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blue4
06-14-2016, 04:46 AM
Hello everyone. I'm both new to ukulele and to the forum. I'm a bass player and my wife got me this neat little Mitchell baritone uke after I complained that I had nothing to play when our friends and family go unplugged on fishing trips and such. I really like the feel of the baritone. I'm really interested in tuning it like my bass, but up in mandolin territory. I've managed to get it tuned like that, enough to know I like the sound and that it works really well with the group, but it needs some fine tuning. Let's just say the tension is unbalanced from string to string. Here's what I've got...

E- D string .029 from a classical guitar set. Sounds good, tuning seems stable, tension ok
A- tension very tight, sounds bad, can't hold a tuning.
D- G string .0403 from same set. Seems decent enough.
G- high E string from same set .028. Works well, sounds good.

Basically two for four. I did a search on here and found some ideas. One was to use tenor uke strings so I ordered some to try. Any other tips or tricks for this tuning would be appreciated. I've also a concert uke sitting in my music room so I've got gCEA covered.

Paul

Jim Hanks
06-14-2016, 05:14 PM
I haven't tried it but it has been discussed. See if these threads help at all:
https://www.google.com/search?q=eadg+baritone+ukulele+site:forum.ukuleleu nderground.com&prmd=svin&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwic85q7h6nNAhUE6yYKHcybDukQrQIIIigEMAA&biw=768&bih=927

Booli
06-14-2016, 06:58 PM
Paul - with those strings you might be putting more than 15lbs of tension per string on that instrument, i.e., MORE THAN 60lbs of total tension which is really about the practical limit prior to causing damage to the bridge or bellying/dishing of the top betwn the bridge and soundhole on a 19-20" baritone scale unless it is quite heavily braced underneath.

You'd be MUCH better off with strings designed to be in EADG 4ths tuning at baritone scale lengths, in a LOWER octave than your original intent, such as:

1. These strings are an octave ABOVE a bass guitar, same octave as a normal 6-stringer guitar, and typically will be considered a 'piccolo' bass:

http://www.lunaguitars.com/query?upc=819998190606

2. These strings are in the SAME octave as a normal bass, intended for the MFC 'Timber' uke bass:

http://www.magicfluke.com/product-p/timberstrings.htm

However, keep in mind that these strings (in examples 1 & 2 above) might require an instrument that is braced to handle significantly more tension than a standard baritone uke, and as such could possible damage the insrument, i.e. warp the neck, pull the bridge off, or cause the body to implode.....

3. I have successfully used D'Addario normal-tension WOUND classical guitar strings, purchased as SINGLE STRINGS, in the following gauges for EADG piccolo bass tuning:

E-0.060"
A-0.054"
D-0.042"
G-0.033"

4. If you would like to calculate the strings gauges yourself, you can use the D'Addario string tension pro web app (linked below), and I'd start using their baritone UKE STRINGS as a reference set, and then change the tuning from D3-G3-B3-E4 to E2-A2-D3-G3 with all wound strings and tension no more than 15lbs per string and you should be ok using the single strings they offer, which you can get from Strings and Beyond with a 10% discount if you follow the link to my web site below in my signature, and click on the Strings & Beyond referral link on the front page of my web site.

Otherwise, you can ALSO get classical guitar single strings from stringsbymail.com and juststrings.com..

http://stringtensionpro.com/

ralphk
06-15-2016, 05:41 AM
Southcoast ukes have a special set for the baritone tuned cgea in their web page. Might want to get a set from one of the experts in the string field

Ralph

http://www.southcoastukes.com/5ths.htm

2xbass
06-15-2016, 06:21 AM
Hey Paul, I'm also coming to the uke as a bass player. Are you trying to play melody, chords, etc. or just bass lines? If the latter why not just get a u-bass? If the former I'd suggest staying with guitar/uke intervals between the strings although you could still keep some of the strings the same as bass. Trying to do chord shapes with all fourths intervals will be a bit weird.

blue4
06-15-2016, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the responses guys. This seems like it may be harder than I anticipated. When I did my initial search I saw someone who used tenor strings to get to EAC#F# so that seems the place to start. Hopefully that works.

blue4
06-15-2016, 10:08 AM
Hey Paul, I'm also coming to the uke as a bass player. Are you trying to play melody, chords, etc. or just bass lines? If the latter why not just get a u-bass? If the former I'd suggest staying with guitar/uke intervals between the strings although you could still keep some of the strings the same as bass. Trying to do chord shapes with all fourths intervals will be a bit weird.


Using a ubass would require an amp. The only time I'd actually be playing something other than my normal basses would be in situations where an amp is impossible or very inconvenient. I've thought of using a battery powered amp, but even that is way too much to carry.

Booli
06-15-2016, 10:13 AM
Thanks for the responses guys. This seems like it may be harder than I anticipated. When I did my initial search I saw someone who used tenor strings to get to EAC#F# so that seems the place to start. Hopefully that works.

No problem.

However keep in mind that "EAC#F#" is A6 tuning and the SAME modified-fourths intervals as GCEA or DGBE, so you are not going to be playing bass lines without refiguring out all your scale patterns since the Bass is tuned in perfect-fourths.

Also, if you REALLY want E3-A3-D4-G4 tuning which is 2-octaves above a normal bass guitar on a baritone, you will find an EASY and impossible-to-fail SOLUTION by doing my Option #4 above. Just CHANGE the tuning from D3-G3-B3-E4 to match "E3-A3-D4-G4" and it will TELL YOU what strings to buy, Easy peasy!

This is NOT difficult and has already been done in different ways by many folks before and several solutions have been offered to you that require very little math or 'figuring things out' on your part other than to make sure your instrument can handle the tension of different tunings.

Good luck!

blue4
06-15-2016, 10:46 AM
No problem.

However keep in mind that "EAC#F#" is A6 tuning and the SAME modified-fourths intervals as GCEA or DGBE, so you are not going to be playing bass lines without refiguring out all your scale patterns since the Bass is tuned in perfect-fourths.

Also, if you REALLY want E3-A3-D4-G4 tuning which is 2-octaves above a normal bass guitar on a baritone, you will find an EASY and impossible-to-fail SOLUTION by doing my Option #4 above. Just CHANGE the tuning from D3-G3-B3-E4 to match "E3-A3-D4-G4" and it will TELL YOU what strings to buy, Easy peasy!

This is NOT difficult and has already been done in different ways by many folks before and several solutions have been offered to you that require very little math or 'figuring things out' on your part other than to make sure your instrument can handle the tension of different tunings.

Good luck!


That string tension guide is great. I've got a good idea what to try next if the tenor strings don't do well tuning up from C# and F# to D and G. Thanks again