I've bought a tenor banjo-uke (GDAE) as a present for person, who is playing on ukulele. Problem is that I've found there is a different tunning (ukulele is GCEA) and he would have to learn from begining on different tuning...

Is it possible to retune banjo uke from GDAE to GCEA? I'm layman, so I know nothing about it. Is it as simple as seems to be (just replace strings) or not so simple?

And if yes, which kind of strings should I use?

2 Answers 2


Banjo ukuleles are typically tuned the same as regular ukuleles: GCEA. The current tuning you have on your banjo uke is alternative. A tenor scale ukulele is 17 inches (43 cm) measured from the nut to the saddle, so if your banjo ukulele has the same scale length, you should be able to put standard tenor scale ukulele strings on it and tune it to GCEA. String sets are available for both high-G (standard reentrant tuning) and low-G.


You are making this more complicated than it really is,..In that, it being that "Tenor" banjolele tuning is DGBE,.as opposed to GCEA for the suprano & concert ukes,. does NOT mean that one needs to "start over" when taking up the Tenor Banjolele, in that the "REALATIONSHIP" of the strings in the 2 different tunings is the "SAME". so that all of the fingering is the "same", The difference being, that when you finger any "particular" chord, on one instrument, then a "different" chord comes out of the other instrument,..

What I mean is that, "IF" the player wants a "C" chord, on the tenor banjolele then they just need to use the same fingering as for a "G" chord on the uke,..& so on.

Another way of thinking about it is to just go ahead & tune the tenor "Banjolele" to DGBE , which is standard, but use a guitar chord chart.

But you really don't need a guitar chart, all you need to do is wrap your head around the idea, that to get a particular chord on the banjolele you need to play the chord that is 7 intervals higher on the musical scale.

Lets say for instance that you want to play a song on the tenor banjolele that you play on the uke, in the key of "G",..No problem, in that "IF" you just went ahead & played the song, on the tenor, using the uke fingering, in the key of "G" then it would sound just fine, the only difference being that it is being played in the key of "C" on the tenor, so "IF"you want it to come out in the key of "G" on the Banjolele, then you need to use the same fingering on the Tenor Banjolele as in the key of "D" on the uke,..

In short, you are using the same chord patterns on both instruments, but on one instrument the "same" pattern will produce a different chord than the other instrument will produce. Following is a list of some "possible' chords,..Now assuming a person can play each of these chords on a uke, then to play that same chord on a Tenor then play the uke pattern just to the right of it, ..that is If you want an "F" on the tenor, then play the "C" uke pattern,..Or if you want a "E" on the tenor, then play the "B" uke pattern


Or, "IF" you want the tuning to be the same on both instruments, then REMOVE the "D" string from the tenor & move the "G" string to where the "D" string was, then move the "B" string to where the "G" string was & tune it up to "C" ,..then move the "E" to where the "B" string was,..& now you will need a new string to give you a high "A" note,..A Mandolin "A" might work,.. But a music store should have a chart that will give you some idea as to the pitch, at a particular length, for a particular string,..

But, I have experimented with changing the tuning as described, & I have found that I sort of enjoy the extra effort involved in, playing each instrument in it's intended tuning,..

So, in short, all of the shapes of chords played are the same on both instruments, but you just call them by different names, on the different instruments,..It's no big deal to learn,..

  • Standard baritone ukulele tuning is DGBE, but tenor ukuleles are normally tuned at GCEA, the same as soprano and concert ukes.
    – Ben Miller
    Dec 30, 2016 at 4:51
  • Also, the OP said that his or her uke has a GDAE tuning, which are not the same intervals as standard GCEA.
    – Ben Miller
    Jan 2, 2017 at 20:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.