Unfortunately, there’s no cut and dried, standard tuning for the ukulele. The tunings that have been used on the ukulele have changed over time.
Standard Ukulele Tuning
The most common tuning nowadays is gCEA and is largely regarded as the standard tuning. The small ‘g’ is to indicate that the G string is pitched between the E and A strings rather than lower as most instruments are. This type of tuning is known as re-entrant tuning. Here is how the notes sound from G to A:
Ukulele D Tuning
This used to be the standard tuning for the ukulele. If you look at sheet music from the 1920s and 1930′s, it often has accompanying chords for the ukulele in this tuning. This tuning is the same as C-tuning but two frets higher. So, if you put a capo on the second fret of a C-tuned ukulele you’d get the same notes. It sounds like this:
Standard Baritone Ukulele Tuning
There are four main sizes of ukulele: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. The soprano, concert and tenor ukuleles all have the same tuning. The baritone, however, is much larger and is tuned DGBE. This is not re-entrant but goes from low to high – just like the four highest strings of a guitar. The notes for the standard tuning for baritone ukulele sound like this: