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aarondminnick
02-20-2015, 04:29 AM
I was wondering if anyone here has experience with dGBE tuning on tenor ("baritone" tuning but with high/re-entrant d).

I'm working with Uke Aerobics and the "Kev" fingerstyle book, which are both voiced for re-entrant tuning. Tenor fits my hands better than concert/soprano, but my main axe is tuned linear GCEA so many of the patterns in the books don't match up well.

I've been thinking about getting a cheapie second tenor with a different tuning. I really like the deeper voice of a low G, and I've been intrigued with dGBE based on a few YouTube vids. That will of course shift the exercises down a fourth, but that's OK. Plus it's something new to play with.

Just wanted to get general impressions, recommended string sets, etc.

Jon Moody
02-20-2015, 04:33 AM
Craig Chee uses a re-entrant bari-tenor set of GHS strings, that we worked together on; you can buy them direct from GHS or Craig during his many concerts and clinics.

It's a pretty cool tuning on the smaller bodied uke, and sound great when you put another uke player with standard C tuning together.

aarondminnick
02-20-2015, 04:46 AM
Craig Chee uses a re-entrant bari-tenor set of GHS strings, that we worked together on; you can buy them direct from GHS or Craig during his many concerts and clinics.

It's a pretty cool tuning on the smaller bodied uke, and sound great when you put another uke player with standard C tuning together.

Like in this example? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7snFM2SgNQQ I agree; I like the combination of the lower range and tight, re-entrant chord voicing.

Jon Moody
02-20-2015, 04:58 AM
Like in this example? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7snFM2SgNQQ I agree; I like the combination of the lower range and tight, re-entrant chord voicing.

Exactly. You can get the space and chord voicings that you hear in a 12-string guitar, but in ukulele form.

aarondminnick
02-20-2015, 05:05 AM
Different topic, but I'm thinking about stringing my little 1/8-size 19" scale Giannini classical mini-guitar re-entrant as well (6th string). I've had it at "guitalele" linear (starting on A) for a while but got frustrated trying to transpose guitar chords on the fly. I'd rather strum regular guitar chords on it, and having the top 5 strings linear means I can still fingerpick melodies down to A, kind of like a baritone uke with an added 5th (low) string.

La Perdrix
02-20-2015, 05:10 AM
I tried, with living water strings, but found it was to low, so high D became high E. I prefer like that.
just two exemples :
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vG1lYHQOtqU
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DCv_LXrucEQ

this one was high-D : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=udfoaHS6bXA

aarondminnick
02-20-2015, 05:29 AM
One Bad Monkey, I'm looking at the GHS site. Which GHS string set--is it the re-entrant baritone set at http://www.ghsstrings.com/products/11428-re-entrant-tuning-baritone?category_id=1964772-ukulele?

Down Up Dick
02-20-2015, 05:44 AM
I was wondering if anyone here has experience with dGBE tuning on tenor ("baritone" tuning but with high/re-entrant d).

I'm working with Uke Aerobics and the "Kev" fingerstyle book, which are both voiced for re-entrant tuning. Tenor fits my hands better than concert/soprano, but my main axe is tuned linear GCEA so many of the patterns in the books don't match up well.

I've been thinking about getting a cheapie second tenor with a different tuning. I really like the deeper voice of a low G, and I've been intrigued with dGBE based on a few YouTube vids. That will of course shift the exercises down a fourth, but that's OK. Plus it's something new to play with.

Just wanted to get general impressions, recommended string sets, etc.


I bought Aquila hi-DGBE strings for my tenor banjolele, but I haven't put them on yet. I want it to sound more like a banjo. I'm mostly gonna use it for Clawhammer playing. I think lower tunings are a little quieter too.

I guess this hasn't been much help to you, but maybe you'll get somethin' out of it. :old:

Jon Moody
02-20-2015, 05:46 AM
One Bad Monkey, I'm looking at the GHS site. Which GHS string set--is it the re-entrant baritone set at http://www.ghsstrings.com/products/11428-re-entrant-tuning-baritone?category_id=1964772-ukulele?

That's not it; that's for a baritone that wants re-entrant tuning, and no wound strings. Mike Kassel originally requested that set, and we put it together.

I don't have Craig's Bari-Tenor set on the GHS site yet, but it's using those same ground trebles, but has a squeakless wound G string (couldn't get around it in that short of a scale). Here's the link to the store site, that has some information.

http://store.ghsstrings.com/tenor-uke-baritone-re-entrant-tuning/

dkcrown
02-20-2015, 08:54 AM
I tried this with a set of Southcoast's on a larger body tenor, but I found the tension too floppy for my liking. I didn't think that they drove the soundboard enough and the uke sounded better with a traditional set of tenor strings.

La Perdrix
02-20-2015, 09:34 AM
here you can find a tenor custom dGBE set of strings : http://www.kenmiddleton.co.uk/pages/lws.aspx

Tootler
02-20-2015, 11:41 AM
I have tuned my Bruko tenor down to dGBE using the pyramid carbon strings it came with and the result is better than I expected. I got a set of Worth CFs which I fitted to my Risa Uke'Ellie solid tenor and they seem OK. I'm thinking of contacting Ken Middleton about some tenor dGBE custom strings, though to see what they are like.

I'm liking the lower tension on the Bruko and there seems adequate volume. I suspect the strings Bruko fit their ukes are higher than average tension. I found the tenor tuned GCEA uncomfortable to play and I've had it tuned down to eAC#F# for some time now and preferred it both for comfort and tone. Taking it down another step hasn't compromised the tone and it is very playable.

Jim Hanks
02-20-2015, 02:08 PM
I have my tenor banjolele in dGBE with Southcoast strings HMU-NW set. Really mellows out the banjo twang, for good or ill.

kissing
02-20-2015, 03:56 PM
Honestly, I think this tuning works better on a baritone. On a tenor, it sounds a bit clunky with a sacrifice on projection.

I would also advise the tenor having a pickup.

Tootler
02-20-2015, 09:58 PM
Honestly, I think this tuning works better on a baritone. On a tenor, it sounds a bit clunky with a sacrifice on projection.

I would also advise the tenor having a pickup.

The tenor was originally designed for dGBE but, for some reason it didn't catch on - probably for lack of suitable strings. However with the suitable strings, it sounds better than GCEA, IMO and there is no problem with projection. No need for a pickup either. I do have a friend who has her tenor tuned linear DGBE using a standard baritone set of strings with wound 3rd & 4th and that doesn't sound right to my ears - it suffers from the issues you describe. However, she's happy with it and that's what matters.

In my case, I see what I have done as a temporary measure until I can get some more suitable strings but it works and I definitely prefer the tenor in dGBE. No need for a Bari now.

kissing
02-20-2015, 10:47 PM
The tenor was originally designed for dGBE but, for some reason it didn't catch on - probably for lack of suitable strings. However with the suitable strings, it sounds better than GCEA, IMO and there is no problem with projection. No need for a pickup either. I do have a friend who has her tenor tuned linear DGBE using a standard baritone set of strings with wound 3rd & 4th and that doesn't sound right to my ears - it suffers from the issues you describe. However, she's happy with it and that's what matters.

In my case, I see what I have done as a temporary measure until I can get some more suitable strings but it works and I definitely prefer the tenor in dGBE. No need for a Bari now.

My opinion differs. Aquila has had dGBE for tenor for a while now. The string gauges suitable for the tuning has always been readily available as classical guitar strings.

I think the real reason why it didn't catch on is because of the less-than-ideal tuning to body size/scale length ratio. The physics simply don't allow it. It is opinion to state that you personally like having a tenor tuned that way, but a false statement to say that it this setup has ideal projection and tone without compromise. It's like having one of those small travel guitars. You have tuned the instrument to a tuning lower than what the small body can ideally handle, and have thus sacrificed tone and projection.

It doesnt mean you cannot appreciate the tuning. I've had a tenor tuned dGBE for a while and have even made a few recordings with it. However, it has and always will be glaringly apparent to me that a tenor tuned that low has less projection, volume and depth of tone compared to the same tenor tuned GCEA or a Baritone tuned that way. I found it to be a somewhat impractical tuning for any public performance, unless you used a bigger ukulele or a pickup.

The physics do not lie.
Tenor is barely large enough to even appropriately handle low-G tuning. Realistically, even a Baritone-sized body is not ideally large enough to handle its common DGBE tuning.

Hammond
02-21-2015, 04:52 AM
Interesting thread. I want to try dGBE tuning on my ukulele someday, play 0003 as a G chord, same as guitar, see how it works with other gCEA or GCEA ukuleles. Like Craig Chee & Sarah Maisel. Hopefully if I do try it, I will record the video of experiment.

The lowest note in dGBE(re-entrance) & GCEA(linear) are both the same G3 (196), if the particular tenor ukulele is capable to resonance fully (According to ref. link here (http://www.ukuleles.com/Technology/sounds.html)) at this G note, then same in both tunings.

southcoastukes
02-21-2015, 06:11 AM
A lot of what has been said here is on point, and I'm including both the favorable and unfavorable opinions.

Reentrant G was the original tuning for Tenors, and it didn't catch on in part because of the strings available at the time, but also because the sound was so different from the high note register people were used to on the smaller models. With modern string material, it is more viable now than it was then.

With that said, the remarks about the overall design and it's suitability for this tuning are also correct. We have folks who use our Heavy Gauge strings for this tuning, and as long as you don't mind a moderate tension they work fine. We did come out with a higher tension set pointed especially at this tuning on a 17" scale (am guessing you didn't try that one dk), but to get that tension, the composition of the set is very different than the normal reentrant configuration. There's an archived letter on it (XHU set) on our Tips page.

We love the sound of this tuning on a Tenor body - Hammond correctly points out the size is normally well suited to this range of notes. However we feel that while sound is always subjective, the great majority will prefer this tuning on a long scale Tenor. You can use conventional stringing which will be brighter and more responsive at normal tension on a longer scale.

SailingUke
02-21-2015, 06:18 AM
I made a custom set dGBE for my tenor.
Using a "C" tuned to "d",
a low "G",
another "C" tuned to "B", could also use "A" tuned up to "B"
And an "E"

dkcrown
02-21-2015, 08:06 AM
A lot of what has been said here is on point, and I'm including both the favorable and unfavorable opinions.

Reentrant G was the original tuning for Tenors, and it didn't catch on in part because of the strings available at the time, but also because the sound was so different from the high note register people were used to on the smaller models. With modern string material, it is more viable now than it was then.

With that said, the remarks about the overall design and it's suitability for this tuning are also correct. We have folks who use our Heavy Gauge strings for this tuning, and as long as you don't mind a moderate tension they work fine. We did come out with a higher tension set pointed especially at this tuning on a 17" scale (am guessing you didn't try that one dk), but to get that tension, the composition of the set is very different than the normal reentrant configuration. There's an archived letter on it (XHU set) on our Tips page.

We love the sound of this tuning on a Tenor body - Hammond correctly points out the size is normally well suited to this range of notes. However we feel that while sound is always subjective, the great majority will prefer this tuning on a long scale Tenor. You can use conventional stringing which will be brighter and more responsive at normal tension on a longer scale.

Hi Dirk. Yes you are correct. I didn't try that higher tension set because they weren't available until after I bought the Heavy gauge set. I actually bought two of those Heavy Gauge sets and I haven't used the second set. Maybe I could swap them out for one of the higher tension sets if the tension would be closer to a conventional tenor stringing?

southcoastukes
02-21-2015, 10:49 AM
Hi Dirk. Yes you are correct. I didn't try that higher tension set because they weren't available until after I bought the Heavy gauge set. I actually bought two of those Heavy Gauge sets and I haven't used the second set. Maybe I could swap them out for one of the higher tension sets if the tension would be closer to a conventional tenor stringing?

Yes - take a look at that letter on the Tips page; then if you want to give them a try, drop me a line.

Doc_J
02-21-2015, 11:03 AM
I have tuned my Bruko tenor down to dGBE using the pyramid carbon strings it came with and the result is better than I expected. I got a set of Worth CFs which I fitted to my Risa Uke'Ellie solid tenor and they seem OK. I'm thinking of contacting Ken Middleton about some tenor dGBE custom strings, though to see what they are like.

I'm liking the lower tension on the Bruko and there seems adequate volume. I suspect the strings Bruko fit their ukes are higher than average tension. I found the tenor tuned GCEA uncomfortable to play and I've had it tuned down to eAC#F# for some time now and preferred it both for comfort and tone. Taking it down another step hasn't compromised the tone and it is very playable.

Tried a set of custom Living Water Tenor strings in baritone tuning on my Boat Paddle ML. They were a little too floppy for me. The Aquila version was less floppy. Haven't tried the GHS version yet.

Tootler
02-22-2015, 01:58 PM
Tried a set of custom Living Water Tenor strings in baritone tuning on my Boat Paddle ML. They were a little too floppy for me. The Aquila version was less floppy. Haven't tried the GHS version yet.

I was looking at the Aquila dGBE set on their website and it seems the G is either wound or a red. I'm not too happy with either option as the nut on my Bruko has slots rather than v-grooves and I don't think the a wound string would fit, though widening the slot or making it into a v-notch would not be a major problem. I'm not keen on the idea of wound strings anyway. I don't like the squeak you get when you slide your finger along them.

I have the other half of the Worth CF set I bought and I might try those. They seem slightly higher tension on my Risa Uke'Ellie compared with the pyramid strings fitted to the Bruko.