View Full Version : Baritone uke as Tenor guitar?

08-29-2010, 02:25 AM
Someone on a traditional stringed instrument board that I frequent posted a video of himself playing an Irish reel on his new Tenor guitar:
I play a lot of that type of music and I loved the sound of the guitar, but I was disappointed to see that there are no really inexpensive Tenor guitars out there. However, there are quite a few Baritone ukes for under $100.

Could I string a Bari with light steel strings?
Anyone done this?
Anyone tried the inexpensive Baritones?

mm stan
08-29-2010, 02:44 AM
Aloha BrewerPaul:
For me, I believe with the higher tension from the steel strings...you may run into risk of stuctural issues with the neck or
ripping the bridge out...I hope it helps...Good Luck!!Why not just play a baritone????there's an inexpensive one
at Musician friend..for $29.95...Rogue Baritone...that I like, just you've got tune them by ear...MM Stan...

08-29-2010, 04:38 AM
For playing Irish music, I like the sound of the steel strings.
What do you mean that you've got to tune that Baritone by ear? Won't a tuner work?
For 30 bucks, I just might give that Rogue a try.

mm stan
08-29-2010, 07:14 AM
It didn't sound good in DGBE at 440hz so I down tuned it to:
D-30, G-50, B-40, E-30/-40 I used a digital clip on chromatic to record this..
every uke is different when tuning by ear slight adjustments....
Can't go wrong for 30 bucks and guess what I sold my Kamaka baritone
because I liked this one better for it's deep rich sounds...kamaka 650.00 go figure?
This baritone rocks for picking...MM Stan
I used to live in Manhattan long ago ....upper westside..

08-29-2010, 05:46 PM
Grab this baritone steel string electric WHILE YOU CAN!

I have a Risa Tenor steel-string Uke-Electric tuned to DGBE. Works well :)

08-30-2010, 03:34 AM
Could I string a Bari with light steel strings?
No. The increased tension will rip the bridge off, or at the very least seriously warp the top and possibly the neck.

Look for an inexpensive vintage baritone. There are often Regal, Harmony and Lyra ukes on eBay for $100 or less.

dave alexander
08-31-2010, 09:14 AM
The alternative is to get a steel string acoustic guitar, buy a bass nut or cut the existing nut (ouch) to fit 4 strings. I have done this, and tuned like a baritone it sounds pretty good. (Problem with the bass nut was too much play on the strings which were in the widest of the slots.)

You'll want to spread out the slots so everything spaced correctly, but you could probably keep the locations of the highest and lowest strings.

I can't imagine a real luthier would charge too much to make a bone nut to fit a guitar.

08-31-2010, 04:45 PM
It is easy to make a nut, get the smallest steel string guitar you can find. The tail piece is another story, you will need to cover up those extra two holes.

To play fiddle tunes you will want to tune the guitar like a real tenor guitar, in fifths, CGDA. If ou tune a tenor guitar like a baritone uke that is "Chicago Tuning" and it makes chords easier to play but the standard CGDA tuning is easier when you play fiddle tunes.

09-01-2010, 06:28 AM
I could swear I saw a tenor for under $200 not too long ago. Have you checked all of the online brands and done a few shopping searches?