I’ve been playing the guitar since 2003, the ukulele since 2011, and the guitalele since 2019.
As I’ve played these instruments, I’ve become familiar with each instruments’ standard tuning and tuning variations.
So what’s standard tuning for the guitalele?
A guitalele is tuned to ADGCEA in the same intervals as a guitar but up a fourth as if you were to capo the guitar on the fifth fret.
The top four strings of the guitalele are tuned the same as a ukulele, GCEA, except the ukulele’s G string is tuned up an octave, just two steps down from the high A string.
Standard Guitalele Tuning: ADGCEa
Most guitaleles come strung like a classical guitar with the top three strings made of nylon and the bottom three strings made of nylon wound with wire in the standard tuning: ADGCEA.
Standard guitalalele tuning will sound just like a classical guitar capoed on the fifth fret.
The ideal strings for a guitalele in standard tuning depend on whether your guitalele has bridge pins.
My guitalele has bridge pins, and thus requires ball-end strings.
However, many guitaleles don’t have bridge pins and therefore require standard nylon strings with loops on the end that secure them to the bridge.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many string options when it comes to guitaleles.
Thus, if your guitalele has bridge pins, I recommend these ball-end classical guitar strings.
Although these are classical guitar strings, they should work fine on a guitalele.
If your guitalele doesn’t have bridge pins, you can use these strings which are actually designed for the guitalele.
High G Guitalele Tuning: ADgCEA
Alternatively, you may want to tune your guitalele more like a ukulele with the G string pitched up an octave.
This alternate tuning allows you to play ukulele songs when playing only the top four strings.
It also gives your instrument an interesting sound when playing all six strings.
High G guitalele tuning actually reminds me of Nashville tuning.
It’s a fun and simple way to give your instrument a new sound.
Strings for High G Guitalele Tuning
When you try out high G guitalele tuning, I recommend using a lighter gauge G string.
Otherwise, if you try to tune the standard G string up an octave, you may break the string, and you will put unnecessary tension on the instrument.
On the ukululele, the G string is typically the same gauge as the A string.
So you can either buy a single G or A string along with a pack of guitalele strings, or you can take the G or A string from a ukulele string set.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a single G or A string.
(It’s actually common to find a single low G string for those who want to tune their ukulele more like a guitar with a low G).
And if you do find a single G or A string, it’s usually not much less expensive (or not less expensive at all) than a full set of ukulele strings.
That’s why I typically recommend taking a G or A string from a ukulele string set.
Again, the ukulele string you use depends on whether your guitalele has bridge pins.
If your guitalele has bridge pins, I recommend this set for the high G tuning – it’s what I use in the above video.
If your guitalele doesn’t have bridge pins, I recommend using a G or A string from this set for high G tuning.
Standard Guitar Tuning (EADGBe) and High E Tuning (eadgbe) for the Guitalele
Aquila, one of the few string manufacturers that actually makes strings specifically for the guitalele, has strings for two alternate setups: standard guitar and high E tuning.
If you want your guitalele to have the exact same tuning as a standard guitar, you can use Aquila’s standard guitar tuning guitalele strings.
These strings are suitable for people who want their guitalele to be a classical travel guitar.
Guitaleles are great for this purpose because they’re actually smaller than most travel guitars, and are thus even more portable.
If instead you’re interested in the sound of a guitar tuned up an octave, you can try Aquila’s high E tuning string set.