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View Full Version : 6 string and 8 string baritones - your thoughts?



mds725
03-02-2012, 08:15 AM
I just noticed at Kanile'a's website (http://kanileaukulele.com/k-1_baritone.php?osCsid=92997673496ea6d796bc8e918334 abf4)that Kanile'a offers 6 strings and 8 strings as an option on its baritones. (kanile'a also offers a five string baritone, but I'm not that interested in one of those.) That got me to wondering what 6-string and 8-strings sound like and what it would be like to play one. I appreciate the differences in sound between my 8-string and 4-string tenors; the sound is more full and, to my ears, a little more "folksy," and playing an 8-string presents its own challenges. However, I've never heard (live) or played a 6-string or 8-string baritone. If you've played one (of any ukulele maker, not just Kanile'a), please post what you thought of the ukulele(s) you played. Thanks!

SailingUke
03-02-2012, 08:37 AM
hey mds725,
Check with Aaron or Gordon @Mya-Moe, there are probably some videos with their 6 string bari.
This weekend is their Gorge Fest, so I would wait until next week.

#635 is looking good, the color will change when the oil goes on.

southcoastukes
03-02-2012, 08:40 AM
You don't see a lot of them at this point, and I've not played one, so I won't comment on that.

From a string perspective, however, I can tell you this. These instruments offer one option that really just doesn't work that well on a Tenor - the chance to use unwound sets and play in the key of C.

We've never offered a "low G" unwound 4th for the standard 17" Tenor scale - to us no unwound material performs to our standards there. Go up to 20", however, the standard Baritone scale, and now it becomes a very viable option. "Low A" @ 17" on a 6-string set (your low octave 1st) is not quite as bad, but given it's location, the thinner diameter @ 20" makes it much more playable.

We make unwound sets for both 6 and 8 strings, and in both cases you would tune up a step to D for a standard 17" Tenor, but on a standard Baritone, they'll set up in C.

mds725
03-02-2012, 12:39 PM
hey mds725,
Check with Aaron or Gordon @Mya-Moe, there are probably some videos with their 6 string bari.
This weekend is their Gorge Fest, so I would wait until next week.

Thanks for the good idea. According to Mya-Moe's website's uke-finder function (under "gallery"), Mya-Moe has made two 6-string baritones. I'll ask about a sound sample, but I didn't find anything on YouTube.


#635 is looking good, the color will change when the oil goes on.

Thanks! I've seen some finished ukes made of similar wood and it turns a nice brown color after oiling. The hardest part of waiting has been seeing the ukulele sitting at step 5 for a week while Gordon and Char have been preparing for the Gorge Festival. (Wish I could have gone. It sounds like fun.) But I've waited this long already, and watching the ukulele get built step by step has been cool.


From a string perspective, however, I can tell you this. These instruments offer one option that really just doesn't work that well on a Tenor - the chance to use unwound sets and play in the key of C.

We've never offered a "low G" unwound 4th for the standard 17" Tenor scale - to us no unwound material performs to our standards there. Go up to 20", however, the standard Baritone scale, and now it becomes a very viable option. "Low A" @ 17" on a 6-string set (your low octave 1st) is not quite as bad, but given it's location, the thinner diameter @ 20" makes it much more playable.

We make unwound sets for both 6 and 8 strings, and in both cases you would tune up a step to D for a standard 17" Tenor, but on a standard Baritone, they'll set up in C.

Thanks for pointing that out, Dirk. I wouldn't have thought of it. It's great to know, in case I get a 6-string or 8-string baritone, that Southcoast makes strings for them :)

Kristin and Joe Sousa of Kanile'a Ukulele are going to be in the Bay Area sometime soon to present workshops on their ukuleles. I may email them and ask them if they could bring along a 6-string or 8-string baritone. Otherwise, I'll have to do the Kanile'a factory tour the next time I'm in O'ahu. I'm not really sure anyone other than Mya-Moe or a custon luthier makes a 6-string baritone, or that anyone other than Kanile'a makes an 8-string baritone.

Paul December
03-02-2012, 01:00 PM
Wouldn't an 8 string Baritone basically be a Renaissance guitar?
...similar scale length, 4 paired strings, GG CC EE AA
Dirk would probably know best.

southcoastukes
03-02-2012, 01:06 PM
Wouldn't an 8 string Baritone basically be a Renaissance guitar?
...similar scale length, 4 paired strings, GG CC EE AA
Dirk would probably know best.

Not sure if that's Renaissance tuning or not - I've also heard DGBE (doubled). Our strings would set up in your tuning, Paul.

1931jim
03-02-2012, 01:55 PM
Hello mds725,
Here is a thread from the 24th Feb. last that makes for good reading for you. Some of the family were also there at that time.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?61162-6-string-discussion
1931jim

mds725
03-02-2012, 02:14 PM
Wouldn't an 8 string Baritone basically be a Renaissance guitar?
...similar scale length, 4 paired strings, GG CC EE AA
Dirk would probably know best.

Wouldn't the G and C strings (or the D and G strings, if one uses regular baritone tuning) be octaved instead of paired, as is the case with a tenor 8-string? For that matter, couldn't one also octave the A string on an 8-string baritone (or tenor), as is generally the case with the A string on a 6-string ukulele?

1931jim
03-02-2012, 02:27 PM
You are correct, I octave the Dd and Gg on my regular tuned DGBE baritone rehab.
PS: I had to use .020 fishing line for the high g because there wasn't any strings locally.

Paul December
03-02-2012, 02:29 PM
Wouldn't the G and C strings (or the D and G strings, if one uses regular baritone tuning) be octaved instead of paired, as is the case with a tenor 8-string? For that matter, couldn't one also octave the A string on an 8-string baritone (or tenor), as is generally the case with the A string on a 6-string ukulele?

I was referring to a Renaissance guitar that is of similar size as a Baritone uke. While watching a video of one on YouTube, the musician states it is tuned GG CC EE AA

Flyke
03-02-2012, 04:18 PM
Here's a video of a 6 string Myamoe Baritone

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UywPq8n6_9A

Very nice

hmgberg
03-02-2012, 04:22 PM
And, here's a video of an 8-string Mele:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqC2vqq_ilE

UncleElvis
03-02-2012, 04:35 PM
I just got my first baritone and I just love it!

And just last night, playing it at a gig for the first time, I was thinking about what it'd sound like in 5-, 6- or 8-string, with a couple of strings octaved up to give it some high end... and here is this thread!
Gotta love UU, no?

Thanks for the videos... now I realize I need to make a grajillion dollars, rather than the bajillion I was planning, so I can afford them all.

mds725
03-02-2012, 05:36 PM
Thanks, Flyke and hmgberg for the video links. I'd love to know what they're like to play, but they're hard to come by.


I was referring to a Renaissance guitar that is of similar size as a Baritone uke. While watching a video of one on YouTube, the musician states it is tuned GG CC EE AA

My confusion. You had asked, "Wouldn't an 8 string Baritone basically be a Renaissance guitar?" so I thought you were suggesting that both instruments had the same tuning. My apologies.

TheCraftedCow
03-02-2012, 07:48 PM
A tenor can be tuned with Dd Gg BB EE strings from Aquila. They also make a octaved set for the baritone. If you are are only interested in strumming, you might like dd s dd s arrangement. It drives me nuts!! either multiple all of them or none of them. . A tiple with dbl trpl trpl dbl is much easier for playing melody than a six stringer.

ichadwick
03-03-2012, 03:09 AM
I'd love an 8-string baritone, but it doesn't show up on Mele's website. Perhaps discontinued?