Ukulele Won’t Stay in Tune? Simple Solutions to Fix it

Are you concerned because your ukulele no longer stays in tune? First, I’d like to reassure you that this is a fairly common problem, and almost every ukulele player has encountered it at some point during their uke-playing journey, me included.

When I replaced the strings on my soprano ukulele with new ones, my ukulele stayed out of tune most of the time.

The uke not staying in tune is also common among beginners who haven’t mastered the techniques for making their uke hold tuning properly.

Why Won’t My Ukulele Stay in Tune? how to keep it in tune

Now there could be many reasons behind the ukulele not staying in tune, we shared some basic reasons why your ukulele won’t stay in tune.

Regardless of beginner ukuleles or high-end ukuleles, any ukulele can go out of tune. This quick guide will teach you why your ukulele won’t stay in tune. Most importantly, you will learn how to keep your ukulele in tune.

Strings are the most common reason

Ukulele won't stay in tune

New strings are one of the most common reasons most ukuleles stay out of tune. But why is this the case? Well, new strings are synthetic and unstable, and they tend to have a lot of tension, causing your ukulele to go out of tune frequently.

I noticed that my uke was mostly out of tune every time I replaced the strings with new ones. However, once the strings stabilized, my ukulele began to stay in tune, and I no longer needed to tune it as frequently.

If you don’t play your ukulele regularly, it may take some time for the strings to stabilize. They will, however, settle down faster if you play frequently.

Try to Stretch your Stings

Waiting for your strings to settle can take a long time, especially if you don’t play often. Fortunately, you can do a few things to help your strings stretch faster and become more stable. 

Here’s what you should do. You must first tune your ukulele. Second, take the first string from the center of your ukulele and lift it only a half-inch above the fretboard. You should not pull it more than half an inch or risk breaking it.

Pull the strings five times before moving on to the next one. Finally, you must tune your ukulele once more. This is the method I used to get my ukulele strings to stabilize faster. Try it. Hopefully, it will be effective for you.

Check out this video tutorial to know how to properly stretch your ukulele strings.

Ukulele and other stringed instruments require frequent tuning

Let me share a short story with you. When I first got my ukulele, it would frequently go out of tune. So I decided to buy another uke after a few months to see if the old uke was the problem.

Well, it turns out that the new uke I got also required frequent tuning. What can you learn from this? Most stringed musical instruments, including the ukulele, require tuning regularly. As a result, you should accept the fact that you will need to tune your ukulele from time to time.

However, try stretching new strings as described in this article to see if it helps your uke stay in tune.

Even after this, it may occasionally go out of tune because of the nature of ukuleles, guitars, and other stringed instruments.

If you don’t know how to tune your ukulele by ear, you should invest in a good tuner. 

External factors responsible for Uke tuning problems


Extreme temperature conditions may be the cause of your ukulele’s inability to stay in tune. If you expose your ukulele to extreme cold or heat, it may affect its performance.

The wood may begin to dry and shrink if you leave your ukulele in extremely hot conditions. Furthermore, if you keep it in a cold place, the wood may become loose and crack. These factors could be causing your uke to be out of tune. As a result, you should always keep your uke at room temperature.


If you keep your uke in a humid environment, too much water vapor may cause the wood to react. This is also true if you store your uke in a low-humidity environment.

You’ll notice that the fret ends have a tendency to become sharp and buzz. This is because heat causes the wood to shrink.

Humidity has also been linked to cracks, structural damage, and corrosion of the ukulele. These factors could be causing your uke to go out of tune. As a result, you should keep your uke in a room with 45 to 55 percent humidity. This is the optimum spot. 

Few more reasons why your Ukelele won’t stay in tune

Worn out strings

If your ukulele’s strings are worn out, they may go out of tune from time to time. Ukulele strings are prone to becoming thin over time, which causes them to sound out of tune.

As a result, once you notice that the strings on your ukulele have become worn, you should replace them. When you start having frequent tuning issues, you should figure out how old your strings are. If they are a year older, get new ones.   

Heavy strumming could be the reason why your Ukulele won’t stay in Tune

Another major reason most ukuleles don’t stay in tune is heavy strumming. Strumming your ukulele hard causes the strings to stretch further, becoming thin and unstable. Furthermore, they lose pitch and become out of tune.

It can be difficult to break the habit of heavy strumming, but if you can tone it down a notch, it will help keep your ukulele in tune. Take it easy with your right-hand technique.

On the same note, you should invest in high-quality strings that can withstand heavy strumming.

Friction tuners

A friction tuner is a peg with a screw in it. When you tighten the screw, the friction peg also tightens to keep the string in place. When you loosen the screw, the friction or peg lets go. Most ukuleles without gears or planetary tuners have friction tuners.

Some friction tuners rotate no matter how tight you make them. If the friction tuner on your uke rotates backward, this could cause your uke to be out of tune.

So, how can you fix this? Well, you must find the right balance with your screw by adjusting it until your uke remains in tune.

Hardware issues

Structural issues are the last and least common reason for your ukulele not staying in tune. The tuners on your ukulele may become loose as you continue to play it. This will affect the sound quality of your ukulele and cause it to stay out of tune.    

Don’t be alarmed if you encounter structural issues with your uke as you can easily resolve them.   

For example, if your tuners are loose, simply tighten the screws, and your uke will stay in tune more frequently.

Furthermore, if your uke is not in tune due to worn-out strings, you should replace them, as stated earlier.

Adjust the Bridge

Ukulele won't stay in tune

If your ukulele is still not staying in tune even after trying the above solutions, try to adjust the bridge. Let me explain, bridge is what holds the ukulele’s strings in place. So if that is not aligned properly, it can cause the strings to slip out of tune.

Now to fix this problem I would suggest you to take a professional help because it is little difficult to fix by own, there are numerous ukulele shop or luthier, you can get your opointment to have it adjusted.

This is a more difficult fix and you may need to take your ukulele to a shop or luthier to have it adjusted.

Frequently Asked Question

Is tuner the real cuplrit behind Ukulele won’t stay in tune?

Some ukulele players, when their ukulele won’t stay in tune, blame their tuners. I speak from experience because I did exactly that when I first purchased my soprano ukulele.

However, your tuners are usually not why your ukulele is out of tune. Every tuner, whether expensive or cheap, is built to last and will not easily unwind. 

Confirming whether your tuner is the culprit is pretty simple. All you have to do is to check each string by pulling them while paying close attention to the tuner to ensure that your tuners stay in place. If you see the tuner move or twist, it means it is loose, and you need to tighten it. Your ukulele should stay in tune after that. 

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Final thoughts

That’s all there is to it. I hope I’ve shown you why your ukulele won’t stay in tune. Most importantly, you now understand how to reverse these causes to keep your ukulele in tune.

Hopefully, it’s clear that if your strings haven’t stabilized, your ukulele will go out of tune. 

Additionally, temperature and humidity changes, old strings, heavy strumming, friction tuners, and structural issues could all be causing your ukulele to be out of tune.

You now know what to do in each situation, so I hope you found this article helpful. Let us know in the comments section below.

Do you have any tips for keeping your ukulele in tune? Share them in the comments below!

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