At a geezerly 77, I have arthritic hands and a punk shoulder, thus requiring a short instrument neck to compress frets and a short reach on my fretting hand's arm. My instrument of choice is a ukulele, but my favored sound is from a full-sized guitar.

So I've spent some years seeking a hybrid instrument approaching a guitar's depth of tone but a ukulele's short neck and GCEA tuning. I've also sought a comparable compromise with the banjo, and have had pretty good luck with the banjolele. I even converted the Gitty cigar box banjo kit into a banjolele, a pretty good sound despite skepticism by Gitty staff people that such a marriage could work. It sounds like a banjo, even in GCEA, though not as loud.

My experiments with standard ukes have led me to low-g tuning, heavier string gauges, tuning down (F#,B,D#,G#), attaching uke necks to large guitar boxes, and various combinations. I even tried tuning an octave lower to G3,C3,E3,A3 but couldn't overcome a host of action and buzzing issues.

I'm almost certainly up against a fundamental issue of string length: the shorter the string, the higher the pitch. But I'm not giving up. I did manage to marry an MGB guitar body by increasing its depth and attaching a concert uke neck and low-g string tuning. It sounds almost like a guitar if I pick G and C strings using a boom chik strumming pattern. I play weekly in the Cape Cod Ukulele Club and want to find ways to make GCEA chord shapes work for a deeper sound in ways that won't be out of key or a harmonic disaster.

I know I'm chasing windmills to some extent, but if anybody has suggestions for my quixotic quest, I'd be appreciative.

P.S. I 've had shoulder surgery and tried guitar capos, 4-string guitars, half-size guitars. No dice.

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