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View Full Version : NUD: vintage Guild bari, advice wanted!



ukeinfused
06-16-2018, 06:45 AM
I'm a sucker for old things with "character".
I'm pleased to say that my luthier just brought this one back to life. As you can see, it has a few "extras" making it all the more special. :^)
The two cracks are old and already repaired. We decided those glued buttons are old trumpet valve buttons - and they're not coming off in this lifetime. The engraved brass plate is purely decorative and does not cover a truss rod.
That's Brazilian rosewood on the fretboard. The whole thing is prettier in person, even with the peculiarities.

I knew that Guild had a good thing in this era, but now with new strings and a set-up, the tone and playability are nothing less than astonishing (would to hear it played next to a Martin bari), especially given what I paid for this thing. It is mellow and resonant, with huge dynamics (or however you say that - able to be played soft or loud) and sustain.

However, it's essentially my first foray into baritone, and... I'm somewhat puzzled. I studied a bit of classical guitar way back in college, and the tuning of this thing makes me expect the bottom two strings of the guitar - intially feels that something is "missing", despite the spectacular tone.
I'm not even a linear player yet, so admittedly it's a jump for me. (I know there are strings for re-entrant baritone, but I'd like to hold off on that for now.)
I'm wondering if others can give me ideas for approaching the bari, best learner books, tablature, etc...

https://applink.reverb.com/item/10417465-vintage-1965-guild-baritone-ukulele-made-in-the-usa

Jim Hanks
06-16-2018, 08:00 AM
Start here ? http://humblebaritonics.blogspot.com

Booli
06-16-2018, 12:41 PM
I... We decided those glued buttons are old trumpet valve buttons - and they're not coming off in this lifetime...

Thanks for sharing the story of this one.

My guess those glued buttons were put there to assist in holding the uke when standing via pressure from the forearm instead of using a strap.

They could also be from rubber or silicone self-adhesive 'bumpers' or 'feet' which are sold with lots of them stuck on a sheet and you peel them off, and put them on the underside of something to prevent it from slipping away. The person might have used super-glue to put them on, since in my own experience that adhesive on these is not permanent.

Like these:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51xp5fTLt3L._SL1000_.jpg

See: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B001WAK6DS/

In any case, it is nice that you rescued this instrument and will be playing it so it makes music once again :)

ukeinfused
06-18-2018, 06:07 AM
My guess those glued buttons were put there to assist in holding the uke when standing via pressure from the forearm instead of using a strap.

They could also be from rubber or silicone self-adhesive 'bumpers' or 'feet' which are sold with lots of them stuck on a sheet and you peel them off, and put them on the underside of something to prevent it from slipping away.

In any case, it is nice that you rescued this instrument and will be playing it so it makes music once again :)

What an interesting theory, Booli!
I assumed it was someone wanting to make it look like an electric.

Given the inherent quality of this uke, I'm surprised not to hear from any Guild bari players here.

ukeinfused
06-18-2018, 06:11 AM
I like to keep things simple, I treat all ukuleles as either reentrant or linear (high or Low bass) and use the same tabs or chord shapes for them all. I also write and arrange with this in mind, that way there is no need to have specific music for the baritone.

Here's an original piece written for the baritone & played in reentrant tuning :D There is a link to the tab in the YT description & I've listed the suggested fingerings for the fretting hand in the tab :D


http://youtu.be/fLZ_KuWpbY4

OK, I could be convinced... you sound amazing, as always.
If you ever come to the US on tour Campbell, please announce widely!!
Question: looking at the angle, do you hold the bari on your left leg like a classical guitar?

Thx also to Jim H for your link.

frianm
06-18-2018, 10:57 AM
Congratulations Tracie.
I have always wanted to make the jump to a baritone but have stopped at the tenor - as you know well. As part of my experiment I set up a tenor banjo as a baritone uke with reentrant dGBE. As a former guitar player it was not that difficult. Had I been playing ukulele before it might have been more difficult. However as I still play banjo and even on occasion the guitar, I am forever having to make a head switch between instruments and chords.

I have been a fan of the old Westerly Guilds for decades. They are great instruments.

Let me know when you are tired of it!

Best - Ian

ukeinfused
06-19-2018, 04:06 AM
Congratulations Tracie.
I have been a fan of the old Westerly Guilds for decades. They are great instruments.
Let me know when you are tired of it!
Best - Ian

LOL, it might happen, Ian - I'll let you know. I am shaking my head that I bought a bari.
You know me and larger ukes: I keep buying fantastic instruments and then don't play them, whereupon that feels so sad that I sell them to a better home.

If I could just start to approach fingerstyle like Campbell's music (right up there with the HMS guys), who knows what might happen...

13down
06-19-2018, 04:28 AM
Very cool Guild. My advice to you as a beginning bari player is, if you like re-entrant tuning on the uke in general, tune it with a high D instead of a low D.