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View Full Version : Thinking about switching to Baritone Uke--have to sell my Stagg electric--Crazy?



oldrookie
01-25-2011, 04:28 PM
I bought my first uke last summer, a Stagg solid body electric (Les Paul style.) Concert scale. Just in time to go spend a few hours at UWC.

I've been playing bass for a few years, so this was a HUGE change and I found it very enjoyable. I like the concert, but there are times when I wish for an acoustic sound and for a larger fretboard. The difference between the bass and the concert is really dramatic and I feel really cramped on the concert scale. I don't think I'm playing the uke much anymore because of those two issues.

Finally started taking bass lessons (after working on my own for a couple of years) and the store where I take them has a used Greg Bennett Samick UK 70 B. I've really fallen for the sound and the larger fret board.

Sorta makes sense, I guess, as the baritone is on the low end of things and that's where my main instrument is as well.

So, not wishing to do anything rash, I found a child's guitar at Goodwill for $15.00 and dropped two strings and set it up as a baritone. I am loving the sound and the feel. It's a cheap Chinese-made plywood guitar and one string rattles when I strum too hard, but it seems to be confirming that I am a baritone player at heart.

I'd have to let the Stagg go to get the baritone and I always struggle with seller's remorse before I pull the trigger. Not so much once I've done the deal.

So, sigh... no real question I suppose...just looking to more experienced players for thoughts and advice.

RyanMFT
01-25-2011, 05:53 PM
I can offer no help whatsoever, but a good friend of mine plays baritone and he has a great blog for baritone ukulele.....there may be something that can help you there. His blogs include lots of great resources.
http://humblebaritonics.blogspot.com/

oldrookie
01-25-2011, 06:06 PM
Thank you. A very interesting site.

kissing
01-25-2011, 06:08 PM
Baritone ukes are my primary instruments. They're brilliant!
If you like the sound and feel, go for it!

RyanMFT
01-25-2011, 06:09 PM
Glad to pass it along. Fee free to email him, "Humble Uker" a.k.a. Jeff is a really cool, very giving guy.

Kimosabe
01-25-2011, 06:24 PM
Hi,

I play both tenor and baritone with a little concert every once in a while. I love the baritone because I have a baritone voice and because of the finger room, although some stretches are much easier on a smaller instrument. So, here's what I suggest:

Get yourself two baritones. String one DGBE and the other GCEA. Use low 4th strings on both. Get yourself a good Kala baritone and a good Mainland baritone and get both with built in pickups. You'll have everything except a high g at your disposal.------kimosabe

Richie23
01-25-2011, 09:34 PM
I agree with Kimosabe, you should aim for two Bari's, one tuned DGBE, the other GCEA. A good starter Bari is the Kala KA-B, and it shouldn't break the bank. I recommend you fit DGBE Worth Browns to whatever you buy, as they bring the instrument alive and as they are all non-wound, last much better than Aquilas or D'Addario or Martin strings. It's a shame you can't keep your Stagg too. Have you checked out the Makala Bari. There really inexpensive, but sound terrific.

oldrookie
01-26-2011, 12:27 AM
Excellent suggestions. I'll give them all serious thought.

I do love the Mainland instruments, but they are really outside my price. Great instruments and I will likely have one at some point, but with one kid about the graduate from college, another to start in the fall and one still at home, discretionary funds are limited.

Not sure I won't hold off for a time. The Stagg, while available, is not that common and it's fun to have an instrument not seen every day.

Have played the Makala bari at another local store. May have to swing by again today.

Thank you for helping me deal with my angst.

Kimosabe
01-26-2011, 03:48 AM
Great minds think alike. Since financial restraints are a factor I'd say follow Ritchie's advice and go for an inexpensive Kala baritone and get it from musicguymic because he sets them up, includes a case, has free shipping, and is just an all around good bloke. At least, look at his prices. I started with a Kala baritone which got me hooked on ukes. I think it cost me about $150. I was amazed by the richness of tone.

Oh, by the way, I notice that Ritchie has an archtop. I have two because I loved my first one so much, I bought another to keep at work. Good taste.

PoisonDart
01-26-2011, 06:19 AM
I love my lanikai baritone, it is my most playe uke. Doooo it!!

HumbleUker
01-26-2011, 06:42 AM
Worth Brown strings are all nylon. I have played them once on a friends old Vega baritone ukulele. I think I will need to try these out on one of my baris. I have two vintage 1950-60 baris as well as two concerts (one high-G the other low) I have found that the set-up of your ukulele is quite important. MusicGuyMic has an excellent reputation. The Kalas are beautiful but I am thinking of going for a Pono or a well-set-up vintage Favilla @ $400. I go by the philosophy of getting the best ukulele you can afford. If you spend a lot of time with your instrument, why not treat yourself? I think I would also like electric hook-ups.

To all baritone ukulele players:
I am always looking for good baritone ukulele resources, and manage the blog: Humble Baritonics. If you have the time stop by, check it out and leave a comment. I try to make this site interesting with player photos, week focus videos and posts, links to baritone tablature. If you have something to share I would be glad to hear from you. Jeff

SweetWaterBlue
01-26-2011, 07:04 AM
Jeff - you should put a link to your sites in your profile. That way it shows up on every post. Most of us do it with our YT channels, but you can have more than one.

oldrookie
01-26-2011, 06:18 PM
Thank all you again.

HumbleUker, have wandered around your site. Lots of good info.

oldrookie
01-28-2011, 10:01 AM
So I packed up my concert solid-body electric and drove to the store that has the Greg Bennett baritone. Was really thinking I'd trade it in toward the baritone, but wanted to play the baritone again before I moved on it.

The thing really is beautiful, but I have been playing the cheap child-sized guitar and I decided I like the sound of steel strings better. The two nylon strings just sounded "plinky" and I couldn't fret an A without a bit of buzz.

Left without it.

I have no idea what strings are on the Samick and wanted some recommendations for strings that don't sound "plinky" before I trade away a somewhat unique uke for it.

Any baritone players that are really happy with a deep, rich sounding BE on their uke?

SweetWaterBlue
01-28-2011, 10:39 AM
My feelings come and go on it. When I first got into baritones I thought I should probably just sell everything else. After a month of so the feeling went away and I started playing mostly my tenor. Then I went through another soprano phase. Right now, I playing my soprano and tenor about equally, depending on the song and whether I want a high or low G.

I picked up one of my baritones today and started playing an old country and western song without bothering to change the chord patterns. Wow, I was just blown away at how much better it fit my voice. Then, I remembered that it was 5 semitones lower than my tenor, so I transposed the song down 5 semitones and the tenor redeemed itself. My tenor is a lot easier to play than my baritones, but that is just me.

Long story short, I wouldn't pack any of them away right away - your tastes may change tomorrow.

Richie23
01-28-2011, 10:59 AM
I suggest to try playing a Bari with Worth strings. Personally, I like Worth Browns, and have ditched everything else. As I previously stated, is it not possible for you to keep the Stagg, and pick up a cheap Bari like the Makala.

oldrookie
01-28-2011, 11:16 AM
SweetWaterBlue- I know the feeling. Go through it all the time with my bass gear. So I have five that all sound different. I play whatever I feel fits what I hear in my head at any given moment, so that may indeed be part of my angst here.

Richie23- I will likely do as you suggest and keep the Stagg. Can come up with money for an inexpensive, yet decent, baritone before too long. I get anxious to relieve the UAS, I suppose.

May take a run to another store tomorrow. They carry Makala and I know they have baritone in stock. Not as pretty, but perhaps it'll sound even better.

Ambrosius
01-28-2011, 01:44 PM
Great site. Thks.

oldrookie
01-29-2011, 10:23 AM
So, last night in an effort to find the string buzz, I ended up breaking the D string.

Put a new set of Martin light strings on and problem solved. No more buzz.

Sounds very sweet, but full.

oldrookie
04-25-2011, 07:42 AM
So I decided the time had come to let the Stagg electric go to a new home. Took it over to a local vintage guitar store to put it on consignment sale. Couple of customers wandered over to see what I had (it's a very local, very guitar oriented hangout--cool place.) I pulled it out and said, "It's a Les Paul style uke."

One of the guys said, "Emphasis on the less." Thought it was pretty funny.

The owner plugged it into a killer amp and started playing it. Sounded great. If I could play like that I probably wouldn't sell it.

Still, I've decided I pretty much an acoustic baritone player.