View Full Version : Baritone in CGEA?

07-09-2010, 11:11 AM
Relatively new uker here, enjoying immensely both my Kala mango tenor and lurking on this forum. Full UAS has not yet set in, but have found myself wondering how a baritone tuned to CGEA like my tenor would sound? I hope this is not a too general or stupid question. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

07-09-2010, 11:51 AM
There are no stupid questions, although I think you may have meant GCEA, not CGEA? Also, you may find that because many of the questions like the one you're asking come down to personal preference, there are no easy answers. I have a baritone that was strung GCEA when I bought it (from the UU marketplace forum), and it was fine but it sounded a lot like my tenor, which was strung at the time with a low g. The upside was that the chord shapes had the same names as the ones I'd learned for my tenor ukulele, but I wanted the baritone ukulele to sound less like an ukulele and a bit more like a guitar. I ended up restringing it to DGBE tuning using a string set in which the D and G were both wound for that more metallic guitar sound. I prefer it with DGBE tuning because with its more guitar-like sound, I think it would better complement another ukulele if I want to record them together. The downside is that while the chord shapes are the same, the chords themselves are different (for example, the chord shape for a C chord in GCEA tuning is a G chord in DGBE tuning), so playing along with a tenor uke on aDGBE baritone is like learning the song in a different key. If you can find a baritone ukulele strung for GCEA tuning (at an ukulele player gathering, for example, or someplace that sells used ukuleles), or if you can find one being played on YouTube (perform a search for "baritone ukulele GCEA"), it may help you decide which tuning you'd prefer on a baritone.

07-09-2010, 12:22 PM
If you go this route, I'd suggest strings made for that purpose - I know Aquila makes GCEA baritone sets, perhaps others do, too...

07-09-2010, 12:49 PM
I used to know someone who used this tuning on a Baritone. I thought the sound did not complement the rest of the uke. It was an old Harmony Baritone. Kind of sloppy sounding. I did this once on a less expensive baritone I had, bought GCEA strings for a baritone and strung it up. The neck was stressing, the bridge was stresing, I swear a tear was forming in the coner of the sound hole. I took the strings off and put back on DGBE strings and the Uke actually thanked me.

07-10-2010, 05:09 AM
Thanks for your responses. Of course I meant GCEA. As suggested, I was hoping for a different, maybe deeper sound than my tenor without having to learn different fingerings. Thanks again for the input.

07-10-2010, 05:58 AM
Aquila Baritone GCEA strings do not put any more pressure on your baritone's neck than their regular DGBE strings. The tension of the strings is the same, honest!!! You can tell that by the way the strings play. And they are not sloppy either. They are made for a baritone.

Some bari's sound good with the higher tuning, and some don;t. I had a Kanilea that came alive with GCEA strings, but was pretty dead sounding with regular DGBE. I had a Mele bari that also sounded good this way. But most other bari's in my experience do better with the regualr DGBE tuning.

Worht a try though for just the cost of a set of Aquila strings!

07-10-2010, 08:29 PM
I have one of my bari's tuned gCEA and the other DBGE and like them both, but as has been said use strings made for a bari. I've got Aquila's on the gCEA and D'Addario's on the DGBE (definetly more guitar like sound). Try them out, but a word of warning, you may end up with one of each! UAS can be a wonderful/terrible afliction!

Ahnko Honu
07-10-2010, 09:12 PM

07-10-2010, 11:17 PM
Ive got an Aquilla set on my baritone tuned to Low G & it sounds fantastic! It sounded good with Bari tuning as well but I'm happier with it this way

07-11-2010, 06:36 AM
I've found that using DGBE strings and capoing at the 5th fret works well. This way, you have the best of both worlds. Or you could get the Aquila gCEA strings (a great justification for buying another uke).