I just got my first ukulele and as I was tuning the strings I noticed it didn't sound right. On my tuner it says e when I play the c string and c when I play the e string. Someone please tell me how to fix this.


2 Answers 2


Well, you have to tune them!

Rotating a tuning peg one way tightens the string, raising the pitch. If your E string is playing a C, rotate that tuning peg until your tuner shows E.

If your C string is playing an E, you want to rotate the tuning peg the other way; this loosens the string and lowers the pitch.

  • also might be helpful to get a tuner that also plays a reference pitch for each string. there are free apps available that do this. this will help you determine which octave you will be aiming for, if your ears are good enough for that.
    – b3ko
    Dec 11, 2018 at 18:51

Actually, I hate to say this, but are you holding it correctly?

If you are a right-handed ukulele player, the C string is going to be the 3rd closest to the ground string (headstock is pointing to left). It's possible that you are holding a right-handed ukulele in a left-handed manner, or vice versa. If so, the G string and A string would also be switched in a similar fashion, and tuning them opposite might not be easy to differentiate.

The standard way for right-handed ukuleles to be played is for the headstock and neck to point to your left, and for left-handed ukuleles, to point to the right. This said, you don't necessarily need to switch if you've reversed the two; the string tensions are very similar, and tuning a C string to an E isn't going to rip apart the instrument or anything. In fact, some left-handed players use right-handed instruments turned upside-down.

If you are holding it correctly (or in whatever way that you desire), then I'll defer to Richard's answer.

  • I'm a left-handed player. I just hold mine as you said and read the fingering charts backward :P Jan 7, 2019 at 4:03
  • Glad to be of assistance, @CaptainAmerica16.
    – user45266
    Jan 7, 2019 at 5:50

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