I bought a new Oud (11 strings). It has been a week and still I can't get it tuned. Does anyone know how to tune it? I was told it should be tuned this way: (C F A d g c), but I don't know what big letters and small letters mean in this case.

I also want to know, what does the number means, where it says (Mhz) on the tuner.

  • 1
    I hope it doesn't say MHz on the tuner. You'd need heavy industrial equipment to achieve high enough tension to get the pitch up to that range... (Apart from the fact that the strings would tear long before you get there.) Sep 20, 2018 at 14:45
  • It says Mhz and a number under it, i think 540 or 440 im not sure, im using a guitar clip on tuner. what should i do?
    – Nrowa
    Sep 20, 2018 at 14:55
  • 1
    That'll be 440 Hz. Sep 20, 2018 at 14:58
  • should i keep it at 440 HZ?
    – Nrowa
    Sep 20, 2018 at 14:59
  • 1
    lots of good info here: oudcafe.com/stringing_and_tuning.htm
    – b3ko
    Sep 20, 2018 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


The Capital letters are the lower pitched, bass strings and the Lower-Case letters are the higher strings.

So your bottom C is a single string, and the others are tuned as matched pairs, with your top four strings (A d g c) as fourths. I would start with your A, then tune your F and C downwards from there, and then work upwards tuning your higher strings. It doesn't really matter, but if you are having trouble this should make it easier as you should be able to tune fourths without the tuner.

Regarding the 440 - that is the most common standard for A to be tuned to. So if your tuner is set to 440Hz I'd recommend leaving it there.

Just to consolidate a couple of the comments:

Daviderath.com has somestraightforward guidance on tuning notation, and Oudcafe has guidance on tuning and on stringing your Oud, including this handy picture:

enter image description here

  • But in the Tuner there is no lower and upper case letters, there is a letter with a pound(#) on top of it. is that for higher strings. by the way thank you for replying !!!
    – Nrowa
    Sep 20, 2018 at 20:13
  • The tuner will tell you the name of the note, and different tuners have different indicators for each octave. Your instructions should say, or you can just experiment - move up one string playing the notes and see what the tuner indicates as you go up or down by an octave.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Sep 21, 2018 at 9:19
  • You might want to add sentence explaining the meaning of the "2" and "1" there -- identifying the octave re middle C Sep 21, 2018 at 13:08
  • Normally I would Carl, however here the c1 and c2 are unison, not an octave apart. Ouds tend to be that way.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Sep 21, 2018 at 18:18

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