PDA

View Full Version : Is a baritone just a lazy man's little guitar?



Joko
10-12-2017, 03:12 AM
Really. Is a baritone really even an ukulele? Or is it just a soprano guitar?

It's got the same tuning. You use the same fingerings as a guitar, it's just missing the 5th and 6th string.

Sure, personally, I like playing it. It can do things the ukulele can't... but that's the point. It's not really an ukulele.

The baritone is exactly what I cringe about when I'm carrying around my uke and I hear people say, "Oh. look at the little guitar!"

IT'S NOT A LITTLE GUITAR!

The baritone is.

Croaky Keith
10-12-2017, 03:36 AM
I must admit, I do tend to use it as a substitute, DGBE just sounds nice & full, whereas GCEA sounds less so, to me. ;)

I like the GCEA for melody picking, (& gCEA is mainly for stumming, to my mind), so will still keep them, plus they're easier to handle, being smaller than a bari.

However, I have just strung my laminate tenor & my laminate long neck soprano to DGBE, & I think they have potential - both have that bari sound now. :)

DownUpDave
10-12-2017, 03:59 AM
It is for me and I don't cringe at all.......I love it

bearbike137
10-12-2017, 04:15 AM
Honestly, baritone ukuleles do nothing for me. When I was a kid, I first learned on a baritone ukulele before moving on to guitar. They still sound and play that way to me: as a 4 string classical guitar.

I prefer a guitar to a baritone uke, but I prefer a tenor uke to a guitar...!

Down Up Dick
10-12-2017, 04:35 AM
I agree that it is more “little guitar” than ukulele. The different tuning makes it that way. I think it’s in the same class as the tenor guitar and mebbe the tenor banjo. But one thing that makes it better than a guitar is it’s size. Guitars are very much larger.

I like my baritone a lot though, and I don’t wanna learn the other two strings. :old:

Xtradust
10-12-2017, 05:15 AM
That is hilarious Joko!

I used to feel that same way. I would cringe when I heard the word baritone. I had always heard that Arthur Godfrey said, "I'm not going to learn a bunch of new chords." and had someone come up with a baritone.

But...now, I feel better about them. I think guitarists feel like Arthur Godfrey. They don't want to give up what they've learned. Baritones can bridge the gap between guitars and ukuleles and they help my guitar friends come over to the uke. Which is a great thing. Ya know, I don't remember the last time I saw two guitarists play together outside of a concert or on the tube. Guitarists love to get on a baritone and jam with the group.

But, I'm used to the soprano and concert, so they seem like a guitar to me. I don't have one, but they sure sound nice! ;)

bratsche
10-12-2017, 05:29 AM
It's not to me, as I'm not a lazy man but an industrious woman :D, and because I tune mine in fifths, and can't play a guitar anyway. So my baritone is more like a single-course octave mandolin. I just like the way it sounds.

I don't generally treat ukes (or anything I play) as chording instruments per se, but as melodic instruments with the capability of chords and double stops being included when applicable, as an embellishment to the melodies.

bratsche

Down Up Dick
10-12-2017, 05:38 AM
It's not to me, as I'm not a lazy man but an industrious woman :D, and because I tune mine in fifths, and can't play a guitar anyway. So my baritone is more like a single-course octave mandolin. I just like the way it sounds.

I don't generally treat ukes (or anything I play) as chording instruments per se, but as melodic instruments with the capability of chords and double stops being included when applicable, as an embellishment to the melodies.

bratsche

How do you tune in fifths? Where do you get the Lo-C or the Hi-E? :old:

cdkrugjr
10-12-2017, 05:58 AM
Not if you don't play it that way . . .
1. VERY sweet low-G Uke
2. "Kind of like a Cuatro, only with a nicer action"
3. Reentrant-tuned uke ALL the way down to "High A" (a-d-f#-b) if you can want to put your own string set together
4. Oh . . and as a Baritone Uke (I have mine tuned to A ("low E") 'cuz it sounds better IMO.

Rllink
10-12-2017, 06:07 AM
Okay, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that my own opinion is that a baritone is neither a ukulele or a guitar, but is its own instrument. That's just me though, and if people want to play them, and call them ukuleles, more power to 'em.

Ziret
10-12-2017, 07:07 AM
Well, one reason I keep mine around is to remind me, when I start thinking I want to play guitar, that guitars are huge. I like it, just the same, but I rarely play it.

Joko
10-12-2017, 09:07 AM
Okay, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that my own opinion is that a baritone is neither a ukulele or a guitar, but is its own instrument.

Now there's an interesting idea! The baritone is neither. So we need a new name for it.

The Barulele?... The Bukulele?...The Bukkakale?

bratsche
10-12-2017, 09:36 AM
How do you tune in fifths? Where do you get the Lo-C or the Hi-E? :old:

It's low G - GDAE. Bass strings from a classical guitar set - the lowest 2 strings will work. Then for the trebles, a regular baritone uke's top two, with the 2nd one tuned to A instead of B.

bratsche

Debussychopin
10-12-2017, 09:46 AM
Just go to a Yamaha gl1 you'll never turn back. It is small like a baritone but got all the classical guitar neck and strings so you can work all the intricacies of classical music

Down Up Dick
10-12-2017, 10:21 AM
It's low G - GDAE. Bass strings from a classical guitar set - the lowest 2 strings will work. Then for the trebles, a regular baritone uke's top two, with the 2nd one tuned to A instead of B.

bratsche

Are you talking about our regular low G? If so, then the E will be an octave too low won’t it? What low G are you talking about? A G an octave below ours would be way too low.

I think our regular Lo-G and D and A (as B) are okay, but the E is lower than the A isn’t it?

I’m confused. :old:

bratsche
10-12-2017, 12:33 PM
You're confusing me now, Dick! :)

Just think of all the strings as the octave below a violin or mandolin's tuning. Does that help?

bratsche

Cornfield
10-12-2017, 12:53 PM
This Spring I had issues with my hands and couldn’t play fretted instruments, I sold most of my Ike’s because I was told the condition would last for several years.
The Cleveland Clinic resolved the issue quickly. I had a tenor guitar tuned in fifths and I decided i would make the effort to learn how to play it. The tenor guitar is now my main instrument (also playing the mandolin).

I really liked my baritone ukulele but don’t feel like I need to replace it.

zztush
10-12-2017, 01:08 PM
It is for me and I don't cringe at all.......I love it

Hi, Dave!

You are right. Dave's baritone is lazy man's guitar, Brenda's guitalele is industrious woman's ukulele.

https://s1.postimg.org/5k6ng1r9jj/image.png (https://postimages.org/)

Osprey
10-12-2017, 01:11 PM
Big Ukulele/Little Guitar. It’s just a name. I enjoy my Baritone. It suits my voice range and when I play with a group of standard tuned Ukes, it helps fill in some of the chords or at least gives them fuller voice. It’s great fun to have another option and it was not as hard as I thought to pick up the fingering or switching back and forth.

jer
10-12-2017, 01:25 PM
Okay, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that my own opinion is that a baritone is neither a ukulele or a guitar, but is its own instrument. That's just me though, and if people want to play them, and call them ukuleles, more power to 'em.
I tend to agree on all points.

pabrizzer
10-12-2017, 02:00 PM
So the only proper way to sing is soprano?
And which saxophone is the 'true' saxophone?
And the violin? Viola and cellos are just some pale imitators?
There is a ukulele family! With lots of members.
Sopranino. Soprano. Concert. Tenor. Baritone. Pineapple. Banjoukulele. 6 string. 8 string. Guitalele.
Play them. Or talk about them. I know what I prefer......

Down Up Dick
10-12-2017, 02:31 PM
You're confusing me now, Dick! :)

Just think of all the strings as the octave below a violin or mandolin's tuning. Does that help?

bratsche

No it doesnít. I donít know what youíre talking about, and I donít think you do either. But never mind-forget it. :old:

bratsche
10-12-2017, 03:10 PM
No it doesn’t. I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I don’t think you do either. But never mind-forget it. :old:

I know what I'm talking about, but am not 100% sure what you're talking about. When you wrote "our low G", I don't know which one you meant. Is it the one in linear DGBE tuning that's typical of the baritone being discussed here? If that's the one, then "my low G" (the lowest string on my 5ths tuned baritone) is an octave below that one. Capisce?

bratsche

zztush
10-12-2017, 03:17 PM
Hi, Down Up Dick!

Hope this help you.


No it doesnít. I donít know what youíre talking about, and I donít think you do either. But never mind-forget it. :old:



https://s1.postimg.org/19vxza5qvj/image.png (https://postimages.org/)

bratsche
10-12-2017, 03:21 PM
Hee hee, zztush, that describes my baritone, but looks funny - since "bratsche" means "viola", there ought to be CGDA in there too. Perhaps in a red font? ;)

zztush
10-12-2017, 03:30 PM
Hee hee, zztush, that describes my baritone, but looks funny - since "bratsche" means "viola", there ought to be CGDA in there too. Perhaps in a red font? ;)

Yes. violin was shifted from viola by 5th steps from CDGA to GDAE. Baritone (guitar too) was shfted from ukulele by 5th steps from GCEA to DGBE. Ukuele and Viola were sort of origin basic and fundamental. :)

Down Up Dick
10-12-2017, 03:38 PM
Okay, so you have a G string an octave below our “normal” low G and then a regular low D and then an A and an E which is lower than the A.

First of all the Low G must be very, very low. Lower even than the low C which is usually used for low fifths. Some think that the low C is somewhat loose and mushy on a uke. And then what is your high E above the A? Some ukers have tried fishing line for the E, but it breaks.

Well, I dunno. Maybe I’m all wrong, and, if so, I’m sorry. I like to play in fifths, and that’s why I wanted to know how you did it. I hope you enjoy playing in fifths.

I guess I’ll just stick to my Concert banjolele, my Irish tenor banjo and my mando-banjo when I wanna play in fifths. :old:

Joko
10-12-2017, 04:18 PM
Play them. Or talk about them. I know what I prefer......

I'm just stirring up trouble.

I've got a soprano, concert and tenor uke, and I play them all all the time. I sold my baritone before moving overseas due to lack of space in the luggage. I'm going back to the USA for Christmas and I plan on buying a baritone and shipping it back to Myanmar.

I've also got a guitar, but I'm too lazy to play it.

bratsche
10-12-2017, 04:55 PM
Okay, so you have a G string an octave below our ďnormalĒ low G and then a regular low D and then an A and an E which is lower than the A.

You mean the E is (a fifth) higher than A, not lower.


First of all the Low G must be very, very low. Lower even than the low C which is usually used for low fifths. Some think that the low C is somewhat loose and mushy on a uke.

Yes, it's a fourth lower. But it's doable on a baritone with the right string. I use a Thomastik classical guitar low E string for it, which is .045. I don't find it mushy. And incidentally, I use the 5th string from the same set (.035) as a low C on my tenor which is in fifths tuned to CGAE, It's not floppy either. I don't think many people tune baritones to CGDA, though. Well, there is the guy who tunes it an octave lower, like a cello. But really, if you can find adequate strings for the job, you can use just about any tuning you want, within reason.


And then what is your high E above the A? Some ukers have tried fishing line for the E, but it breaks.

I think you're confusing this with a violin tuning fifths set here. I can see how an octave higher E would be under a lot of tension and break, even on a smaller uke. But I am using a regular ol' normal baritone uke E string. ;)


Well, I dunno. Maybe Iím all wrong, and, if so, Iím sorry. I like to play in fifths, and thatís why I wanted to know how you did it. I hope you enjoy playing in fifths.

I do enjoy it, but even more than that, I don't think I could learn another tuning, or would want to spend the time at this stage of my life. I like to be able to pick up an instrument and not have to think about what my left hand is doing. There are enough challenges with the right hand! :) And as far as strings go, I'm pretty used to mixing strings from different sets. When I play viola or violin, I never use trebles and basses from the same sets. In that situation, it's personal preferences, but it's become second nature to buy those strings individually; you just learn to find what works best.


I guess Iíll just stick to my Concert banjolele, my Irish tenor banjo and my mando-banjo when I wanna play in fifths. :old:

Well, if you ever decide to get adventurous and play ukes in fifths, there are others around here who do that. There are lots of threads talking about what strings people use. Good luck!

bratsche

Jarmo_S
10-12-2017, 05:13 PM
Bratsche, you should consider maybe mandolin, except you play with fingers? Some spider left hand fingers?

Anyways you are certainly not anymore an ukulele player.
Baritone scale fingerboard is not an uke scale in my opinion, but with your tuning it certainly is not anymore even an ukulele.

Ukulele Eddie
10-12-2017, 05:19 PM
Does it matter what you call it? In the right hands, it can create beautiful music.

bratsche
10-12-2017, 05:51 PM
I've been playing mandola for years (viola counterpart in the mandolin family). Came here from MandolinCafe, my other hangout. Started this baritone-bodied endeavor instead of getting an octave mandolin, and got hooked on the different sound. :)

bratsche

Jarmo_S
10-12-2017, 06:08 PM
I played quite many years guitar with fourths tuning, EADGCF. It was an electric. so all i did was some silly fast solos. Not possible use much chord forms.

The top 4 first strings are what make a standard guitar also possible to play so many chords. Because uke has it the same relatively, it is a very good chord playing tool.
I just wonder about the fifths tuning in that sense.

zztush
10-12-2017, 06:20 PM
I played quite many years guitar with fourths tuning, EADGCF. It was an electric. so all i did was some silly fast solos. Not possible use much chord forms.

The top 4 first strings are what make a standard guitar also possible to play so many chords. Because uke has it the same relatively, it is a very good chord playing tool.
I just wonder about the fifths tuning in that sense.

Hi, Jarmo_S! I've once post about this before.

Our ukulele is 4ths tuning. It has 4 frets for 1st position. It designed for our 4 fingers (i, m r and p in the photo). Hence we don't need extra move of left hand within this position. On the other hand, 5ths tuning has 5 frets for 1st position. Pinkey may be bit busy in this tuning. But it gains more notes in 4 strings. 4ths is very good for chord play. 5ths is very good for melody.

https://s1.postimg.org/3i9gizcefz/combine_images.png (https://postimages.org/)

Actually violin, viola and mandolin are very good for melody play. And ukulele can play chord very easily.

Jarmo_S
10-12-2017, 06:56 PM
No zztush, ukulele or guitar are not fourth interval tuned instruments.
They have an exception between 2nd and 3rd strings, the interval is major 3rd. Other strings are yes tuned fourth apart from each other. Well on uke it would actually need low G for even that.

I told in my post above but maybe it was not told very clear. Exactly this exception makes it possible for ukulele to be a good chording machine :)

The fourth tuning on ukulele would be G C F Bb. It certainly is not much used. For soloing it would be logical of course.
And since this is a baritone "uke" thread, fourth tuning for it is my previous post's DGCF, same as for guitar. Not recommended by me, this tuning.

zztush
10-12-2017, 07:18 PM
I told in my post above but maybe it was not told very clear. Exactly this exception makes it possible for ukulele to be a good chording machine :)

Hi, Jarmo_S!

Yes, this exception bring us great chording machine. Without this exception (B' and E' in the figures below), we can not play B and E.

https://s1.postimg.org/4j1k6eyjz3/image.png (https://postimages.org/)

Mivo
10-12-2017, 09:59 PM
Yes, if it's tuned DGBE, it is a small guitar without the bass strings. It nevertheless has its own sound and feel to it. I've had both a regular guitar and a baritone ukulele, and the experience (and sound) of playing and handling them was completely different. The baritone felt good and accessible to me, with great sound characteristics. I really enjoyed it and I still regret selling it (I thought getting a guitarlele instead would expand the possibilities while providing a very similar experience, but I was very wrong about that). The guitar, on the other hand, felt "too big", both from the perspectives of ergonomics and sound. I felt the sound was "too full", "too much". While I'm a relatively tall person, I still found it a bit cumbersome to get comfortable with.

I don't really know how to put this in words, but while I like listening to others play guitar, I didn't enjoy playing the guitar myself, nor the sound I made. The baritone felt in many ways right to me, certainly better than both tenor ukuleles and guitars. Six strings were also one too many for me. I've since learned that five strings work well for me (on the banjo) and four do too, but six somehow didn't do it for me. I still have my acoustic guitar and I'm not done with it, but if I could travel back in time, I'd still have my baritone and wouldn't have the guitar.

As for other people, they'll always do and think what they want. I find that most non-musicians ultimately don't care about what instrument you play as long as they enjoy the music that you do play. The instrument can be an attention getter and a talking point (if you are a non-musician and you want to make conversation, you may well say something like "that's a cute little guitar!"), but beyond that it's just a tool that is more interesting to the aficionados than to other folks.

Tootler
10-12-2017, 10:08 PM
Hi, Jarmo_S! I've once post about this before.

Our ukulele is 4ths tuning. It has 4 frets for 1st position. It designed for our 4 fingers (i, m r and p in the photo). Hence we don't need extra move of left hand within this position. On the other hand, 5ths tuning has 5 frets for 1st position. Pinkey may be bit busy in this tuning. But it gains more notes in 4 strings. 4ths is very good for chord play. 5ths is very good for melody.

https://s1.postimg.org/3i9gizcefz/combine_images.png (https://postimages.org/)

Actually violin, viola and mandolin are very good for melody play. And ukulele can play chord very easily.

Surely, there's a mistake in your fifths tuning picture here? You show GDA on the sixth fret. Shouldn't it be the seventh fret? In fact the seventh fret gives GDAE.

Croaky Keith
10-12-2017, 10:11 PM
...... you are certainly not anymore an ukulele player.
Baritone scale fingerboard is not an uke scale in my opinion, but with your tuning it certainly is not anymore even an ukulele.

Weird, is not a car with a small engine just as much a car with a big engine, a lorry with 4 wheels is as much a lorry with 8 wheels?

It comes down to how the instrument is constructed, I think, ukes are more lightly built than guitars, & just because it is tuned differently doesn't make it a different instrument. We often have debates about high G, low G, so high D, low D is just another side to ukes, as is fifths tuning, each to their own. ;)

Mivo
10-12-2017, 10:51 PM
Weird, is not a car with a small engine just as much a car with a big engine, a lorry with 4 wheels is as much a lorry with 8 wheels?

They are cars, just like guitars and baritones are stringed instruments. But there are differences between coupťs and SUVs, and you'd not say "I drive a sports car!" when your car is a VW Beetle. :)

I think of a linear baritone more as a four-string guitar than a ukulele, and of people playing them as baritone players rather than ukulele players. Both are musicians, playing stringed instruments of the same immediate family that create sound in a similar way. The low-G debate, well, I can argue both sides of that topic, and overall feel that linear tuning waters down the unique characteristic of the instrument. The standard tuning of an instrument probably contributes to what it is, label-wise, regardless of the niche tunings that also exist.

Then again, I don't really know why it matters whether or not baritone players are considered ukulele players. Easiest to just call them baritone players! :) Since the instrument has always (since its reinvention in the past century) been called a baritone ukulele, they fit in more with our community here than with the guitar crowd.

DownUpDave
10-12-2017, 11:37 PM
So the only proper way to sing is soprano?
And which saxophone is the 'true' saxophone?
And the violin? Viola and cellos are just some pale imitators?
There is a ukulele family! With lots of members.
Sopranino. Soprano. Concert. Tenor. Baritone. Pineapple. Banjoukulele. 6 string. 8 string. Guitalele.
Play them. Or talk about them. I know what I prefer......

Here, here.......you get my vote for President of the World Ukulele Society, very well said. Play them all, love them all, they all have UKULELE in their name

sopher
10-13-2017, 12:14 AM
The answer is yes or no, it depends. If a guitarist strings a bari linear and just uses it to strum along with a uke group, then yes, it is just a lazy mans little guitar.

I string my bari reentrant and I actually very rarely strum it. I play fingerpicking/chord melody stuff almost exclusively. I play John King and Rob McKillop stuff and Tony's Beatles instrumentals all the time.

The reason I have a bari is the same reason I have a tenor recorder - I like a range a little lower and in my mind a little more "richer" in sound that the standard recorder or uke. I think there's room for all of us here under the uke tent!

Tootler
10-13-2017, 01:27 AM
No zztush, ukulele or guitar are not fourth interval tuned instruments.
They have an exception between 2nd and 3rd strings, the interval is major 3rd. Other strings are yes tuned fourth apart from each other. Well on uke it would actually need low G for even that.

Technically, you are correct but it is common practice to refer to this type of tuning as 'fourths tuning'. Viols and Renaissance lutes were also tuned in fourths with a major third in the middle, typically between the third and fourth strings but they are still described as being tuned in fourths.

LimousinLil
10-13-2017, 01:42 AM
This is interesting! I have, er ... a couple of baritone ukes, one of which is super-huge (bigger than a tenor guitar), and I have to admit that I am beginning to prefer the DGBE tuning to the traditional soprano tuning. I also have a tenor guitar, tuned DGBE (I couldn't cope with the fifths tuning ... big stretches), so similar to a baritone uke, but with steel strings. And I ALSO have a travel guitar (Baby Taylor) ... I found the nut width on a classical guitar too much for me; and the same applied to the Islander Guitalele I had, with a nut width of 2". I'm still coming to grips with the guitar, as I started from the ukulele end. (Well, to be honest, I'm still coming to grips with playing the uke!) My very big baritone DOES have a more guitar-like sound, so whether that means I'm a "lazy" guitar player, I don't know ... I think I'm a "wannabe" guitar player.

Rllink
10-13-2017, 03:09 AM
Does anyone think of their guitars as gigantic ukuleles with two extra low strings that they use to give them more range to facilitate playing melody?

Cornfield
10-13-2017, 03:34 AM
Does anyone think of their guitars as gigantic ukuleles with two extra low strings that they use to give them more range to facilitate playing melody?

That’s a point. A guitar is a baritone ukulele that you can Travis pick.

quiltingshirley
10-13-2017, 05:54 AM
Well, I never knew a baritone wasn’t a ukulele. My husband plays his in standard Uke tuning cause he has big hands. I play mine in regular baritone tuning cause I want to challenge my aging brain. The same reason why I'll bring my concert also to jams, challenges. Guitar, well, I’ve started lessons. Of the instruments, I find the baritone takes me more effort to get what I want. A guitar has 6 strings so you can find lots of places to find chords. Interesting thread.

Jim Yates
10-13-2017, 06:33 AM
No it doesnít. I donít know what youíre talking about, and I donít think you do either. But never mind-forget it. :old:

You may not know what he's talking about, but I do and I'm sure that he does as well.

Jim Yates
10-13-2017, 07:13 AM
103649

103650


I had two of my 10 year old students, whose lessons came one after another, play a duet for our recital. Ariana is learning guitar and Kyra is learning ukulele. They both learned their parts really well (a fiddle tune called Glise de Sherbrooke), but the guitar seemed to overpower the ukulele. Last Wednesday, I gave Kyra my guitar with the capo on the fifth fret and it sounded great.
The tabs above are for ukulele, all three parts. The first measure of the B part for ukulele#1 was dropped an octave to make it easier for the kids to play. The asterix shows the proper octave.

OhioBelle
10-13-2017, 07:34 AM
Interesting thoughts by Russel Southard of the Ukulele Review. Being the owner of a Rosewood/Cedar Mainland bari, I agree with everything he says here, particularly his comparison of it to a parlor-size guitar, and the intimate music of which it is capable. Serenading a sweetheart, oh yes!

Despite that comparison, it's still a uke to me. :)

http://www.theukulelereview.com/2017/09/08/pono-baritone-cedar-rosewood-rbshc-pc/

Down Up Dick
10-13-2017, 08:53 AM
You may not know what he's talking about, but I do and I'm sure that he does as well.

Yeah, I know. I had the E mixed up, and it threw me way off. It wasn’t my first UU mistake though—ahhh, well. :old:

drbekken
10-13-2017, 01:42 PM
So the only proper way to sing is soprano?
And which saxophone is the 'true' saxophone?
And the violin? Viola and cellos are just some pale imitators?
There is a ukulele family! With lots of members.
Sopranino. Soprano. Concert. Tenor. Baritone. Pineapple. Banjoukulele. 6 string. 8 string. Guitalele.
Play them. Or talk about them. I know what I prefer......

Nuff said.