View Full Version : Against the tide - Baritone Conundrum

08-18-2009, 10:14 AM
Hi. Relatively new to the forums. Relatively new ukulele player. (Been studying, playing a couple of months, but a lifelong musician). Bought a baritone first (a learner one, not terribly cheap, but not quality). Originally wanted something deep-voiced not too tin sounding like some of the sopranos can be.

My problem now? I can't hardly find anything for tabs for the baritone uke (DGBE tuning), specifically. I have visited chordie.com and several other options, and some are great (like chordie CAN be depending on the tunes you're looking for). I just find myself very frustrated with the huge amount of stuff for "regular" ukuleles and the vast empty space for baritone ukes.

Anyone have a suggestion? Buy a new uke and start over (a tenor, maybe)? And by start over, I mean relearn to play chords the way they are on a different sized uke. (which at this point feels like starting over) Re-entrant tune my baritone (does this mean I would then be able to play the chords written for other ukuleles?)? Any other brilliant ideas?

Thanks for any advice, opinions!

Ukulele JJ
08-18-2009, 10:23 AM
Yeah, there aren't a lot of tabs out there specifically for baritones. But chord charts are a-plenty on the internet, and you can play them on any instrument--soprano uke, baritone uke, guitar, xylophone, etc.

The only trick is knowing how to play a chord on your instrument, when given just the name of the chord. Something like this (http://www.alligatorboogaloo.com/uke/chords/chords-bari.html) or this (http://baritoneukulelehunt.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/baritonechords.pdf) will help.

Incidentally, you can play regular ukulele tabs on your bari, especially if you tune re-entrant (your low D becomes a high D). But everything you play will come out a fourth lower than notated. C'est la vie.

And yes, you might want to consider getting a standard-tuned uke too. The re-learning really isn't too tough. Your fingers already know the right "shapes", because they're the same as on a bari. The only change is the different chord name associated with that shape.


08-18-2009, 10:35 AM
If you're specifically looking for tabs to help you play the melody of a song, my advice won't help. But if you just want to be able to strum the chords of a song you like, I suggest you get a good chord book or chart, and start Googling for the chords for songs, rather than for tabs for songs. The nice thing about this approach is that it doesn't matter what instrument it's written for - a C chord is a C chord, no matter what, so you don't have to just look for ukulele chords for songs. I find most of my chords on guitar sites.

At first it may seem like slow going, while you stop and look up the fingering for each new chord. When I first started, I would pencil in the fingering next to the chord, like 1202, etc. After a while I memorized a lot of the more common chords, so now I only occasionally have to write in the fingering for a chord that I don't encounter very often.

If you find the chords to a song don't flow very well on your uke, try transposing it into other keys, using this handy site: http://www.logue.net/xp/

You can copy and paste the chords from whatever chord site you find, and easily move the key of the song. I do this all the time, looking for A) chords that flow well, and B) keys that fit my vocal range.

Hope this helps!

EDIT: looks like UkuleleJJ beat me to the punch! :)

08-18-2009, 10:52 AM
Aquila has a set of baritone strings for the regular C tuning.

The standard tuning for a guitar is EADGBE, which you'll notice has a bunch of overlap with your bari. If you look at the fingerings on Ukulele Boogaloo's chord chart, they line up with the correct fingerings for the guitar, so most of what you learn will be transferable there (or from there if you already play).


08-19-2009, 11:28 AM
Hey thanks, everyone for your suggestions. I have no problem using the chords wherever I find them. It's the Melodies that are a problem. Thankfully? My friend and fellow bandmate told me not to be so silly and we figured them out together. It's that whole play it, but up an octave, sort of thing. I can't believe I was so dumbfounded as to why I couldn't get it to work! lol!

So between her and I, and my chromatic tuner on the actual names of notes(heh), we figured out how to do it. Talk about total lack of education in stringed instruments...whew!

Anywho, thanks a bunch, and happy playing to all!