View Full Version : Baritone Ukulele and Bass Guitar

09-28-2017, 09:53 AM
Hey Everyone,

I'm looking at buying a short scale bass guitar (30"), which will be setup with DGBE tuning to be used mainly for rhythm.

Will baritone ukulele chord shapes transfer to this i.e./e.g. will an A chord on the ukulele translate exactly to the bass fretboard?

Many thanks for any thoughts on this.

Patrick Madsen
09-28-2017, 10:03 AM
Most U basses (Bass Guitar) are tuned E,A,D,G; like a regular bass is tuned. I guess aperson could tune it down to DGBE if they used the proper string. I use The rubbery type and feel they would be too floppy tuned in G.

09-28-2017, 10:23 AM
If you tune a base like a baritone uke, you can use baritone chord shapes on a bass and you will get the same notes on the bass that you would get using the same shape on a baritone. When tuned EADG, though, a bass is designed so that you can play the fifth of a chord on the same fret of next lower (in tone) string that you play the root note of the chord on. So, for example, if you are providing the bass line for an F chord, you could play the root note (an F) by fretting the third fret of the second string and playing the fifth (a C) by fretting the third fret on the third fret of the third string. This makes it pretty easy to play rudimentary bass lines on an EADG-tuned bass. As someone who plays baritone ukulele and is just learning how to play bass, I guess I understand the attraction of being able to fret an A chord shape on the bass and being able to pluck any of the strings on the bass to provide notes that complement the A chord, but bass is pretty easy to learn in EADG tuning, and I now think it's easier to learn the bass fretboard than it would have been to provide a bassline by using the chord shape of the corresponding chord.

09-28-2017, 10:35 PM
Many thanks for this Patrick!

09-28-2017, 10:38 PM
Hi Wish upon a star - this kind of information is exactly what I was looking for. I really appreciate your reply and thanks for taking the time!

09-29-2017, 05:33 AM
You wrote that you want to use DGBE tuning and use the bass guitar for rhythm. Why play rhythm using a bass guitar? A bass guitar is not meant to play rhythm (I assume you mean strumming). Would you use the same gauge strings as in a baritone ukulele? I am skeptical that it would sound right and feel right.