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Graceelsie
03-21-2011, 01:32 PM
Hello there folks.

I have been playing uke since Christmas. It started off with me owning an acoustic soprano, then I added an electro-acoustic concert. I thought getting two ukes in such a short space of time was profligate of me but as of this morning and some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, I have three - a Blue Moon baritone joined the family.

I have to confess my music theory knowledge could fit on the back of a postage stamp. I learn the chord shapes and play from songbooks groups post online. I have no idea about low Gs and high Gs and re-entrant this that and the other. I hope to find out more when the Ukulele for Dummies book I have on pre-order from Amazon comes out, but as a chronically ill person and a carer, I feel c**p most of the time and have trouble getting my head round stuff. I just like to pick it up and play.

I guess I had ideas of the baritone fulfilling the following roles: a) playing it in our new little local uke club full of sopranos and concerts it would add something on the low end of the spectrum and b) I could pick "bass lines" on it. I have no idea whether it actually lends itself best to those ideas.. basically I just wanted one! I do want to ask though... bearing in mind what I have said, do I keep it tuned as is, or do I change the tuning? I don't mind learning two sets of names for the various chord shapes, I just want to know which sounds best for what I want it for.

If this makes no sense, please don't laugh, educate me gently, lol

OldePhart
03-21-2011, 02:23 PM
We call the ailment you've discovered yourself to be suffering from "UAS" (Ukulele Aquisition Syndrome). Many of us here are infected with UAS. There is no known cure - but purchasing a new Ukulele provides temporary relief from symptoms.

To add to your UAS I'll mention that, if you are really interested in playing bass lines, Kala makes a nifty little "UBASS" - it is basically a baritone uke with huge fat rubber strings that play in the same octave as a "real" bass guitar. :evilgrin:

Welcome to the forum.

John

HoldinCoffee
03-21-2011, 03:34 PM
I still remember my first bari, I loved it so much, I play bari amost exclusively now. As for the tuning, there are many options for tuning a baritone, a very convenient excuse to acquire another baritone! JOY!! Its an extremely versitile instrument so you should have no problem playing with the other ukes in your club. If you have any questions about it, don't hesitate to ask the forum, there are a LOT of baritone ukers on this site. Rock-on!

mm stan
03-21-2011, 03:40 PM
Aloha Graceelsie,
Welcome to the UU and our forums..and the ukulele...congrats on your new ukuleles...have fun and enjoy...check this site out for tunings...if you still need help ask http://www.ukuleles.com/SetupnCare/TenorTune.html and google Musicteacher2010 and Keonepax for awesome ukulele video tutorials....and Dr uke can help you
with the baritone ...plus the chords, songs, and instruction...Happy Strummings...see ya around the forums....MM Stan

Graceelsie
03-21-2011, 03:48 PM
ooooo, UBASS, want one, lol!

Graceelsie
03-21-2011, 03:53 PM
I still remember my first bari, I loved it so much, I play bari amost exclusively now. As for the tuning, there are many options for tuning a baritone, a very convenient excuse to acquire another baritone! JOY!! Its an extremely versitile instrument so you should have no problem playing with the other ukes in your club. If you have any questions about it, don't hesitate to ask the forum, there are a LOT of baritone ukers on this site. Rock-on!

Hmm, one for each tuning...now that IS a good excuse! lol

Ambient Doughnut
03-22-2011, 01:05 AM
So, I'm guessing your baritone has come in DGBE tuning? This is the most normal for a baritone and is the same as the 4 highest strings on a guitar. You can use chord shapes that you're familiar with and you'll just be playing the same song but 5 semitones lower. However, if you want to play with others you'll need to learn a new set of chords for each song.

Enjoy your new addiction. I'm up to 4 now and am eyeing up a 5th. :)

ichadwick
03-22-2011, 01:10 AM
Picking out bass lines really requires a bass instrument. The Ubass, or any standard bass will work (even the slack-tuned Kona Walking bass is a nice accompaniment). A baritone isn't low enough in pitch to substitute as a bass. Besides the strings you really want - the low E and A on a guitar - are missing.

Because it is tuned several steps lower (a fourth, or five frets lower), it can add a nice harmonic overtone, if you play along with other ukes. You just have to learn some different chord shapes for the keys (a C on a standard uke is 0003, and on a baritone it is 2010 for example). That's just a matter of practice.

Or you can pick out lead parts on it.

I have a couple of baritones and one tuned to high-D, instead of the more common low-D. I think it makes it sound sweeter, more uke-like.

lozarkman
03-22-2011, 01:59 AM
I have three baritones and play them 80% of the time. I have one tuned G tuning (DGBE) and one tuned C tuning low G and one tuned to C tuning High G. They all have their particular place in what i feel like playing and some songs. As to chords, No, you don't have to learn new chord shapes for the two tunings. They are exactly the same for both tunings. BUT they will have different chord names. You will simply need to learn the two chord names for each chord shape. Ichadwick is correct in that the C has two different looking chord shapes, however it is easier to just remember that 0003 is a C in C tuning and a G in G tuning. It works for each chord shape in all forms, major, 7ths, minors, etc. At first it might seem a bit overwhelming to remember the two chord names for the same chord shape, but after awhile, it will come naturally and seem easy. As to playing with other groups. A C chord is a C chord, a G a G , etc. so as long as you are playing the same chord sequences, you will be fine. As to the Bass notes, the G tuning won't offer you so much a bass line to pick as just a few extra notes in the lower range to pick from. The G in G tuning will give you the same G as a low G in C tuning, but you will have the D below that G to pick from. Hope this isn't all too confusing. Just trying to help. :) Lozark

Viola Harpstrings
03-22-2011, 10:59 AM
I started out with a baritone uke, last fall. I was progressing v-e-r-y slowly on it, as I've never been any good on guitar. I bought myself a wonderful concert uke for Christmas, and I love it. Then, by BGF gave me a cheap soprano to use to knock around with. So, I've been afflicted with the UAS too.
I want to change the strings on the bari to something nicer and easier to play, but I don't know what to do. I'd like it to sounds more ukey than like a guitar. Any suggestions?

kenikas
03-22-2011, 11:11 AM
I started out with a baritone uke, last fall. I was progressing v-e-r-y slowly on it, as I've never been any good on guitar. I bought myself a wonderful concert uke for Christmas, and I love it. Then, by BGF gave me a cheap soprano to use to knock around with. So, I've been afflicted with the UAS too.
I want to change the strings on the bari to something nicer and easier to play, but I don't know what to do. I'd like it to sounds more ukey than like a guitar. Any suggestions?
Aquila GCEA strings, and change the G to a low g. I have one of my Bari's tuned that way and love it. MGM sells the strings quite reasonably priced.

Richie23
03-22-2011, 11:20 AM
The Blue Moon Bari normally comes with cheap GCEA strings, which to be honest, are not of the best quality. I suggest you get some better strings for it, such as Worths or Aquilas. I have the same uke, (aquired due to UAS), and it has a scale length somewhere between a big Tenor and a small Bari. I put D'Addario DGBE strings on mine, but found they are a touch loose, so you might find a set of Tenor DGBE strings might give better tension. I mostly play mine unaccompanied, so tune mine D# G# C F, which sounds great on this uke. If you prefer gCEA, or GCEA, you should get Aquilas. You will become addicted to the Bari sound I'm sure. Have fun.

Graceelsie
03-22-2011, 11:58 AM
So, I'm guessing your baritone has come in DGBE tuning? This is the most normal for a baritone and is the same as the 4 highest strings on a guitar. You can use chord shapes that you're familiar with and you'll just be playing the same song but 5 semitones lower. However, if you want to play with others you'll need to learn a new set of chords for each song.

Enjoy your new addiction. I'm up to 4 now and am eyeing up a 5th. :)

Yep, its DGBE and for the moment at least I am planning to keep it that way, even though it is slightly doing my head in when I have to play what I know as a C to get a G or what I know as an F to get a C! However it's probably back to the music shop tomorrow because I have a problem with the E string and I don't understand what's wrong or how to fix it. As you progress up the string the tuning, which I have carefully gotten right when open, gets more and more out with each fret, until by the ninth it's a semitone out. Go back down the frets and back to the open string and it gradually goes back to perfect again. I could hear there was a problem right from the start - every time I played a G chord in particular it sounded really naff - but with my lack of music theory it took a while to figure out what was going on.

Ambient Doughnut
03-22-2011, 12:03 PM
Intonation issue - You could get lots of advice here about adjusting nut/bridge height but yes, back to the shop is your best bet. Let them sort it!
:)

Graceelsie
03-22-2011, 12:24 PM
Picking out bass lines really requires a bass instrument. The Ubass, or any standard bass will work (even the slack-tuned Kona Walking bass is a nice accompaniment). A baritone isn't low enough in pitch to substitute as a bass. Besides the strings you really want - the low E and A on a guitar - are missing.

Because it is tuned several steps lower (a fourth, or five frets lower), it can add a nice harmonic overtone, if you play along with other ukes. You just have to learn some different chord shapes for the keys (a C on a standard uke is 0003, and on a baritone it is 2010 for example). That's just a matter of practice.

Or you can pick out lead parts on it.

I have a couple of baritones and one tuned to high-D, instead of the more common low-D. I think it makes it sound sweeter, more uke-like.

I have done some listening to UBASS on Youtube and it's definitely interesting! I have also done some listening to the various tuning options. For the time being I am just worrying about getting my head round the different chord shapes... it's a bit like trying to learn two different languages at once that use the same words to mean different things, and sometimes getting muddled and ending up saying "my reindeer is up a tree" by accident!

Graceelsie
03-22-2011, 12:41 PM
As to the Bass notes, the G tuning won't offer you so much a bass line to pick as just a few extra notes in the lower range to pick from. The G in G tuning will give you the same G as a low G in C tuning, but you will have the D below that G to pick from. Hope this isn't all too confusing. Just trying to help. :) Lozark

This is all very helpful, thanks to all of you who have commented. As soon as I get my problem with the one string sorted out, I have a feeling I will be enjoying this new addition to the family immensely.

The problem with the UAS thing is that there are two of us new uke players in the family.. me and hubby now have five between us and have given away two cheap Mahalos to entice friends into the fold.. and this could get seriously silly! Plus we intend to be moving out of a house and into live-in vehicle/s at some point in the next couple of years (campervan towing caravan) so space is at a premium. One of the original plus points of getting into ukes was they were a small instrument... this doesn't work if you need an extra trailer because you have ten or fifteen of them, lol. Hubby wants a full electric, I have my eye on a UBASS (thanks folks!), a banjolele, and possibly one of those RISA stick electrics (not sure yet if I want a full electric, but they do look funky!) I also have other disorders - a growing PIAS (percussion instrument) and a KAS (kazoos - wooden, metal, plastic, electric so far.. eyeing up the one with the little horn attached and the ones that look like musical instruments). Thankfully money is usually a great limitation, when its not birthday or Christmas and I am getting pressy dosh!

Graceelsie
03-22-2011, 12:49 PM
Intonation issue - You could get lots of advice here about adjusting nut/bridge height but yes, back to the shop is your best bet. Let them sort it!
:)

Thanks! I wouldn't feel confident messing with nuts and bridges and things this early in my ukeing career! LOL

OldePhart
03-22-2011, 01:16 PM
Yep, its DGBE and for the moment at least I am planning to keep it that way, even though it is slightly doing my head in when I have to play what I know as a C to get a G or what I know as an F to get a C! However it's probably back to the music shop tomorrow because I have a problem with the E string and I don't understand what's wrong or how to fix it. As you progress up the string the tuning, which I have carefully gotten right when open, gets more and more out with each fret, until by the ninth it's a semitone out. Go back down the frets and back to the open string and it gradually goes back to perfect again. I could hear there was a problem right from the start - every time I played a G chord in particular it sounded really naff - but with my lack of music theory it took a while to figure out what was going on.

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen intonation that far out. If it was a sudden jump I'd say you have some unlevel frets (a high fret can make the string fret higher than the fret you're pressing at). I can't even think of anything that could drive it that far off. Well, yes I can, actually - it may be a bad string or a string of the wrong gage of string.

Ambrosius
03-23-2011, 12:39 AM
Wow, I don't think I've ever seen intonation that far out. If it was a sudden jump I'd say you have some unlevel frets (a high fret can make the string fret higher than the fret you're pressing at). I can't even think of anything that could drive it that far off. Well, yes I can, actually - it may be a bad string or a string of the wrong gage of string.

A semitone? Hmm ... must be a very, very and very again, bad string with uneven distribution of mass (thickness).

Graceelsie
03-23-2011, 02:26 AM
Intonation issue - You could get lots of advice here about adjusting nut/bridge height but yes, back to the shop is your best bet. Let them sort it!
:)

Yep, all sorted, phew!

Graceelsie
03-23-2011, 02:30 AM
A semitone? Hmm ... must be a very, very and very again, bad string with uneven distribution of mass (thickness).

String was changed, guy said it looked way too thin, new one works fine, no intonation issue at all .. but will still upgrade to some premium strings as soon as I possibly can.

OldePhart
03-23-2011, 12:49 PM
String was changed, guy said it looked way too thin, new one works fine, no intonation issue at all .. but will still upgrade to some premium strings as soon as I possibly can.

If you've got decent intonation now I wouldn't be in a hurry to change strings if you're on a budget. I'd order some strings now but I wouldn't change them until you've worn out the ones on the uke. Get your use from them - as long as your intonation is decent the fact that better strings will sound a little nicer isn't going to have much affect on your practice sessions.

John