most common ukulele types. This includes the soprano, tenor, concert, and baritone ukulele.

In the ukulele world, the strings are named after the note that each open string plays. Let’s take a closer look at ukulele strings, notes, and numbers.

Ukulele string notes and names Soprano, Tenor, and Concert Ukuleles

The ukulele string names, notes, and numbers can be difficult to understand, especially if you are a beginner ukulele player.   

You can tune the ukulele in both standard and reentrant tuning. The soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles are all tuned similarly, except for the baritone ukulele.

The soprano concert and tenor ukulele all use ukulele standard tuning. The standard tuning is also known as the G tuning. Most ukulele songs you’ve heard were written in standard tuning because it’s a popular tuning among ukulele players.

Ukulele string names

You can derive ukulele string names from the note you hear when playing an open string on a ukulele.

Simply put, an open note on the ukulele is when you play a string without pressing the strings on any of the frets on the fretboard. You should familiarize yourself with the open strings on the ukulele and have them at your fingertips.

The string names and notes for the soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles are G-C-E-A. The G-C-E-A naming sequence runs from the ukulele’s ceiling to its floor.

If you play the ukulele with your right hand, the A string is closest to the floor, and the G-string is closest to the ceiling.

However, if you are a lefty, the G-string will be the closest to the floor, while the A string will be the closest to the floor.

Let me elaborate. In standard tuning, the thick string on the ukulele is the G-string, as seen in the soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles. The strings on your ukulele become thinner as you move up the neck on the soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles.

The second, thickest string is the C note, which is tuned to a C. The next string (second string) is the E string and note and is tuned to an E. The first string is an A string tuned to A.

You now understand the standard tuning for soprano, tenor, and concert ukuleles. So, the next time you try to tune any of these ukuleles, ensure each string produces the G-C-E-A notes mentioned in this section.

String names for the baritone ukulele

The baritone ukulele does not use standard tunings like the soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles. Instead, it has a non-standard tuning, which is known as reentrant tuning.

The notes and tuning for a baritone ukulele are D-G-B-E. The strings on the baritone ukulele are strung in a straight line. In other words,  the baritone ukulele’s tuning is the same as that of the guitar, and you can strum it in a linear fashion.  This also means that the baritone ukulele’s lowest string is the top string.

Ukulele string numbers

Mastering the ukulele strings is as simple as ABC because the ukulele string numbers are arranged in the numbering system 1234.

The string numbers for the concert, soprano, and tenor ukuleles with the standard tuning of G-C-E-A are as follows.

The numbers 4-3-2-1 correspond to the standard tuning notes G-C-E-A, respectively. As a result, if you have a soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele, the G-string becomes the number 4 automatically. 

The G-string is the thickest string on the concert, soprano, and tenor ukuleles and is the closest to the ukulele ceiling.

In the same way, the C string becomes string number 3, the E string becomes string number 2, and the A string becomes string number 1.

So the A string and note take the first position. The A string is the thinnest string in standard tuning. The strings become larger with each note. 

What about the string numbering on the baritone ukulele?

Baritone ukuleles do not have standard tuning, making it harder to determine their numbering.

The baritone ukulele has a D-G-B-E tuning. The D string, which is the closest to the baritone ukulele ceiling, becomes string number 4. The notes G-B-E are represented by the string numbers 3, 2, and 1, respectively.

Why you should learn about both the ukulele string numbers and ukulele string notes 

So, now that you know everything there is to know about ukulele strings, notes, and ukulele numbering for the various ukulele types, which element should you concentrate on the most?

We strongly advise you to devote equal time and effort to learn about each. Why is this so?

There are many ukulele players and teachers, each with their own preferences. Some ukulele players and teachers prefer using ukulele string notes as numbers, while others prefer string note names to ukulele string numbers.

As a result, if you search for ukulele resources online, you may discover that some resources use ukulele string numbers while others indicate ukulele string notes. 

If you only learn one, say, ukulele string notes, you may miss out if you come across a resource that uses ukulele string numbering instead of notes and vice versa.

But if there’s one aspect you should learn and master first, it’s the ukulele string numbers. Continue reading because I will explain why in the following section.

Why should you learn the ukulele string numbers first over ukulele notes?

The main reason we recommend learning ukulele string numbers over notes first is because of the tuning changes you will encounter while playing the ukulele.

As you are already aware, not every ukulele song in the industry is in standard tuning G-C-E-A. Some songs will be half a step-up, while others will be half a step-down.

Mastering ukulele string numbers will be useful because you will not need to change anything to play such songs, which is not the case with ukulele string notes.

If you use ukulele string numbers, string number 1 remains constant regardless of tuning, as does string number 4.

On the other hand, if you use ukulele string notes, the A string can suddenly change into a B note if you change the tuning of the ukulele. This can be confusing if you are a beginner with little knowledge of music theory.

Quick Tip: You should invest in a good ukulele tuning app if you are just starting out playing the ukulele.

Since some of you prefer watching videos over reading content, so, here is the video on the same topic:

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Final thoughts

And there you have it. This is everything you need to know about ukulele string notes, string names, and string numbers.

We’ve shown you the ukulele string notes, names, and numbers of the tenor, concert, and soprano ukuleles, which all have similar characteristics because they’re all tuned in standard tuning G-C-E-A.

You have also seen how to name the string notes and numbers on a baritone ukulele that has the reentrant tuning D-G-B-E.

We also talked about why you should learn about ukulele strings, notes, and numbering, as well as why you should prioritize ukulele string numbers over notes.

This concludes our guide to ukulele string notes, names, and numbering. Don’t worry if they appear confusing at first. Keep practicing, and you’ll have them under your control. I hope you found this insightful. Let us know in the comment section below. 

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