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View Full Version : 5 or 6 String Uke from an 8 String?



tonyreynolds57
04-05-2017, 09:30 AM
I don't believe that this is necessarily a "building" question, but as a new player, I can't find any info on it.

I'm playing (learning to play) a Cordoba solid mahogany baritone in GCEA tuning. I like it and it's much more fun for me than guitar. I wanted to try low G and like it, but miss the reentrant sound of the high G.

I've looked at 5-string ukuleles online, but there are none in the local Olympia-Portland area that I can see. They're also only available in a tenor size.

I've also looked online at 6-string uses, which DO have reentrant tuning, but are lacking in a low G.

I like the baritone size as it fits my hands better and I like the fuller sound. I've considered an 8-string, but they only come in tenor and coming from a 12-string guitar, they sound a little too jangly for my taste. No one makes an 8-string baritone (not custom), but Kala is coming out with one in May.

It appears that the nut width will be sufficiently narrow that I could experiment with different voicing by removing strings and not mess up chord fingerings.

I could play it as a 5-string gGCEA or 6-string gcCeaA. Then I could swap out my cordoba to standard baritone DGBE and have fun with standard guitar chords. Regardless, I'd have a multi-function baritone sized ukulele without breaking the bank.

Thoughts? My first post, please be gentle...

tonyreynolds57
04-06-2017, 02:44 PM
I see many have looked at this and perhaps thought it silly. I wanted to repost in another forum, but didn't want to get dinged for cross-threading.

I believe I've found an answer to my question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQm_9jGefZw&feature=related

Taimane is playing an 8-string, with two strings removed. Looks like gGcCEA.

Eight strings might give me the versatility I want without modifying the instrument in a way that it can't be sold later if I get tired of experimenting.

:-)

PhilUSAFRet
04-06-2017, 04:07 PM
Also be a great chat to have with Southcoast ukes. Lots of options re: wound vs unwound strings of various gauges for a given scale length.

Jim Hanks
04-06-2017, 04:40 PM
Sounds like a good idea to me though I haven't tried more than 4 strings on a uke.

You do know you can string your 4 string bari reentrant right? There are several strings sets for dGBE for baritone scale. Southcoast and Living Water are (arguably) the best. This gets you back to your standard guitar chords.

FiL
04-07-2017, 03:57 AM
No one makes an 8-string baritone (not custom), but Kala is coming out with one in May.

It appears that the nut width will be sufficiently narrow that I could experiment with different voicing by removing strings and not mess up chord fingerings.

I could play it as a 5-string gGCEA or 6-string gcCeaA. Then I could swap out my cordoba to standard baritone DGBE and have fun with standard guitar chords. Regardless, I'd have a multi-function baritone sized ukulele without breaking the bank..

I'm guessing the Kala 8-string baritone will be tuned something like dDgGBBEE. If you want to tune it gGCEA or gcCeaA, you're going to need custom strings. Even with a baritone GCEA string set, you';; still need a custom string to get the high g (for gGCEA) or high g, high C, and low A (for gcCeaA). As Phil mentioned, check with Southcoast strings. It might be hard to find a usable string for the high c for a bari scale length. The high c on an 8-string tenor is already pretty thin.

Also bear in mind that you'll probably have to have the nut and/or saddle adjusted to accommodate these different strings if you want it to play in tune.

I think your follow-up post is a better solution. I have an 8-string that I often string as a 5-string (gGCEA). It works well for me, but I also have an 8-string that I keep as an 8-string. They both have a place in my music. I've never tried stringing one as a 6-string, as that would probably necessitate nut/saddle adjustments to accommodate the fat low-A string.

- FiL

strumsilly
04-07-2017, 05:04 AM
another thing to consider . when you remove strings the tuners without strings will probably vibrate and buzz like mad without any tension on them.

tonyreynolds57
04-07-2017, 11:13 AM
All good input. Yes, I have a set of bari strings DGBE, though not reentrant dBGE. Right now I'm trying to build standard GCEA chord vocabulary, accuracy and speed in changing chords. Wanna stay away from guitar for awhile so I don't mess that up; my 60 year old brain can only handle so much! LOL!!! I like the low G, but can see where some songs would sound better with the high, hence the desire for a 5-string. That said, the 5-strings are more expensive than the 8-strings, and no one makes a 5-string in a baritone size. I can see going with a tenor 8-string and then changing the baritone over to 4-string DGBE.