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View Full Version : Re-entrant and bari beginners



Nickie
03-26-2017, 08:21 AM
I teach Beginner workshops monthly at our library. We have loaner sopranos for those who haven't decided to purchase a uke.
Each class, at least one or two folks show up with a baritone that "I just bought this from a friend." (Which I did too, as a beginner)
Our classes (power point and handout) are geared only for re-entrant ukers. The newbies have no idea that they have just brought in a "small version of a guitar", if you will.
I have to gently apologize that we aren't teaching bari, and loan them a soprano. I don't know what else to do, I don't want to shame or embarrass them, or put them off in any way. Some people are okay with this, it seems, but I'm concerned that some may take offense and never come back.
Has anyone dealt with this?
What can you suggest we do to assist their learning, and not discourage them?

Jim Hanks
03-26-2017, 09:16 AM
Hmm, in a group instruction setting, I think you're doing about the best you can do. You might want to make up a handout of bari resources to get them started "outside of class". There are several good ways to approach the bari depending on the background of the person, but I doubt you can really accommodate any of them in a "walked off the street into your workshop for the first time" situation.

Mivo
03-26-2017, 09:28 AM
When I read the thread title, I thought you were getting into baritones, Nickie!

jollyboy
03-26-2017, 10:16 AM
Could you possibly keep a couple of capos handy? That way they could play their baris capoed at the fifth fret and join in with everyone else. This has the advantage of letting people play the instrument they walked in with and doesn't in any way reinforce the idea that they maybe bought the 'wrong' type of uke. Plus you don't need so many loaners :)

The disadvantage I guess is that playing with a capo can be a bit fiddly.

Rllink
03-26-2017, 10:45 AM
It has been an issue at every workshop at every festival I've attended. People show up with the Baritone and then wonder why they are not being accommodated. Responses have ranged from sympathetic to rude, but it has not been resolved to anyone's satisfaction. I can only suggest that you segregate the baris from everyone else, and find someone else to instruct them.

SailingUke
03-26-2017, 11:02 AM
In classes I have taught I put in the course description to have a gcea uke. I don't care about low or high g. I have had a few lefties come to class and all my chord diagrams are wrong, which is another challenge.

zztush
03-26-2017, 11:21 AM
We had a Chinese oversea student in our class in post graduate school. Our professor sometimes wrote Chinease characters for him. Can you show them bari chord shapes and notes for them? If you can it is very good opportunity to understund both instruments and fretboards. Ukulele is multicultural instrument.

Sent from the mobile client - Forum Talker

Jim Hanks
03-26-2017, 02:05 PM
I can only suggest that you segregate the baris from everyone else

Mm, hmm. That's how it starts. "They came for the bari players but I didn't speak up cuz I wasn't a bari player..." Slippery slope you're on there.
:p




(Sorry, couldn't resist) ;)

river_driver
03-26-2017, 03:06 PM
Mm, hmm. That's how it starts. "They came for the bari players but I didn't speak up cuz I wasn't a bari player..." Slippery slope you're on there.
:p



(Sorry, couldn't resist) ;)Jim, you and I think too much alike...

I think capos might be the easiest solution, fiddly as they might be. Dunlop makes a simple little elastic capo that only costs a couple bucks and works pretty well.

Choirguy
03-26-2017, 03:13 PM
I have seen your curriculum (Tom kindly shared it) and I think your current approach is good. There is nothing wrong if you tell the baritone player that their instrument is tuned differently and that they are welcome to use one of the library ukuleles that is tuned to the presentation.

The only presenter I have seen who has shown chords for GGEA and DGBE is Robin Giebelhausen, a college educator who offers a free iBook.

Nickie
03-31-2017, 05:52 PM
Thanks for all the great replies, guys!
I don't play bari, but I can pick a couple of simple tunes that have been tabbed. I've considered getting a (Cocobolo) bari and setting it up re-entrant, but I get confused too easily by switching back and forth between "guitar" and re-entrant tuning. My spouse has played guitar for 30+ years, and still gets them mixed up.
I think having someone give a series of beginner bari workshops is a good idea, but I can't think of anyone around here that good at it that has time for it....darn.

MEngler
04-05-2017, 01:46 AM
It seems to me that having a baritone chord sheet would be the soonest solution. Show the GCEA players what to play then "translate" that for the baritone players.

As a sax player this makes me think of the different pitches saxes have. Alto sax is in the key of Eb and tenor sax is Bb. However, on a music staff the fingerings are the same for each instrument. Ask an alto and a tenor to play a C and they play it the exact same way but the note is different. If I play a C on my tenor an alto player would need a G to match me. The uke is opposite in that the note on the staff is the same but the fingers are different instead of the pitch.

tonyreynolds57
04-05-2017, 05:12 PM
I play a baritone uke strung with GCEA. The shop I bought it from said that would be better for playing in a group. He had me work through the sizes from concert and tenor down to baritone to see what my large hands were most comfortable with. There's no difference in the chords this way, its just a fuller sound. No octave shift or anything. You might suggest your baritone players swap out strings for classes/to learn. I could have gone standard baritone DGBE, but I wanted to learn something new and glad I did. The bari fits me better than a tenor. YMMV...

igorthebarbarian
04-05-2017, 08:14 PM
At our group, our leader usually has the baritone chords written in on the right-hand side of the page / soprano and standard on the left. A quick conversion cross-walk would probably do it. Definitely frustrating though.

Tootler
04-05-2017, 10:04 PM
It seems to me that having a baritone chord sheet would be the soonest solution. Show the GCEA players what to play then "translate" that for the baritone players.

As a sax player this makes me think of the different pitches saxes have. Alto sax is in the key of Eb and tenor sax is Bb. However, on a music staff the fingerings are the same for each instrument. Ask an alto and a tenor to play a C and they play it the exact same way but the note is different. If I play a C on my tenor an alto player would need a G to match me. The uke is opposite in that the note on the staff is the same but the fingers are different instead of the pitch.

The recorder is more like the uke. Soprano and Tenor are pitched in C (an octave apart) and Alto and Bass are pitched in F but everything is written on the stave in concert pitch (with octave shifts where needed), the bass even being written on the bass clef. So if you play both F and C instruments you have to learn two sets of pitches for each fingering, much like you have to do with C and G tuned ukuleles. I think being a recorder player meant the idea of learning baritone chords was daunting as I was used to the idea of having the same fingering giving different chords depending on which tuning you are using.

Louis0815
04-06-2017, 02:26 AM
The uke is opposite in that the note on the staff is the same but the fingers are different instead of the pitch.
From a pure "fingering" perspective you are right, but looking at the sound produced (the frequencies) you're not.
Admittedly the common sax notation adds a bit of complexity, but lets leave this aside for a moment (in terms of frequencies the tenor plays a Bb and the alto plays an Eb when both see a C in their staff notation).

People tend to mistake what they do (the fingering patterns) with what they hear.
Example: The note "middle C" (aka C4) is defined as ~262Hz; this is completely independent from the instrument you use to create this sound:

The DGBE bari player frets 2nd string 1st fret,
the GCEA tenor/concert/soprano player uses 3rd string open,
the ADF#B players step aside unless the have a low a where they can play 3rd fret,
the Bb tenor sax plays high D
the Eb alto sax plays A
a bass player (even U-Bass) would need to play 1st string 17th fret
...

and only then they all hear exactly the same note.

Bottom line 1: musical theory can be complex at times.
Bottom line 2: different "tools" require different handling to get comparable results.

JJFN
04-06-2017, 07:36 AM
Thanks for all the great replies, guys!
I don't play bari, but I can pick a couple of simple tunes that have been tabbed. I've considered getting a (Cocobolo) bari and setting it up re-entrant, but I get confused too easily by switching back and forth between "guitar" and re-entrant tuning. My spouse has played guitar for 30+ years, and still gets them mixed up.
I think having someone give a series of beginner bari workshops is a good idea, but I can't think of anyone around here that good at it that has time for it....darn.

Nickie, get the baritone. Go to Southcoast and pick out a linear GCEA set of strings. Confusion over, free to buy that Cocobolo Bari. You will become addicted, it will be your go to ukulele.

Nickie
04-06-2017, 07:50 AM
There's been some great replies here guys!

"It seems to me that having a baritone chord sheet would be the soonest solution"

I think this is the cheapest and easiest way to do it, if the noobie bari players don't wanna play a re-entrant uke. I say let be what is, the bari sound in a group really adds some nice overtones to certain songs. I don't care for strumming a bari at all, but some folks do.
I think I'll see if I can get permission to change the workshop power point presentation to include bari chords on one side. Thanks guys!

MEngler
04-06-2017, 10:23 AM
In regard to fingerings and pitch I was simplifying to present the concept.

bunnyf
04-06-2017, 04:19 PM
Nicki, just so beginners reading this thread don't get confused. You are really referring to C tuning as opposed to G tuning. Either can be re-entrant or linear. I have 2 sopranos, one with a high g (re-entrant) and one with a low g (linear). I also have 2 baritones, one with a high d (re-entrant) and one with a low d (linear). It's the fourth string pitched up an octave that makes it re-entrant, not the size or the tuning.

But, to your real point, I think just a hand out with the common Bari chords charted out will work fine. Beginner Bari players quickly learn to keep one handy, as most uke jams will only have C tuned chord charts.