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sam13
05-26-2016, 03:28 AM
Hello Everyone,

I have started playing larger Ukes more and more and am really enjoying my RBSH C Spruce Top Pono Pro Classic as a finger style and thumb strumming / dragging Uke.

I have a wound 4th on it with Clear Worth's ... it is heavenly. The tonal colour is wonderful and the sustain is outrageous!

But it isn't a great strummer.

I am looking to find out what you are using for a Strummer Baritone ... what makes, wood choices whether you are using re entrant or linear tuning.

I think I might call Andrew at HMS and look into another Pono Pro Classic Baritone and string it re entrant.

One of the things that is very appealing for me is the radius fretboard as I do a lot of barring ... and am feeling a little arthritic in my fingers when I eat too many grains. Staying away from them as much as I can. Barring with my Pono Pro Classic Baritone is simple and easy.

Thanks.

anthonyg
05-26-2016, 03:38 AM
My two bobs worth. What makes a great strumming instrument is, GREAT intonation, particularly in the open position. When your picking the intonation can be just slightly out but its not that obvious. When your strumming all the notes are being struck at pretty much the same time so there is nowhere to hide if the intonation isn't spot on.

Anthony

sam13
05-26-2016, 04:34 AM
My two bobs worth. What makes a great strumming instrument is, GREAT intonation, particularly in the open position. When your picking the intonation can be just slightly out but its not that obvious. When your strumming all the notes are being struck at pretty much the same time so there is nowhere to hide if the intonation isn't spot on.

Anthony

Great points, Anthony. Do you have a Baritone? If yes, what do you use? Cheers!

strumsilly
05-26-2016, 04:58 AM
I find the baritone muddy sounding when strummed unless it is reentrant.

manfromtexas
05-26-2016, 05:36 AM
I like to strum it in "la pompe" fashion like in gypsy jazz - using closed chords and mutes. That sounds fantastic! If you use a light touch and can punctuate it with some plucking and muting the Bari can sound awesome that way. What doesn't sound good on it is clang a Lang a Lang a Langa Langa Lang

Domiuke
05-26-2016, 05:51 AM
I like to strum it in "la pompe" fashion like in gypsy jazz - using closed chords and mutes. That sounds fantastic! If you use a light touch and can punctuate it with some plucking and muting the Bari can sound awesome that way. What doesn't sound good on it is clang a Lang a Lang a Langa Langa Lang

Would be very happy to hear that.

sopher
05-26-2016, 06:30 AM
I actually have the same bari and mostly fingerpick on it. If you want to dedicate a bari to strumming I would recommend the "double-reentrant" tuning of Li-liu (?) from Southcoast. The 4th string is high and the 1st string is low - it's pretty good for adding a low tone to the strummers without the thuddy bass of the non-resonant low D

YMMV
sopher

DownUpDave
05-26-2016, 06:36 AM
I find the baritone muddy sounding when strummed unless it is reentrant.

Andy makes a great point Simon. Now you have another reason to buy a second baritone...........that in itself is "golden Jerry".

As we talked about I have my Pono strung with smaller gauge brighter sounding floros on #1 & #2 position. I then tune it up to E, A, C#, F# which makes it brighter sounding.

Come on over and and bring your bari, I will swap out the wound low D for a reentrant on my Pono and we can do a side by side sound sample. See if you like it. Or just go ahead and buy another bari........I won't stop you ;)

sam13
05-26-2016, 06:36 AM
I like to strum it in "la pompe" fashion like in gypsy jazz - using closed chords and mutes. That sounds fantastic! If you use a light touch and can punctuate it with some plucking and muting the Bari can sound awesome that way. What doesn't sound good on it is clang a Lang a Lang a Langa Langa Lang

Any sound samples or links to that? It sounds intriguing.

mm stan
05-26-2016, 07:28 AM
Low G is not good for strumming.. go re entrant

JJFN
05-26-2016, 08:03 AM
Why is everyone trashing strumming a baritone ukulele? My kamaka sounds great, strumming, picking and packed away it it's case! My baritone is strung with Southeast, LL-WB's, that's with one wound string. It's sound is heavenly. I probably won't change these strings until the rot off (sorry Dirk). So I must respectfully disagree with most responders to this thread.

DownUpDave
05-26-2016, 08:40 AM
Why is everyone trashing strumming a baritone ukulele? My kamaka sounds great, strumming, picking and packed away it it's case! My baritone is strung with Southeast, LL-WB's, that's with one wound string. It's sound is heavenly. I probably won't change these strings until the rot off (sorry Dirk). So I must respectfully disagree with most responders to this thread.

In your signature it says your Kamaka baritone is "linear C". Baritones only really sound muddy when strummed in low D tuning and that is what we were refering to. I tune up one of my baris to E and even with low D wound string set it brightens things up enough to make a big difference. I have heard great things about the LL-WB string set from South Coast, I love the HML sets on my tenors.

mds725
05-26-2016, 08:58 AM
I also have a Kamaka baritone, strung low D with Kamaka's own strings. It doesn't sound muddy at all. I also have a Mya-Moe myrtle baritone, also strung low D, with Worth Clears (what M-M was using at the time). It isn't muddy either.

It would be an interesting experiment for the OP to get ahold of a Kamaka baritone (or a Mya-Moe, or another high-end production or custom baritone) and string it and his Pono the same to compare them. I don't mean to dis Pono -- my first baritone was a mahogany Pono and I really liked it, but my guess is that the better built a baritone is, the less muddy it's going to sound. Maybe, with a low D string, that difference in build quality is just more noticeable on a baritone ukulele.

Ukulele Eddie
05-26-2016, 09:26 AM
Low G is not good for strumming.. go re entrant

My sentiments as well. I just don't care for linear tuning for straight strumming. Re-entrant sounds better. Now, I almost never "only strum" so I enjoy both tunings.

DownUpDave
05-26-2016, 09:27 AM
I also have a Kamaka baritone, strung low D with Kamaka's own strings. It doesn't sound muddy at all. I also have a Mya-Moe myrtle baritone, also strung low D, with Worth Clears (what M-M was using at the time). It isn't muddy either.

It would be an interesting experiment for the OP to get ahold of a Kamaka baritone (or a Mya-Moe, or another high-end production or custom baritone) and string it and his Pono the same to compare them. I don't mean to dis Pono -- my first baritone was a mahogany Pono and I really liked it, but my guess is that the better built a baritone is, the less muddy it's going to sound. Maybe, with a low D string, that difference in build quality is just more noticeable on a baritone ukulele.

Interesting theories Mark. I think the trouble Simon has is he is a big strong guy and is "heavy handed" in his playing technique. He can make any uke sound "loud". He teases me about "strumming like a little boy". I have a Kamaka and a Pono spruce/mahogany baritone and when tuned the same with the same string set the Pono is just a bit brighter and definitely not "muddy".

Simon probably just needs to find what works for his playing technique. Lots of good info on this thread though, very helpful.

mds725
05-26-2016, 10:17 AM
Interesting theories Mark. I think the trouble Simon has is he is a big strong guy and is "heavy handed" in his playing technique. He can make any uke sound "loud". He teases me about "strumming like a little boy". I have a Kamaka and a Pono spruce/mahogany baritone and when tuned the same with the same string set the Pono is just a bit brighter and definitely not "muddy".

Simon probably just needs to find what works for his playing technique. Lots of good info on this thread though, very helpful.

The fact that there are so many variables makes it very difficult to answer the original question.

gvelasco
05-26-2016, 10:22 AM
There is A LOT of personal preference with respect to tunings and strumming/picking styles for each type of ukulele. I'm sure everyone ends up settling on what sounds and works best for them. But, there are at least a couple of strumming patterns that were developed around specific tunings. Claw Hammer was invented specifically to take advantage of re-entrant banjo tunings, so it tends to work with with re-entrant ukulele tunings. Of course you can use it with linear tuned ukuleles, but it won't produce the traditional frailing tones associated with re-entrant tunings. George Formby's split stroke strumming style was also developed to take advantage of re-entrant tuning. Again, you can use split stroke strumming with linear tuning, but it won't sound the same.

If I'm playing by myself, I'll do finger picking on the baritone, but if I'm playing with other uke players I tend to strum on the bari because finger picking is too quiet. If the soprano uke player is finger picking, then I might finger pick the bari too.

If I were playing the bari as my primary solo instrument, I'd probably tune it re-entrant, but since I use it to play with other uke players, I have it tuned linear in G to compliment the other players. I also tend to strum it rather than finger pick, but I don't use the faster strum patterns associated with the soprano uke - triplets, etc.

kypfer
05-26-2016, 11:26 AM
My Brunswick BU5B is strung with a low G and strums fine :)

Down Up Dick
05-26-2016, 12:19 PM
I don't usually strum my baritone much, but I do like open tuning on it a lot. I'm gonna use it for slide if I ever get around to it--busy busy busy . . . :old:

sam13
05-26-2016, 02:51 PM
Why is everyone trashing strumming a baritone ukulele? My kamaka sounds great, strumming, picking and packed away it it's case! My baritone is strung with Southeast, LL-WB's, that's with one wound string. It's sound is heavenly. I probably won't change these strings until the rot off (sorry Dirk). So I must respectfully disagree with most responders to this thread.

As Dave noted, your HF-4 is Linear C tuning ... we are talking about Linear D tuning.

And I wasn't trashing strumming on a Baritone at all ... just trying to listen to what others are doing or using as I would really like to have another Baritone for strumming ...

Dave knows me very well and I am tall and have no problem pulling sound out of a Uke ... even a laminate soprano. He has a HF-4 as well, and when strummed heavily it does get muddy ... I still love the tone on it.

I am considering getting one and having the neck thinned out a little and a radius fretboard added to it.

sam13
05-26-2016, 02:59 PM
I also have a Kamaka baritone, strung low D with Kamaka's own strings. It doesn't sound muddy at all. I also have a Mya-Moe myrtle baritone, also strung low D, with Worth Clears (what M-M was using at the time). It isn't muddy either.

It would be an interesting experiment for the OP to get ahold of a Kamaka baritone (or a Mya-Moe, or another high-end production or custom baritone) and string it and his Pono the same to compare them. I don't mean to dis Pono -- my first baritone was a mahogany Pono and I really liked it, but my guess is that the better built a baritone is, the less muddy it's going to sound. Maybe, with a low D string, that difference in build quality is just more noticeable on a baritone ukulele.

I think you have a point, Mark. A more expensive Uke will have the ability to produce a cleaner tone ... perhaps. However, Dave's HF-4 does sound muddy a little ... perhaps it is the Fluoro carbon strings ... we both didn't care for the original Kamaka strings.

My Pono PC RBSCH Spruce top has amazing tone in Linear D ...

Ultimately, it is about collecting information and considering what would be best for each person's playing style.

I really enjoy the HF-4 tone.

anthonyg
05-26-2016, 04:43 PM
Great points, Anthony. Do you have a Baritone? If yes, what do you use? Cheers!

I have all size ukuleles although I mostly play tenors, then Concert, baritone and rarely soprano. The strings on most of my instruments are Aquila Nylguts as I like them. I mostly pick though I do strum some songs. On ANY sized instrument I have come to the conclusion that its intonation that's the biggest factor as to whether a strummed chord sounds clear or not.

I have a Mele 8 string tenor with hilo strings on it. It certainly sounds sweet when strummed. Aquila strings are not so sweet but if the intonation is good they sound fine strummed.

Anthony

JJFN
05-26-2016, 05:04 PM
As Dave noted, your HF-4 is Linear C tuning ... we are talking about Linear D tuning.

And I wasn't trashing strumming on a Baritone at all ... just trying to listen to what others are doing or using as I would really like to have another Baritone for strumming ...

Dave knows me very well and I am tall and have no problem pulling sound out of a Uke ... even a laminate soprano. He has a HF-4 as well, and when strummed heavily it does get muddy ... I still love the tone on it.

I am considering getting one and having the neck thinned out a little and a radius fretboard added to it.


I didn't see any mention of D tuning in your initial post.

bnolsen
05-26-2016, 05:30 PM
i would do picking patterns on a bari but the whole linear tuning low string drone is annoying. Probably should say any strumming needs to be more sophisticated than with a reentrant tuning.

Surly-Mac
05-26-2016, 05:33 PM
Maybe it's all subjective - I'm awaiting delivery on a Pono Mango Bari (MGBD) from HMS....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KN0CQX6zGQ

Does that sound muddy? Not to me. I imagine it's strung with Ko'olau 'Alohi low D string set and I sure like the strummed sound.

manfromtexas
05-27-2016, 03:25 AM
Any sound samples or links to that? It sounds intriguing.

I didn't execute this very well because I was 5 minutes from running out the door late for work - but there is enough there to give you some idea of what I mean. I got off of it several times and kept thinking "oh yeah I'm supposed to be doing the la pompe thing!" and then I'd go back to it. I'm sure if I had played it another 10 or 15 minutes I would have eventually hit my stride ;)

https://youtu.be/k5RG-RcX_iM

Surly-Mac
05-27-2016, 03:36 AM
I didn't execute this very well because I was 5 minutes from running out the door late for work - but there is enough there to give you some idea of what I mean. I got off of it several times and kept thinking "oh yeah I'm supposed to be doing the la pompe thing!" and then I'd go back to it. I'm sure if I had played it another 10 or 15 minutes I would have eventually hit my stride ;)

https://youtu.be/k5RG-RcX_iM

All right! - that's good stuff that an old 'hack' such as myself can learn from. Thanks!

sam13
05-27-2016, 04:28 AM
I didn't execute this very well because I was 5 minutes from running out the door late for work - but there is enough there to give you some idea of what I mean. I got off of it several times and kept thinking "oh yeah I'm supposed to be doing the la pompe thing!" and then I'd go back to it. I'm sure if I had played it another 10 or 15 minutes I would have eventually hit my stride ;)

https://youtu.be/k5RG-RcX_iM

I agree with Surly-Mac ... great demo to learn from ... thanks very much.

As you are muting and barring, very little room for over driving open strings ... cause there aren't any. Also, I was strumming much more heavily ... I like volume. LOL.

I appreciate it.

Domiuke
05-27-2016, 05:19 AM
I didn't execute this very well because I was 5 minutes from running out the door late for work - but there is enough there to give you some idea of what I mean. I got off of it several times and kept thinking "oh yeah I'm supposed to be doing the la pompe thing!" and then I'd go back to it. I'm sure if I had played it another 10 or 15 minutes I would have eventually hit my stride ;)

https://youtu.be/k5RG-RcX_iM

Yes that gives a good idea, you're playing well this style and I like the sound of your Kala.
Thank you for sharing.

southcoastukes
05-27-2016, 02:49 PM
...doing the la pompe thing!")

https://youtu.be/k5RG-RcX_iM

Welcome to the Forum!

That, to my mind is how Linear strumming goes in general. Very nice work - and not something that's heard often at all on the Ukulele. It helps to have some length on the fretboard with this style, so Baritones are prime candidates for linear strumming.

When we needed to post something like that for an illustration on our site, we couldn't find anything - went to a fellow from the Tenor Guitar Hall of Fame (Scatman Crothers) who plays this (B flat tuning - steel strings):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O-rX2-7VhM

As far as where to tune, my personal preference is toward the clearer sound of lighter gauge strings (in other words a higher tuning). While the Heavy Gauge of G tuning gives good volume for 1st position playing, as you go up the fretboard the sound gets pretty muted. But if you play this style, note that neither Scatman nor mft hardly ever hit an open 4th string. So in mft's case, a d note might never be played.

If you're talking 1st position G tuning chords, reentrant tuning moves you to a d' note, taking care of that problem in a different way. But no matter where you tune, this style can also get you out of the awkward sounding 1st position inversions that come with Linear tuning in general.

good_uke_boy
05-27-2016, 03:30 PM
I didn't execute this very well because I was 5 minutes from running out the door late for work - but there is enough there to give you some idea of what I mean. I got off of it several times and kept thinking "oh yeah I'm supposed to be doing the la pompe thing!" and then I'd go back to it. I'm sure if I had played it another 10 or 15 minutes I would have eventually hit my stride ;)

https://youtu.be/k5RG-RcX_iM

Whoa -- great! Thanks.

manfromtexas
05-27-2016, 04:08 PM
Thanks for the kind words Southcoast and everybody else - appreciate it!

Those are Southcoast strings on there too by the way. Yeah the Scatman example is great! If I watch it too many more times or I'm liable to start pricing tenor guitars -

I tried for a time to learn how to play gypsy jazz guitar and it never really got off the ground - I had to hang it up. Just too difficult a thing for me. I could never get that la pompe to work with a pick for some reason but I could get it going okay strumming with my fingers. There's nothing more disheartening to a budding gypsy jazz player than the day he realizes that his la pompe sucks. But it wasn't all a lost cause because elements of it creeped into my uke playing. I strum that way on the smaller sizes too a lot of times. There's something about that bouncy ragtime tempo in gypsy jazz that just goes well with a uke to me.

Any of ya'll that want to give that tune a shot - I was reading chords straight off of Doc Uke's arrangement of "After You've Gone" - but substituting a different chord version here in there to avoid the open strings

southcoastukes
05-27-2016, 04:24 PM
Thanks for the kind words Southcoast and everybody else - appreciate it!

Those are Southcoast strings on there too by the way. Yeah the Scatman example is great! If I watch it too many more times or I'm liable to start pricing tenor guitars -

I tried for a time to learn how to play gypsy jazz guitar and it never really got off the ground - I had to hang it up. Just too difficult a thing for me. I could never get that la pompe to work with a pick for some reason but I could get it going okay strumming with my fingers. There's nothing more disheartening to a budding gypsy jazz player than the day he realizes that his la pompe sucks. But it wasn't all a lost cause because elements of it creeped into my uke playing. I strum that way on the smaller sizes too a lot of times. There's something about that bouncy ragtime tempo in gypsy jazz that just goes well with a uke to me.

Any of ya'll that want to give that tune a shot - I was reading chords straight off of Doc Uke's arrangement of "After You've Gone" - but substituting a different chord version here in there to avoid the open strings

Hey, neighbor - wish my (Uke) la pompe sucked like that!

But yeah, that's just a great strum style in general, and to me by far the best with a linear set-up.

If you're using our strings (Heavy Gauge?) and don't need a fixed tuning for some reason, a move up to Light Heavy or Heavy Medium Gauge - tuned up to sound & feel - will put you somewhere between Scatman and where you are now. Sound is very subjective and eveybody has their sweet spot, but that's where mine is. Drop me a line if you want to try it - just might take away those desires for a Tenor Guitar.

southcoastukes
05-27-2016, 05:09 PM
I actually have the same bari and mostly fingerpick on it. If you want to dedicate a bari to strumming I would recommend the "double-reentrant" tuning of Li-liu (?) from Southcoast. The 4th string is high and the 1st string is low - it's pretty good for adding a low tone to the strummers without the thuddy bass of the non-resonant low D

YMMV
sopher

And by the way, for 1st position strums: deep sound / clear notes / sweet sounding reentrant chording - sopher's set-up is awfully nice.

drbekken
05-28-2016, 09:38 AM
Hey, neighbor - wish my (Uke) la pompe sucked like that!

But yeah, that's just a great strum style in general, and to me by far the best with a linear set-up.

If you're using our strings (Heavy Gauge?) and don't need a fixed tuning for some reason, a move up to Light Heavy or Heavy Medium Gauge - tuned up to sound & feel - will put you somewhere between Scatman and where you are now. Sound is very subjective and eveybody has their sweet spot, but that's where mine is. Drop me a line if you want to try it - just might take away those desires for a Tenor Guitar.

The kind of jazz strumming that manfromtexas is doing is just great, and it works well with the baritone. Remember that Freddie Green, THE rhythm guitar maestro of the world, used to play lines like that, muting some of the strings, often letting strings 3 and four on the guitar sing out in a 'walking' fashion, as a kind of counterpoint to the bass player's line. It's a wonderful thing to do on the baritone.

southcoastukes
05-28-2016, 06:46 PM
The kind of jazz strumming that manfromtexas is doing is just great, and it works well with the baritone. Remember that Freddie Green, THE rhythm guitar maestro of the world, used to play lines like that, muting some of the strings, often letting strings 3 and four on the guitar sing out in a 'walking' fashion, as a kind of counterpoint to the bass player's line. It's a wonderful thing to do on the baritone.

Freddie Green - don't get no better!

And sorry for a bit of a hijack, but have to mention one of our locals - passed on now a bit over a decade ago - Danny Barker. Another outstanding rhythm player.

There's just too much to say about him - he wrote an autobiograpy called "A Life in Jazz" that is probably as good an inside story into the era of classic jazz as you'll ever find. An incomplete summary of Danny on Wicki, here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Barker

Here's a sample of Danny late in life - solo on acoustic guitar:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYpOSOKl4kk

The third photo shows Danny as a kid down by the river with a Banjo. But before he had that banjo, he played a banjo-ukulele.

I guess being in a Jazz Town like New Orleans, filled with players who learned from Danny, the way to strum a linear set-up seems obvious. But to the average Ukulele player it's not. Most learn on a Reentrant set-up, and with a Reentrant tuning, first position strums sound great. With a Linear tuning, strumming can be at least as good, but it does require a bit more advanced level of play - mft is an example. You just won't be playing the same positions as with typical 1st position reentrant chords, and the longer necked Ukuleles will make things much easier.

drbekken
05-29-2016, 10:00 AM
Let me tell you, Dirk, that Mr Barker was GREAT. But, you know that... I think this thread is very interesting, and I believe you're right concerning longer necks et cetera. There have been some great four string guitar strummers too, including dixieland champion Eddie Condon, who also knew a thing or two about rhythm playing. I find that the four string format, with the linear DGBE ('Chicago tuning') makes jazz rhythm playing much easier. On that kind of tuning - on guitar or baritone ukulele - I can play jazz tunes in any key. Barre chords are so much easier, and keys which are difficult for me on six strings, such as for instance Eb, is a breeze on four strings. So now, I may double as a pianist AND a rhythm guitar/uke player in swing, dixieland or trad New Orleans jazz bands. I like that a lot.

sam13
05-30-2016, 03:09 PM
And by the way, for 1st position strums: deep sound / clear notes / sweet sounding reentrant chording - sopher's set-up is awfully nice.

Hi Dirk,

Do you offer a dGBE string set with the 4th string High D and then the rest Dog Has Fleas ... tuning? For the Pono Baritone?

Also, I have a LN Kamaka Tenor 19" scale that I might consider switching to a dGBE as well ... and I hear Benny Chong has a set with Worth but would be interested to hear what you might suggest as well ... I am sure you have something.

I like high tension and thicker strings ... for the Tenor the HML RW are superb.

Thanks.

southcoastukes
05-31-2016, 03:02 AM
Hello Sam,

We've got a couple of traditional reentrant sets you can use for that tuning right now: LHU-NWs and HU-NWs (NW = no wound). But (hopefully) this week we begin the return of the reformatted W3 series (W3 = wound 3rds). Unfortunately in this instance, the Medium Gauges will be first, but LHU-W3s & HU-W3s shouldn't be far off.

In the Medium gauges, the W3s will probably not appeal to strummers as much as the NWs or sopher's Lili'u set-up. W3s in that range will be more for those playing up the neck, either picking or chord melody, where they'll have more clarity and projection. NWs & Lili'us are great 1st position strum sets - the former having a smooth powerful character, the latter (double reentrant w/ two wound strings) with even deeper sound and tons of sustain.

But in these heavier Gauges, a lot of folks may like the clearer tone of the W3s. They're not just wound 3rds added to the NW sets - in every case at least 3 if not all 4 strings are different. These three Ukulele reentrant string groups will all have distinctly different overall sounds.

southcoastukes
06-01-2016, 05:57 PM
This thread has been fun for me as well, Doc.

First, for those who didn't click on the little link, let me post the video (next time, mft, look in the toolbar above when posting).


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5RG-RcX_iM&feature=youtu.be

I can't say too much about this video, as I have never heard playing that makes the Linear G tuning sound this good on a Baritone. Brighten it with a higher tuning, or in this case by playing up the neck.

And Doc, congratuations on your new career! You'll be a smashing success, I know (for those not well acquainted with the Doc, he is a truly great pianist and has a couple of beautiful Ukulele albums out as well).

But let's just say for a moment that like the Doc, you find the Linear G tuning works well with your repertoire. If you like the mellow tone the Heavy Gauge strings give on a Baritone scale, then all is good. After all, mft makes it sound good. But let's speculate for a moment on what it might take to get a clearer, brighter sound out of that tuning.

A bigger body, most likely - after all, you may want to play the 4th string open every once in a while. A longer neck would be nice too, something that would let you string that tuning without such heavy gauges. The Pono Baritone Nui does both those things well and is very economical for what it offers.

But the scale is still on the short side compared to a classical guitar, so while the strings wouldn't be as heavy for Linear G as with a Baritone, they'd still be a bit thick. Thinner gauges would really give you guitar response, but to get adequate tension you'd need even a bit more length on the scale. Maybe something like a Banjo neck, which come to think of it, would let you play the sort of way up high melody picking like that "classical" Plectrum Banjo repertoire, not to mention the sort of "way up the neck" chording you saw from the Scatman.

But nobody makes that sort of thing. Oh well, maybe someday.

91655

manfromtexas
06-01-2016, 11:53 PM
Hey thanks again Southcoast - and to both of you guys for the intro to the other artists. I picked up a few of their tunes on iTunes and have been listening the past few days. I didn't realize Doc had ukulele albums out - I will look for those too!

I'm certainly interested in giving some new strings and turnings a spin on the Bari and I think I'm going to do that down the road. Lately I've been really into learning how to play songs first on the standard uke up and down the neck, then switch over and learn the same song on the Bari up and down the neck. It's just an exercise that has helped me to see the fretboard and chord relations much more clearly. I think it's a great exercise for learning

I realize that'd I'd still be able to do that same exercise with either of the ukes tuned any which way - and that'd probably be a great exercise to do next. But for now there's something about having a DGBE transposed against the GCEA that facilitates it for me - having the I and V chord there in the same spot. I've been having fun with that

The other take away that I got from my failed gypsy jazz guitar efforts, was I that I learned to see soloing in terms of arpeggios rather than scales. I was always thinking in terms of scales when solo'ing but these gypsy jazz guys always kept saying - no it's about arpeggios. That unlocked something for me as well in seeing the fretboard - and again practicing songs back in forth in the two turnings really has been a great learning experience -

I have various tenors (and another one on its way!) but only one Bari. I'm gonna keep that Bari the way it is for now. But I may explore around with some different strings and turnings on the tenors.

That Kala archtop tenor that is hanging in the background of the video - I've yet to find the right set of strings or tuning to make that thing really sing. It's super sexy looking uke - and has a sweet enough tone - fun to play - but it's super super quiet. Sometimes it's good to have a super quiet uke. Like 5am in the morning. But I know that thing is capable of more than what I'm getting out of it if you have any suggestion -

southcoastukes
06-02-2016, 03:07 AM
That Kala archtop tenor that is hanging in the background of the video - I've yet to find the right set of strings or tuning to make that thing really sing. It's super sexy looking uke - and has a sweet enough tone - fun to play - but it's super super quiet. Sometimes it's good to have a super quiet uke. Like 5am in the morning. But I know that thing is capable of more than what I'm getting out of it if you have any suggestion -

Can it take ball end strings?

manfromtexas
06-02-2016, 03:59 AM
Can it take ball end strings?

I believe that it can - its bridge is a mockup of an archtop guitar bridge for aesthetic purposes and seems like it would support ball ends

southcoastukes
06-02-2016, 10:14 AM
I believe that it can - its bridge is a mockup of an archtop guitar bridge for aesthetic purposes and seems like it would support ball ends

You might like to try a set we have on the Linear page, the HML-CMs. "CM" stands for "Classical Metals" and they give a sort of steel string sound without the danger of using actual steel. I'm not sure about whether it would give more true volume, but I'd guess it would project better, and that sort of sound would seem appropriate on an Archtop.

On your Tenor it would give you C tuning, but so as not to hijack the thread (at least not too much & at least not again), put these on a Baritone and you'll be right where Scatman was in tuning and sound on that earlier video. They have tons of sustain, but played like you do that's easily controlled, and for those who sing and have a repertoire of songs in C tuning a capo on the 2nd fret puts you right back there.

Griffis
06-02-2016, 11:38 AM
I find that the four string format, with the linear DGBE ('Chicago tuning') makes jazz rhythm playing much easier. On that kind of tuning - on guitar or baritone ukulele - I can play jazz tunes in any key. Barre chords are so much easier, and keys which are difficult for me on six strings, such as for instance Eb, is a breeze on four strings.

As far as tenor guitar (or banjo, as you'd have it) goes, I 100% agree that Chicago tuning is far, far easier than "standard" or original tenor guitar tuning (CGDA, like a cello.) However, the chord voicings are quite different. I think the CGDA tuning has a more naturally jazzy feel inherently, but it's not as though you can't pull off jazz in DGBE. It's laughably beyond my understanding of pythagorean theorems, but it has to do with the space between the notes of the open strings, or tuning to 4ths as opposed to 5ths.

Anyone here ever try CGDA tuning on a uke?

sam13
06-04-2016, 03:58 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O-rX2-7VhM

This is a great example of strumming ... has anyone found a tutorial on this type of strumming they could share?

Thanks.

Mivo
06-04-2016, 04:11 AM
Sam, since we have the same baritone (with the cutaway being the only difference), I didn't feel that it sounds muddy when strummed with the Ko'olau strings. I do feel that it's missing the sparkle in upstrokes, but that is likely because of the linear tuning. But it didn't strike me as blurred.

I bought a couple sets of high-d Living Water strings from Ken (would like to try Dirk's at some point also, but England is closer), so I'll give this a whirl and see how I like it. I believe Dirk said before that dGBE (high-d) is a better tuning for baritones in general as the resonance tone of most baritones is D#, but I may remember that incorrectly.

hammer40
06-04-2016, 06:48 AM
I'm late to this thread, but I have to wonder what you mean by "muddy"? To me, muddy would mean no articulation, no clearity, or note separation. I have a Pono baritone, in spruce/mahogany, and do not find that to be the case in the least. I have tried a few different tunings on it and am currently back in normal linear DGBE tuning for now. I prefer Bb tuning on the Bari, but like to change it up every now and then for some variety.

The Bari is quite different from the other uke scales, and is not for everybody. I doubt your Pono is an inferior instrument, maybe try a higher tuning. The tuning and resonance of the body can make all the difference in the world. That is one of the reasons I don't like low g on my tenors, to close to the resonance of the body and just sounds to "boomy" and that low just drones on to much for my taste. Many absolutely love it, so whatever works for your ear.

Mivo
06-04-2016, 04:21 PM
one of the reasons I don't like low g on my tenors, to close to the resonance of the body and just sounds to "boomy" and that low just drones on to much for my taste.

I feel the same way, though I had tried low-G on my tenor for about five minutes before putting a high-G string back and tuning it re-entrant Bb, so I didn't give it much of a chance. I now also experience this now with my baritone with a low-D. It's very low and boomy, which initially I thought was powerful, but after a few hours started to "feel" uncomfortable in the ears. I can't really describe it well, it just seemed to overwhelm my ears? It's why I'll try the high-D set as soon as it comes in the mail (should be a week or so).

JonThysell
06-06-2016, 02:15 PM
I've found that strumming with a low-D string on a baritone improves with the scale length. A 20"+ scale baritone will sound better strumming than a smaller 19" scale. Alternatively switching to high-D will make strumming sound "better" (ie. the tigher, closer sound we expect in reentrant tuning).

On my 19" scale bari, I use low-D, but I play almost exclusively, slower, finger-style pieces. On my 20" bari, I use a high-D and it works great for strumming.

southcoastukes
06-06-2016, 03:00 PM
As far as tenor guitar (or banjo, as you'd have it) goes, I 100% agree that Chicago tuning is far, far easier than "standard" or original tenor guitar tuning (CGDA, like a cello.) However, the chord voicings are quite different. I think the CGDA tuning has a more naturally jazzy feel inherently, but it's not as though you can't pull off jazz in DGBE. It's laughably beyond my understanding of pythagorean theorems, but it has to do with the space between the notes of the open strings, or tuning to 4ths as opposed to 5ths.

Anyone here ever try CGDA tuning on a uke?

I know there are people who do this sort of thing, but we've always seen problems with Linear 5ths tuning on any Ukulele. The wide spacing simply works better with steel strings than with classicals.

We do have a page of 5ths tuning sets, however. A number are out of stock at the moment, as we are in the midst of material updates. But these are reentrant 5th tuning sets which we feel work much better on Ukuleles and with classical strings. They are still traditional forms, however, coming from both the Banjo and the Tenor Guitar.

If you go to that page on our website, there are two sound samples. The first is the true "strum" set, or as in the case of this demo, a beautiful chord melody. It's the original Eddie Freeman set-up on a Tenor Guitar. You'll have to use your imagination for how this will sound on an Ukulele, but it's still a deep-toned set-up that can be used for chord melody or strumming.

The second sample requires little imagination, as it's a Tenor Banjo tuning known as high 4th, and in this video it's played on an Ukulele. It's shown more or less in a picking style, which it's well suited for, but it can also be a strum set as well. It won't have as deep a sound as the EFS (most 5ths set-ups are not particualrly deep sounding) but is more versatile.

drbekken
06-06-2016, 08:33 PM
https://youtu.be/RElarmDDVrE

Here's Ed Grosso, a veteran master strummer who's got several ukulele videos on youtube. He plays the soprano, or this lower tuned tenor/baritone uke. The sound is so so, but all of Ed's videos are prime examples of strumming, not to mention barre chords all over the neck. Unfortunately, Mr Grosso hasn't posted for several years, though as far as I know, he's still with us. I have learned a lot from the stuff he's put out, and I'm happy to share it.

Domiuke
06-06-2016, 09:40 PM
https://youtu.be/RElarmDDVrE

Here's Ed Grosso, a veteran master strummer who's got several ukulele videos on youtube. He plays the soprano, or this lower tuned tenor/baritone uke. The sound is so so, but all of Ed's videos are prime examples of strumming, not to mention barre chords all over the neck. Unfortunately, Mr Grosso hasn't posted for several years, though as far as I know, he's still with us. I have learned a lot from the stuff he's put out, and I'm happy to share it.

Thank You for sharing, this man is a very great player, just as you are.
Do you know if it is possible to find baritone songs sheets of his performances.

Surly-Mac
06-07-2016, 02:51 AM
https://youtu.be/RElarmDDVrE

Here's Ed Grosso, a veteran master strummer who's got several ukulele videos on youtube. He plays the soprano, or this lower tuned tenor/baritone uke. The sound is so so, but all of Ed's videos are prime examples of strumming, not to mention barre chords all over the neck. Unfortunately, Mr Grosso hasn't posted for several years, though as far as I know, he's still with us. I have learned a lot from the stuff he's put out, and I'm happy to share it.
Wow... this is some great stuff: thanks! I followed Mr. Grosso's Google+ link (https://plus.google.com/108459820581085292294/posts) and learned a bit more about him, including the fact that his father was Eddie Grosso, a fine reed player with Fred Hall's Jazz Band cr. 1928...

I'll be watching his stuff hoping to learn just a little bit of the fine stuff he does. Thanks again.

drbekken
06-07-2016, 09:46 PM
Do you know if it is possible to find baritone songs sheets of his performances.

Grosso never published anything but the videos, I suppose. The songs are old standards, which are obtainable from a variety of sources. To avoid straying from the OP's subject; his tenor/baritone videos prove that strumming can be done on a DGBE instrument, and to great effect at that.

southcoastukes
06-08-2016, 02:52 PM
... I find that the four string format, with the linear DGBE ('Chicago tuning') makes jazz rhythm playing much easier. On that kind of tuning - on guitar or baritone ukulele - I can play jazz tunes in any key. Barre chords are so much easier, and keys which are difficult for me on six strings, such as for instance Eb, is a breeze on four strings. So now, I may double as a pianist AND a rhythm guitar/uke player in swing, dixieland or trad New Orleans jazz bands. I like that a lot.

Let me throw out another possibility for a tuning for your new career, Doc. We've always said you get a cleaner sound out of a Baritone in linear tuning if you move up from G tuning to A. This is a tuning you don't hear that much about - B flat has some notoriety because of Cliff Edwards (Tenor / reentrant) and because a lot of Jazz is written there to accomodate horns.

Now I don't know what sort of bands you're thinking of playing in - a horn band may very well be what you have in mind. But possibly for you, and even more likely for those thinking of playing with guitars, A tuning could be the ticket. I say "could be" because I seldom play in a group setting, so I don't know about these things from first hand experience. But A tuning was practically invented by a "neighbor" of yours, Axel Richter from Germany - the author of the Ukulele Handbook. For those who haven't seen that book, it's a just simple chord book, but a complete one and in 6 different tunings. It's still in print from Mel Bay.

What Axel told me a number of years back (I hope he's still around) is that he found that tuning to be perfect for playing with guitarists. The transposed chords, he said, were easy to play and sounded great. His friends were mostly guitarists, and his "invention" gave him a sound that fit him right into the groups. He was likely talking about reentrant tuning, and again you may know about this better than me, but I had heard that reentrant A tuning was widespread throughout Scandanavia on the Tenor Ukulele in the '80s & '90s because of his book.

It occured to me that you might want to consider it (or at least others playing in different types of bands), simply because of the clearer sound, the altered phrasing and a pitch that is likely to differentiate the sound from guitars.

drbekken
06-08-2016, 09:39 PM
Thanks, Dirk - I'll look into that!
And by the way; here's a strumming video I made with the Romanian 'Hora' baritone...strumming is more than possible on a baritone.

https://youtu.be/uPRxoO6Oq7Y

Domiuke
06-09-2016, 12:01 AM
Please can you remind what the A reentrant tuning is.

DownUpDave
06-09-2016, 12:17 AM
Please can you remind what the A reentrant tuning is.

I have one of my baritones tuned one step up from standard tuning to E, A, C#, F# this is in linear tuning. I don't know if that is the tuning Dirk is referring to or not

Domiuke
06-09-2016, 01:52 AM
I have one of my baritones tuned one step up from standard tuning to E, A, C#, F# this is in linear tuning. I don't know if that is the tuning Dirk is referring to or not

Do you have audio or video where I can hear this tuning, thank you.

DownUpDave
06-09-2016, 02:16 AM
Do you have audio or video where I can hear this tuning, thank you.

At the moment I don't have any audio samples of that. If you have a baritone it is easy enough to just tune it up one full step to E, A, C#, F#.

If you don't then let me know and I can do a sound sample tonight and post it here.

Domiuke
06-09-2016, 02:58 AM
Thnak you I've tried with mine and it is too much stretched.

singsong
06-09-2016, 12:01 PM
Try a Kanile'a K-1 Baritone. I own 7 baritones including Style 1 Martin, Kamaka, Pono, Black Bear and several others. In my opinion the two best for strumming are, first, the Kanile'a and, second, the Martin.

southcoastukes
06-10-2016, 03:29 PM
Dave, yes, that's the right tuning (the name of a tuning is the name of the 3rd string - the root), and Bills suggestion is great for giving you an idea of how the pitch will sound. Not only that, but what he says here:


... you keep using the same chord shapes to play your favourite tunes. It will sound different at the same time as sounding the same because it will be in a different key.

can't be repeated enough. Chord shapes stay the same no matter the tuning, and if your instrument is for solo play, then you don't even learn new names - just play as you always do.

But bear in mind that having strings that allow that pitch on open notes will give a different sound than just using a capo. For the "capo" sound, you pretty much go back to that mft video, as in playing up the neck, often times his pitch is about where open strings would be in A tuning.

The reason we like a somewhat higher tuning on a Baritone (you decide where) is that not only do higher pitches produce fuller resonance on the 4th string, but the lighter gauges needed for a higher pitch yield greater clarity throughout. No way around it, the strings you need for traditional Baritone tuning are HEAVY. If you like that "warm" sound so many mention in regards to the Baritone, that's fine, but lighter gauges / higher tuning will give you the type of response you're used to on other Ukulele sizes.

And in case anyone missed the other litle link to an excellent Baritone strum video, here's the Doc:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPRxoO6Oq7Y&feature=youtu.be


(jeez, Doc, is it still that cold in Norseland? It's summer in Dixie! And p.s: I also have that Toussaint on my wall.)

sam13
06-12-2016, 04:42 AM
Hey Doc,

Great job on the video, thanks for sharing.

Hi Dirk,

I was wondering if your dGBE Heavy Mediums are available now?

Also, I am considering re stringing my 19" LN Kamaka Tenor as a re entrant Baritone. dGBE.

I like high tension but want to keep it traditional tuning as I plan on playing with others. Any thoughts?

Thanks.

2manistrings
06-12-2016, 04:48 PM
All right! - that's good stuff that an old 'hack' such as myself can learn from. Thanks!

I like that a lot. :) If I get a bari in hand again, I'll give it a whirl. Sounds great, thanks for the demo!

southcoastukes
06-14-2016, 10:05 AM
Hey Doc,

Great job on the video, thanks for sharing.

Hi Dirk,

I was wondering if your dGBE Heavy Mediums are available now?

Also, I am considering re stringing my 19" LN Kamaka Tenor as a re entrant Baritone. dGBE.

I like high tension but want to keep it traditional tuning as I plan on playing with others. Any thoughts?

Thanks.

Hello Sam,

Glad you added the part about "traditional" tuning, as it gives me a pretty fair idea what you're asking. There's a particular slang common on this forum that causes us all sorts of grief when it comes to inquiries. This is a good illustration.

dGBE as it's written here often seems to mean traditional Ukulele reentrant tuning in Key of G. What gets us into trouble is that when people ask about that tuning we're never sure if they mean what they've written. Take a look - dGBE, with d in lowercase and E in caps would indicate an E note lower than the d. The problem for us is we make that set! To revert to standard notation, we make both d' g b e' and d' g b e. It's the set Sopher mentions that he likes for Baritone strumming in the early part of this thread.

And though I don't generally talk about our own products specifically here, the second tuning, the one we call a Lili'u set-up, is not only our most popular Specialty set, we're about to make Lili'u sets in an expanded range of tensions, including fixed note C tuning. To give a simple explanation, they give practically the same depth as a Linear set with the same sweet 1st position chord inversions you get from traditional reentrant tuning (Lili'u is double reentrant). I mention them at this point because for a lot of folks, this is the ultimate strum set, and up to now we've had them specifically pointed at the Baritone.

But with the word "traditional" I'd say you mean the older Ukulele reentrant tuning. There are a number of sets that can be tuned to reentrant G, depending on your taste in tension, and remember, a 19" scale will produce a bit less pull than our ratings for 20". Starting next week they'll be 3 different series - the NWs (no wounds) are out now, but the first of the W3s (polished low density wound 3rds) and Lili'us come out next week. You can actually see the "bones" of the new structure on site already, and we're busy doing reviews and updating Tips letters and the Materials page.

Unfortunately, if it's the deeper tunings you're looking for, it's mainly the Medium Gauges that come out in next weeks' release. But if you want to wait for one of those wound string series, the Heavier Gauges should follow up quickly. We've got newsletters, and if you're signed up you get a Bulletin when the new sets are released and a Tips letter comparing the new arrivals with suggestions for best use.

Thanks for asking (now back to work!)

13down
07-19-2016, 05:17 AM
Great insight re: intonation, Anthony. Much appreciated.