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View Full Version : Low eadg tuning on bari



bunnyf
05-15-2015, 08:09 PM
i searched old threads but couldn't find info on this, so I thought I'd ask. What strings would you use an a baritone ukulele to get EADG tuning, one octave lower? I'd like to take my old Harmony and repurpose it.

SteveZ
05-16-2015, 04:23 AM
Ended up tuning my baritone uke (Kala KA-BE) CGDA, the same as my Blueridge 40T tenor guitar. The baritone sounds sweet at CGDA. I use Aquila NylGuts coming from Aquila's baritone "guitar tuning" and tenor "six string" sets:

C - wound (from #ABGT, D string)(guitar tuning set, baritone)
G - wound (from #ABGT, G string)(guitar tuning set, baritone)
D - .77mm (from #AT6, E string)(tenor six-string set)
A - .62mm (from #AT6, A string)(tenor six-string set)

A sound sample of this baritone ukulele at CGDA is at http://soundcloud.com/steveztv/kala-ka-be-toes-sample

bunnyf
05-16-2015, 10:20 AM
Cool, but I'm looking for traditional bass sound. Want to practice some bass pattern acoustically. Maybe have my hubbie play a little on the bass, say camping, while I play uke. Just don't know what strings to buy.

SteveZ
05-16-2015, 11:10 AM
Have you checked at "TalkBass.com" yet? There may be some answers there.

Jim Hanks
05-16-2015, 04:30 PM
When you say an octave lower, you mean the same as bottom 4 strings on a guitar? That would be some super thick strings to get that low on a uke scale, even bari. Now you can easily get EADG an octave up from that. My Bruko bari is in EAC#F# with Living Water tenor strings. Surely top two could be tightened another notch.

Booli
05-16-2015, 10:36 PM
Hi Bunny,

Some of the answers you seek might be found in the following threads:

This one is regarding the Rondo Music Hadean uke bass, which sells as low as $149:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97547-rondo-music-hadean-ubass

and this thread also has information, specifically in my own posts there (with photos, and I have others not there that I can share of my own, incomplete conversion), regarding converting a baritone uke to a uke bass, and the associated costs, and links to sources for parts:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?106528-I-m-at-it-again-BAS-has-replaced-UAS

Not all of the above content will apply specifically to your question in this thread, but I saw that you had a few posts about converting your Harmony to a uke bass, and a few of us have been down that path before, but the short version is that by the time you get the tuners from largesound.com ($32) and the accompanying 35/64 drill bit ($7) required to enlarge the existing holes in your baritone, the U-Bass strings ($25), and then a preamp ($20-$150 depending upon which one) and invest around 20-30 hrs of your time, which will also include either enlarging the existing nut slots to accomodate the super fat rubbery strings, or purchasing an official U-Bass nut direct from Kala ($6), (so far the tally is ~$83 not including shipping costs) you will be in a situation to ask yourself, how much is your time actually worth in $$, and what is your comfort level with this project and making a playable instrument (do you have a drill and other tools??? if not, you will need to either borrow them or buy them) VS buying a Hadean acoustic uke bass, already assembled from Rondo for as little as $149 + ~$13 shipping.

Please have a look at the above linked threads, and if you have any questions afterward, I'll do what I can to help you. :)

(edited to add: The Savannah (Rogue) baritone that I was using for my project will at least be converted to a fretless, and then I might possibly string it with the EADG strings from a D'Addario EJ45LP extra hard tension classical set as a 'piccolo' bass, which is in the same octave as a guitar and NOT bass, and is essentially just the 4 lowest strings of guitar. The extra hard tension classical strings are really the only way to get enough tension in order to be able to tune EADG in this octave on a 20" scale length instrument. I already have the strings but they were very uncomfortable to use on my 25.5" 4/4 classical guitar, as the tension was way too high on this instrument for my liking)

(edit #2: as a piccolo bass, I will have an instrument similar to the Kamoa E3E bass or Luna Uke Bass, but at 1/3 or 1/4 the cost, and while not in the same octave as a 'traditional' bass, it will be fine for my songwriting and recording needs)

mm stan
05-17-2015, 01:21 AM
I play this tuning on my pohaku, tenor

bunnyf
05-17-2015, 02:23 AM
Jim, I was thinking of same as guitar lowest 4 (is a guitar 1 octave lower? when I tune my Bari DGBE am I really the same as guitars top 4 strings or am I really an octave higher? I would like this Bari to be the EA (next two strings down from what I already have on my DGBE Bari). But I'm wondering if you are telling me that even these would be too thick. have had Savarez classical guitar strings on it before but only bought the treble set plus a single wound D, so I wasn't sure how thick the low EA

Jim Hanks
05-17-2015, 04:37 AM
Looks like Booli has put more thought into this than me. Your bari DBGE is tuned the same as guitar top four but are likely quite thicker than a guitar set. I'm just guessing, but the D string on your uke is probably as thick as the A or even E string on your guitar. Another way to think of it is like this - if you put a normal guitar E string on your uke and tune it to E it is going to be extremely floppy. So to get the tension up and maintain the tuning you would have to go to a thicker string. Is it possible? Maybe. If so, I'm with Booli that you would have to try the "extra hard tension" guitar sets and maybe they would only be slightly low tension on the uke. And you might have to modify your nut/bridge to fit the thicker strings.

It would be much easier to find strings for EADG an octave up from that. It is just 2 or 3 half steps higher than your DGBE tuning now. You might need to combine two sets from Southcoast to get the ideal gauges but that would be a piece of cake.

Tootler
05-17-2015, 10:28 AM
When I saw this thread, I remembered this one in the Bass section of the forum. It appeared about the time I bought my U-Bass and is about the Kamoa bass ukulele which is tuned the way described in the OP; ie like the bottom four strings of a guitar. There's a fair amount of discussion on strings there.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?60569-Kamoa-bass-uke

bunnyf
05-18-2015, 07:46 AM
Thanks Tootler, I'm gonna get to reading that thread now. Jim, I have classical guitar strings on my Bari now (Savarez) and they have decent tension on all strings, even the wound D, but I haven't seen the thickness of the E&A. I'm gonna check out tootlers suggested thread for more string info.

Booli
05-19-2015, 07:20 PM
Bunnyf,

I have taken the 6th, 5th, & 4th string, i.e., E, A, D, from a D'Addario EJ44LP Extra Hard tension classical string set and installed them TUNED to the deeper four pitched strings of the guitar as in the OP.

And for the 'G' string, since this EJ44LP string set has a horrible and dead-sounding 'carbon' string or the normal nylon string, I used the 'G' string from a set of Aquila REDS BARITONE set, yes the 3rd string, which is a silver-wound over nylon for BARITONE.

I installed these strings as indicated on my Savannah (same as Rogue) $52 baritone, which is a 20.75" scale length and there is enough tension to perfectly tune to the pitches requested by the OP.

see chart below:
(string numbers are on a Baritone ukulele, #1 is closest to FLOOR in playing position)



String
Frequency
Scientific pitch notation


1 (G)
196.00 Hz
G3


2 (D)
146.83 Hz
D3


3 (A)
110.00 Hz
A2


4 (E)
82.41 Hz
E2



click for:

D'Addario EJ44LP EXTRA HARD TENSION classical guitar string set
http://www.stringsandbeyond.com/dejprlipocls.html
(in the drop down menu, select EJ44LP)

Aquila 89U RED Baritone string set
http://www.stringsandbeyond.com/aq89uredseba.html

Hope this helps to answer your question.

Booli
05-20-2015, 01:55 PM
nobody left in here

just me, and deez empty string wrapper packages thingies

bunnyf
05-21-2015, 12:15 AM
Thanks Booli! I am gonna give it a go. I appreciate the advice. While I'm online I'm also gonna treat the Harmony to some new tuners. Someone sent me a link for Grovers for $12. Thanks again.

HeavyDuty
10-17-2016, 03:50 AM
bunnyf, how did this turn out? I'm not a regular here (I'm a bass player), but I asked around about this and never took it any further: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?77387-Baritone-restrung-as-a-piccolo-bass-to-accompany-uke

Edspyhill05
08-17-2017, 02:48 PM
I'm reviving this thread instead of starting a new one.

I want to tune my Baritone to E A D G so I can play jazz comping triads, not bass. So I think I can move the baritone D & G strings in place of B & E strings. I'll just need new E & A strings. They will just need to be in the same range as the Baritone D & G strings. I'll take a stab at diameter and length of these 2 strings.

Plus, I'm playing a UBass and having the same note names and strings on both instruments would be a plus.

Ed

Jim Hanks
08-17-2017, 04:08 PM
I want to tune my Baritone to E A D G so I can play jazz comping triads, not bass. So I think I can move the baritone D & G strings in place of B & E strings. I'll just need new E & A strings. They will just need to be in the same range as the Baritone D & G strings.
Same range? So your tuning would be E3 A3 D3 G3? If so, I bet you could use the same gauges for E and A as the D and G. That seems like a very narrow range though - only a fifth and the low note is on the 3rd string. That just seems - weird - but I'd love to hear it!

Booli
08-17-2017, 06:59 PM
Same range? So your tuning would be E3 A3 D3 G3? If so, I bet you could use the same gauges for E and A as the D and G. That seems like a very narrow range though - only a fifth and the low note is on the 3rd string. That just seems - weird - but I'd love to hear it!

Yeah, that short of a note range would make it a re-entrant EADG bass/baritone scale, which is not a big problem since you are not playing chords most of the time as a bass, but if you are doing root/fifth and root/third bass parts, you are going to be playing inverted intervals with re-entrant tuning...and WITH any chords there will be lots of unison notes.

I've found the best intonation for the E2 note, without excessive tension, and decent/volume by using a standard tension generic D'Addario 0.056" classical string. Which I then polish smooth with sandpaper (first 60 grit and then 220 grit), which then also removes the protective silver coating, but the string has no squeak at all, and is a bit thinner, at about 0.050" after sanding, so it fits into a smaller nut slot.

Over time the string will tarnish/oxidize, but these are like $2 to replace, so it's not a big deal.
.
.
.

Booli
08-17-2017, 07:39 PM
Following up to my previous post, I just used the tool at D'Addario (http://stringtensionpro.com/) to do some calculations.

Most normal DGBE baritone sets have a tension in the range from 51-58 lbs, and with the thicker strings (for the E2 and A2 strings, in the LINEAR tuning), you need a bit MORE tension in the lower pitch strings, and thus THICKER strings, otherwise it is nearly impossible to compensate the saddle enough to get anything usable for intonation (there's just not enough room on a 1/8" thick surface), nor can you slant the saddle like with the way other fretted instruments are made without serious modifications to the bridge (filling the saddle slot, and then routing a new one) or replacing the bridge.

For the re-entrant EADG strings/tuning, the existing saddle compensation (with the saddle parallel to the nut) should work since the pitches of the open strings are only 2 semitones apart.

Below are screen caps with the info.

This is for the re-entrant EADG, as in E3-A3-D3-G3:

http://i.imgur.com/cwFwqcf.png

and this is for the linear EADG, as in E2-A2-D3-G3:

http://i.imgur.com/uleUTOr.png

Hope this helps! :)

Edspyhill05
08-18-2017, 02:43 PM
Same range? So your tuning would be E3 A3 D3 G3? If so, I bet you could use the same gauges for E and A as the D and G. That seems like a very narrow range though - only a fifth and the low note is on the 3rd string. That just seems - weird - but I'd love to hear it!

Jim. The 4 D G B E strings on the baritone are tuned to the same pitch as my classical guitar. I don't know the gauge of the baritone D and G strings, but moving them over they will be the same pitch as they are now. I'll measure the strings with calipers.

I'm going to look at the information posted by Booli so I don't damage the Uke's new bridge, which I glued on about 2 months ago.

I don't want a re-entrant tuning.

Thinking about those Freddy Green comping chords.

Thanks,

Ed

Jim Hanks
08-18-2017, 03:53 PM
I don't want a re-entrant tuning.
I thought it sounded weird, but folks try a lot of weird things around here. :p

Croaky Keith
08-18-2017, 09:55 PM
I'm just experimenting with a cheap set of classical guitar strings on my (Kala) tenor uke, & they went on without any problems at the nut.
I used the E-A-D-G as my G-C-E-A, which seems to have given me a low low C tuning. :)
Sounds something like a guitar, on a tenor uke! :cool:

Booli
08-19-2017, 01:24 AM
I'm just experimenting with a cheap set of classical guitar strings on my (Kala) tenor uke, & they went on without any problems at the nut.
I used the E-A-D-G as my G-C-E-A, which seems to have given me a low low C tuning. :)
Sounds something like a guitar, on a tenor uke! :cool:

Keith - there was a pretty hot discussion about doing this on tenor and/or bari a few years back, in which UkuleleJay and Rick Turner went thru all kinds of tests on strings and such for proper tension, intonation and tone, and IIRC they went with the Savarez extra-high-tension classical stings, I forget if they were the 540J or 540R set, but if you search for 'octave uke' (or octave ukulele, not sure which search would work) as it was called here on the forum you will see the discussions.

Also, IIRC, Rick Turner and another luthier actually built a few bari-like instruments specifically designed to resonate best at the lower frequencies. On a 'modern' tenor you might find that notes lower than D3 have less volume, and that is due to reduced surface area of both the sound board (the top) and the size of the resonating chamber (i.e., the air volume inside the body of the uke) and that is why RIck and others were looking at the baritone-like size for the increased resonance at the lower frequencies.

I had decent intonation and tone with putting the Thomastik strings on a baritone for a re-entrant octave uke as thus:

G3-CF27 = 0.027"
C3-CF35 = 0.035"
E3-CF30 = 0.030"
A3-CF27 = 0.027"

I had originally tried to do linear with the Thomastik CF45 (0.045") as the low G string as G2, but found that on a 19" scale bari, the intonation was off by +15 cents no matter what I did to compensate the saddle, and also there was just not enough tension for a decent tone, and the string was both tubby sounding and quiet, but the high-G as in G3, using the CF27 as per above, the intonation was only about +5 cents at the 12th fret and only +2 cents at the nut after I lowered the nut slot as much as I felt comfortable, since the other strings were all +2 cents sharp at the nut, which most folks lack the hearing acuity to detect the difference (but I can and it bothers me).

My Fluke and Flea ukes have near-perfect intonation out of the box with the way they are made at the factory, and my ear has gotten used to this and now I am spoiled and have trouble with poor intonation. Most folks will not notice though. They are better off, as the saying goes, 'ignorance is bliss'...:)

Croaky Keith
08-19-2017, 01:51 AM
.....poor intonation. Most folks will not notice though. They are better off, as the saying goes, 'ignorance is bliss'.......

That probably covers me, I was always told I was tone deaf. ;)

(Season 287 has me picking a tune on it.)

Booli
08-19-2017, 03:45 AM
That probably covers me, I was always told I was tone deaf. ;)

(Season 287 has me picking a tune on it.)

It's all good brother Keith.

What's most important is that you enjoy your ukes and they make you happy. :music:

Edspyhill05
08-19-2017, 10:58 AM
Following up to my previous post, I just used the tool at D'Addario (http://stringtensionpro.com/) to do some calculations.

Most normal DGBE baritone sets have a tension in the range from 51-58 lbs, and with the thicker strings (for the E2 and A2 strings, in the LINEAR tuning), you need a bit MORE tension in the lower pitch strings, and thus THICKER strings, otherwise it is nearly impossible to compensate the saddle enough to get anything usable for intonation (there's just not enough room on a 1/8" thick surface), nor can you slant the saddle like with the way other fretted instruments are made without serious modifications to the bridge (filling the saddle slot, and then routing a new one) or replacing the bridge.

For the re-entrant EADG strings/tuning, the existing saddle compensation (with the saddle parallel to the nut) should work since the pitches of the open strings are only 2 semitones apart.

Below are screen caps with the info.

This is for the re-entrant EADG, as in E3-A3-D3-G3:

http://i.imgur.com/cwFwqcf.png

and this is for the linear EADG, as in E2-A2-D3-G3:

http://i.imgur.com/uleUTOr.png

Hope this helps! :)

Booli. Thanks for this. I'll need to be a bit more scientific. I measured the strings on the baritone (tuned D G B E). The G-string is 0.033, and the D-string is 0.028. The strings seem to be slightly different. I can't remember if they are Aquila or D'Addario strings.

I'll post my results. I'm thinking a normal set of classical guitar strings might work.

Ed

Booli
08-19-2017, 10:17 PM
Booli. Thanks for this. I'll need to be a bit more scientific. I measured the strings on the baritone (tuned D G B E). The G-string is 0.033, and the D-string is 0.028. The strings seem to be slightly different. I can't remember if they are Aquila or D'Addario strings.

I'll post my results. I'm thinking a normal set of classical guitar strings might work.

Ed

No worries. I'm glad to help.

One thing to note: When I've measured strings that are installed and under tension, with digital calipers, the diameters tend to manifest a but thinner than the rated spec as quoted by the string package.

E.g., IF an 0.035" once installed measures as an 0.033", and an 0.030" measures as an 0.028"

I suspect that this is due to the string stretching once tuned to pitch, and that the diameters given, are 'nominal' and not always made to an exact tolerance, as well as subject to user-error or variations in exactly how close to the ends of the 'fingers' of the caliper you measure (parallax being an issue) as well as how tightly one might have the caliper fingers against the material with possible compression of the string during when the caliper fingers are closed... and in my own experience, I've seen a variation of +/- 0.002 in subsequent measurements of the same string.

So one needs to account for 'tolerance' due to how the calipers and manipulated, for it is not exactly perfect each time, for me at least.

The takeaway is that strings can 'appear' thinner gauge once under tension, and the use of the calipers needs to be at a consistent, exact application depending upon the level of precision one wants or is capable of...

Tootler
08-20-2017, 01:16 AM
The strings will be thinner. When you tension the strings, you are stretching them, increasing them in length. The material has to come from somewhere so the strings get thinner.

if the strings have a nominal diameter, this implies some variation. In such a case, it's good practice to measure the diameter in several places along its length and take an average, quoting the variation as a +/- figure. That's something of a council of perfection but it is worth measuring the diameter in several places.