The Ukulele in Celtic Music??
I have been reading the octave mandolin posts here. I know that ukuleles are also manufactured with four courses of strings (GCEA, with the E and A courses using pairs of strings an octave apart). Aquila makes a related set of Nylgut (tm) strings for them. Aquila also manufactures a GDAE string set for ukuleles (which which are normally tuned to GCEA). I suppose this ukulele equipped with Aquila’s GDAE strings could provide an inexpensive practice instrument for a beginner who is not sure that he or she will stick with an Irish octave mandolin, until they reassure themselves that they will not give up. I am slowly becoming familiar with the ukulele in GCEA tuning with its chords and note positions relative to frets. Does anyone have any comments with regard to its usefulness in celtic music? Does anyone see any value in setting a ukulele up with GDAE tuning if one is used to GCEA tuning, or would it simply muddy the water in terms of learning to play the instrument well?
Ukuleles are commonly set up with a “low G” string tuned below middle C, in terms of extending range. My impression until now has been than mandolin tuning may have been designed to help those who play the violin play a stringed instrument that can be strummed without learning new note positions. I’ve avoided mandolin string sets and tuning because of this, and even tuned the simple violin I built last Christmas to GCEA, so I could use both instruments to reinforce what I know from playing the ukulele, just as a violinist might find a mandolin tuned to GDAE to be appealing.