PDA

View Full Version : Soon to have a second Baritone uke



BluesPreacher
10-23-2016, 12:55 PM
A friend told me that he will give me his baritone uke. It was made by a mutual luthier-friend. I think it's really cool to have a quality instrument hand-made by a friend. Good mojo. I also feel really blessed and lucky to have a generous friend who will give me a friend-made instrument.

I already have a bari, a vintage Harmony. Very nice.

Anyway, any suggestions on what I might do with a second bari? Tune it low in 5ths? If in 5ths, should it be tuned like an octave mandolin, G to E, or a mandola/tenor guitar, C to A?

Any other possibilities I haven't thought of?

Jim Hanks
10-23-2016, 01:43 PM
So many possibilities for baritone. The two obvious would be high d dGBE or low F Bb tuning

Ukulele Eddie
10-23-2016, 02:48 PM
I have not ventured into "alternate tunings", but an obvious possibility is to have one linear and one re-entrant. Of course, in whichever key brings out the best for each uke. I have my baritone in linear A. Love it.

bunnyf
10-23-2016, 03:01 PM
I keep my campfire/jam circle Bari strung dGBE most of the time, occasionally DGBE. My Pono PC Bari I used Southcoast low G, GCEA set. Nice to have the two choices.

Kimosabe
10-23-2016, 03:13 PM
Any then there is South Coast's Lili'u tuning. I await the heavy gauge set to put on my Giannini.

Camsuke
10-23-2016, 03:44 PM
I'm really enjoying Plectrum Banjo tuning (CGBD) at the moment, it really opens up the fretboard and sounds pretty cool.

Croaky Keith
10-24-2016, 12:45 AM
Depending on what woods it is made from - it may have a very different tonal quality that will suit some songs/tunes better than the one you already have. :)

Next, I'd see how it sounds with different strings, before changing its tuning, which will then need to be learned anew. ;)

UkieOkie
10-24-2016, 03:53 AM
What a nice friend you have. I would personally string and play it for a while just like your other one. That way you can see where they depart from one another tonally. That will give yiu an idea of what the new uke is suited for or at least which direction to start.

Booli
10-24-2016, 09:59 AM
What a nice friend you have. I would personally string and play it for a while just like your other one. That way you can see where they depart from one another tonally. That will give yiu an idea of what the new uke is suited for or at least which direction to start.

:agree: with the above^

it not until I've tried at least 4 different string sets, from all different material compositions, that I have an idea of the full tonal range of an instrument. Compositions such as Nylgut, REDS, Nylon, Fluorocarbon at the very least, re-entrant and linear tunings.

As of now I have 4 baritones, all tuned different.

Lanikai LU-21B - re-entrant DGBE (Worth CT fluoro)
Makala KA-B - linear DGBE (Aquila Nylgut)
Savannah cheapo - Piccolo bass EADG (D'Addario extra-hard tension classical strings)
Harmony vintage - re-entrant GCEA (Aquila LAVA)

Each of these instruments has been through more than a dozen changes to different strings and each also at least 5-6 different tuning setups to find the best resonance of the instrument.

Eventually I will get another baritone and string/tune it GDAE as an octave mando (Martin M160) (unless I can test and resolve the proper strings for this tuning on a tenor scale), which is what the Savannah used to be strung up as, and before that it was also a re-entrant octave uke, with yet completely different strings (Thomastik-Infeld CF128)...

String Tension Pro (http://stringtensionpro.com/) is your BEST FRIEND for finding strings for a different application than intended on the package. I use this page ALL THE TIME now.

hoosierhiver
10-24-2016, 03:29 PM
I've seen some spectacular sounding Harmony baritones, much better than their smaller ukes.

BluesPreacher
11-11-2016, 09:37 AM
Eventually I will get another baritone and string/tune it GDAE as an octave mando (Martin M160) (unless I can test and resolve the proper strings for this tuning on a tenor scale), which is what the Savannah used to be strung up as, and before that it was also a re-entrant octave uke, with yet completely different strings (Thomastik-Infeld CF128)...


I was wondering how a person would tune a bari uke as if it were a member of the mandolin family. I was wondering if an octave mando tuning, G-D-A-E, or a mandola/tenor guitar tuning, C-G-D-A would be better. I even see in a previous post the idea of doing an "octave soprano uke" tuning, "my-dog-has-fleas"/re-entrant tuning an octave down.

I guess I'll experiment.

Thanks for the input!

My friend is back in town and we are hooking up for a beer Tuesday 11/15 after work, and he'll give me the bari then.

He says it once had a crack that was repaired, and the repair is, for now, holding. Fingers crossed!

He also tells me the bari's nut is missing. He's looked for it and can't find it. No worries. My luthier/repair guy can slap one on it and set the critter up for me.

PTOEguy
11-12-2016, 02:40 AM
I've had some fun with tuning a baritone to standard uke GCEA tuning - Aquila makes a set. I did it on a laminate baritone and it gave a huge sound and a lot of sustain. I'd also like to try cuatro tuning, haven't taken the time on that yet.

TheCraftedCow
11-12-2016, 08:41 AM
If you do The Blues, a real jaw dropper is fCFa run the trebles up the middle and lower intervals on the two outers. or...stay with gCEa and try a C7 as 3433 F as 2313 and G as 4535 and walk it down to 2313. What a sound from two chord shapes

ralphk
11-13-2016, 09:10 AM
I had a so-so baritone and fitted it with Southcoast linear C6 tuning strings because he was a beginner and he did not want to try and learn different fingering shapes in a beginner class.

The baritone sounded great in C6. The larger body really supported the low g of the linear set.

BluesPreacher
11-15-2016, 08:09 AM
If you do The Blues, a real jaw dropper is fCFa run the trebles up the middle and lower intervals on the two outers. or...stay with gCEa and try a C7 as 3433 F as 2313 and G as 4535 and walk it down to 2313. What a sound from two chord shapes

WOW! To me that would quite a challenge to figure out. But the gCEa tuning looks intriguing.

So, please tell me: If I happened to choose eventually to go with a "mandolin family" tuning on my new bari (for which I need to wait another week--my friend can't meet me for a beer tonight because something family came up):
1.) What tuning would be best:
-Octave mando--GDAE?
or
-Mandola/tenor guitar--CGDA?

2.) Where would I find a set of bari uke/nylon strings that would fit the bill?

BluesPreacher
11-22-2016, 04:52 AM
Well, if all goes to plan I'll meet my friend for that beer tonight, and I'll be blessed with a new (to me) bari uke.

It will need a little work. Last he said, the nut if missing. My repair guy can fix that. And of course strings. I'll think about that, whether I'll go "mandolin family" and tune it in fifths--probably mandola-style, C-G-D-A--or go with the set of Aquila set PTOEguy mentioned above for the standard G-C-E-A tuning. We'll see.

I'm excited!

BluesPreacher
11-22-2016, 05:09 AM
I've had some fun with tuning a baritone to standard uke GCEA tuning - Aquila makes a set. I did it on a laminate baritone and it gave a huge sound and a lot of sustain. I'd also like to try cuatro tuning, haven't taken the time on that yet.

OK, so, I found the Aquila strings for the standard tuning online. Thanks!

Any suggestions on how/where to find, or cobble together, a set of strings for a mandola/tenor guitar tuning?

Booli
11-22-2016, 12:08 PM
OK, so, I found the Aquila strings for the standard tuning online. Thanks!

Any suggestions on how/where to find, or cobble together, a set of strings for a mandola/tenor guitar tuning?

Here is what I have tested and found working so far, I have to dig up my notes for GDAE and will share that in another post.

CGDA 5ths tuning

-for 19" scale, using strings 5-4-3-1 from string set (if using classical strings)

Makala MK-B Baritone ukulele 19" scale
C-'A' string 0.035" classical lightly-polished wound from D'Addario EJ44LP set
G-'D' string 0.029" classical lightly-polished wound from D'Addario EJ44LP set
D-'E' string from Aquila LAVA Baritone GCEA set detuned
A-'A' string from Aquila LAVA Baritone GCEA set normal


-for 18" scale, using strings 5-3-2-1 from string set (if using classical strings)

Zither-Heaven Tenor banjolele 18" scale
C-'E' string GHS Vanguard Classics nickel smoothwound 5th string 0.033"
G-'G' string GHS Vanguard Classics nickel smoothwound 3rd string 0.020"
D-'B' string Thomastik-Infeld CN31 0.031"
A-'E' string Thomastik-Infeld CN27 0.027"

- for 17" scale, using strings 5-4-2-1 from string set (if using classical strings)

Walnut Tenor Flea ukulele 17" scale
C-'A' string 0.035" classical lightly-polished wound from D'Addario EJ44LP set
G-'D' string 0.029" classical lightly-polished wound from D'Addario EJ44LP set
D-'B' string Thomastik-Infeld CN31 0.031"
A-'E' string Thomastik-Infeld CN27 0.027"

I have ALSO used the Thomastik-Infeld CF-35 and CF-30 strings in all of the above configurations for the C and G strings and found them to work equally well if not much smoother than the D'Addario strings with less finger squeak noise.

Aquila makes a set called 31U that is CGDA tuning for 'concert ukes' but works well on tenor scale also, and the string gauges for the wound strings on those sets are ALSO 0.035" for the C string and 0.030" for the G string as per using my digital calipers to measure them. I have them installed on my Mainland longneck concert pineapple (17" tenor scale)...

GDAE is tricky to get on anything smaller than 22" scale since the G2 string needs to be about 0.058" in order to have about 12lbs of tension and INTONATE well, all smaller diameter strings and on shorter scales have had intonation problems of being about 20 cents sharp and being VERY floppy tuned to G2, which is a very low pitch for 17" or 19" scales, and also likely a frequency below the body resonance of such instruments, meaning it will sound choked off, soft and muted compared to the notes on the other strings.

The above results come from working out strings for 5ths tunings on various scale lengths using either existing ukulele strings or existing classical guitar strings, either as singles or sets, over at least the past full year. I am sure there are other options that I have not tried yet, but the above is a sample of what I have found to work well so far.

Hope this helps. :)

BluesPreacher
11-23-2016, 04:09 AM
Thanks so much, guys! VERY helpful!