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Tuning the Uke

Play the string order strumming from the one closest to your nose down to the floor.


Mneumonics for GCEA tuning:

Get Crazy Every Afternoon

Give Children Every Advantage

Gravity Causes Earthly Attraction


Do you have a better one? Will you email it to us?


Tuning Your Ukulele

Somehow - a long time ago - a mnemonic (memory) device known as “My Dog Has Fleas” became associated with the ukulele. It's been used to remember the sound of the notes played by the ukulele strings as they're played from the top (closest to your nose) to the bottom.

New tuning video with Mr. Leonard:


Some think that the word "Fleas" was in the title because the word "ukulele" can mean "jumping flea" in Hawaiian. Who Knows?

Note about My Dog Has Fleas


There are only four words known to have been written for this "pseudo" song. People have claimed that it is a real song, but most research shows that its origin is lost to the ages. (If you know of any information to the contrary please email me - Mr. L)


Without ever hearing a ukulele played it is somewhat useless to know the words – my dog has fleas. However, once you sing the words while you play the ukulele strings - one at a time - you won’t forget it even if you try.


   Find this tuner at: http://www.get-tuned.com/ukulele_tuner.php



Relative tuning (see image below) can be used if you want to tune up and don’t have a tuner or a piano. The arrows show what strings should be plucked. Start with the top string closest to your nose. Place your finger on the second fret and play the top string – it should sound the same as the bottom string. If not you need to tune the bottom string to sound the same note. Move to the 2nd string and tune this to match the (1st) bottom string. Then finish with the 3rd sting and match it to the second.  Check to see if My Dog Has Fleas.





Another useful mnemonic device is the saying “Get Crazy Every Afternoon”. This is not sound advice for students in my class. This is better used as a way to remember the order of the ukulele strings played from the top string down = Get Crazy Every Afternoon



Electronic tuners are available today for around $20. There's really no better way to tune the ukulele unless you are gifted with perfect pitch. There are websites that will give you the tones to each string note, but as beginning ukulele players it is difficult to hear when the notes become the same. See the video below for student tuners.




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