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View Full Version : 5ths tuning, strings for tenor & bari?



Booli
08-04-2015, 09:42 AM
I searched (both via UU & Goog-Fu), but came up short, so I'm asking...

A few options already exist for soprano and concert, but it seems that does not help me for tenor and baritone.

I'm looking for string recommendations for either a pre-made set, or singles gauges to make 5ths tuning for tenor and baritone scale, in either GDAE, or CDGA, and/or both/either linear and re-entrant versions of the same...

I'd prefer fluorocarbon, but would go with nylon if there was no other option. I'm also willing to drop an octave or thereabouts, since I'm not locked to G4-D4-A4-E5 nor C3-G3-D4-A4 as reference pitches and would use 'wound' strings as necessary.

Not interested in steel strings just yet (that's another project for a 23" scale tenor guitar and/or piccolo bass), as this current request is for instruments braced/built for nylon/fluroro...

So, I ask the wisdom of the crowd, [I]please share what you know about specific strings for 5ths tuning for tenor and baritone.

Thanks! :)

Tootler
08-04-2015, 10:25 AM
I searched (both via UU & Goog-Fu), but came up short, so I'm asking...

A few options already exist for soprano and concert, but it seems that does not help me for tenor and baritone.

I'm looking for string recommendations for either a pre-made set, or singles gauges to make 5ths tuning for tenor and baritone scale, in either GDAE, or CDGA, and/or both/either linear and re-entrant versions of the same...

I'd prefer fluorocarbon, but would go with nylon if there was no other option. I'm also willing to drop an octave or thereabouts, since I'm not locked to G4-D4-A4-E5 nor C3-G3-D4-A4 as reference pitches and would use 'wound' strings as necessary.

Not interested in steel strings just yet (that's another project for a 23" scale tenor guitar and/or piccolo bass), as this current request is for instruments braced/built for nylon/fluroro...

So, I ask the wisdom of the crowd, [I]please share what you know about specific strings for 5ths tuning for tenor and baritone.

Thanks! :)

Have you tried South Coast strings? I'm sure if they don't have standard sets, they'll make them up. I suspect Dirk might appear here sometime.

Recstar24
08-04-2015, 10:58 AM
Southcoast. And you can be assured it will have the appropriate tension for a tenor scale.

kypfer
08-04-2015, 11:22 AM
My Brunswick baritone is tuned GDAE, an octave below fiddle/mandolin.

When purchased it was tuned DGBE, linear (low-D).

The "conversion" was simple.

The first string, E, 0.026" GHS black, remained the same.

The second string, B, 0.036" GHS black, was detuned one whole tone to A. With these original GHS strings this was no problem, but I appreciate some strings may go a little "floppy" if detuned a whole tone.

String D, 0.036" wound, would have been shifted up from position 4 to position 3, 'cept for the fact that is was too short to reach the tuner, so had to be replaced.

String G is a guitar E string, 0.043" wound.

This is all on a 20" scale.

I don't have a tenor tuned in 5th's.

Hope this helps :)

Booli
08-04-2015, 11:37 AM
Have you tried South Coast strings? I'm sure if they don't have standard sets, they'll make them up. I suspect Dirk might appear here sometime.


Southcoast. And you can be assured it will have the appropriate tension for a tenor scale.

Thanks for the heads up for Southcoast. Any of their specific sets in mind?

Booli
08-04-2015, 11:39 AM
My Brunswick baritone is tuned GDAE, an octave below fiddle/mandolin.

When purchased it was tuned DGBE, linear (low-D).

The "conversion" was simple.

The first string, E, 0.026" GHS black, remained the same.

The second string, B, 0.036" GHS black, was detuned one whole tone to A. With these original GHS strings this was no problem, but I appreciate some strings may go a little "floppy" if detuned a whole tone.

String D, 0.036" wound, would have been shifted up from position 4 to position 3, 'cept for the fact that is was too short to reach the tuner, so had to be replaced.

String G is a guitar E string, 0.043" wound.

This is all on a 20" scale.

I don't have a tenor tuned in 5th's.

Hope this helps :)


Yes, it does! Thanks very much kypfer - this is exactly the kind of info I was hoping to find. I can replicate your setup based upon the strings that I have on hand. I'm going to try this as well. :)

Tootler
08-04-2015, 02:00 PM
Thanks for the heads up for Southcoast. Any of their specific sets in mind?

Nothing specific but they have a variety of sets for various tunings at various tensions. You may have to contact them direct for your specific requirements. Here is a link to their string guide. There's some good material there. http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide.htm

I confess I've not used their strings though I have considered them but their pricing plus cost of shipping to the UK makes them so much more expensive than other makes. I looked at them for a DGBE reentrant set for my tenors but ended up with Worth CF which I found totally satisfactory at a much lower cost and they were available from a UK on line retailer.

Others speak well of them, though.

SteveZ
08-05-2015, 02:29 AM
For tenor uke: Aquila's 31U CGDA set works fine, even though the set is advertised as for concert scale. Have used it on tenors several times and have it as the base for my 6-string and 8-string tenors.

Another trick is to take a low-G GCEA set, reverse the G and C strings, detune the E to D, and the result is C4-G3-D4-A4 (reentrant C). I have this on two concerts and two sopranos. The concerts and sopranos have the chording benefits of fifths while remaining in the ukes' acoustic design window.

For baritone uke: The strings I use are all Aquila NylGut, taken from two different string sets. These string sizes appear in several Aquila pre-packaged sets.

C - wound (from #ABGT, D string)(guitar tuning set, baritone ukulele)
G - wound (from #ABGT, G string)(guitar tuning set, baritone ukulele)
D - .77mm (from #ABUK, E string)(baritone AECG ukulele set)
A - .62mm (from #ABUK, A string)(baritone AECG ukulele set)

As far as other string brands go, if they match to the sizes shown bive, they shoukd work.

TheCraftedCow
08-05-2015, 04:17 AM
Thank you for asking this question and for the replies. I have been playing a tenor banjo. The single string is great, but the fret stretch is going back to the dark ages. Looks like a valid rationale for another tenor or concert. I actually have a couple sets of 31U Aquila in my inventory.

k0k0peli
08-05-2015, 05:07 AM
If you don't mind some re-entrant insanity -- just flip the strings! Then tweak the tuning. Go from gCEa to aEBf# or a#FCG. No, I haven't done this to a tenor yet, just a soprano, but my weak-voiced bari is a good candidate for flipping. It would go from DGBe to fCGD. We get the fifths chord forms but rather odd voicings, sure. We also get a taste of what lefties face with un-restrung axes. Fun fun fun.

I do like and play my flipped soprano -- it forces me to focus on chord forms and strum rhythms rather than my familiar melodic picking. Hmmm, just got an idea. I like my mandos in 'Irish' GDAD tuning. I tend to play melodies and chords mostly on the lower courses and let the upper courses ring, or play the easy barre chords Irish tuning allows. I'll flip and tweak my bari from DGBe to fCGC or gDAD and explore that experience. I'll report back Real Soon Now.

EDIT - easy Irish barre chords: in GDAD, 0222 is Em and 1222 is E while 2232 is Am and 2242 is A. Move as needed. For more openness, 2000 is D and 0020 is G. Let'em ring!