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View Full Version : Preferred tuning for Baritone Ukulele, any advice !!!!!!!



ukuleledaveey
03-25-2012, 03:40 AM
Hi all not sure if this has been asked, probably has so i apologise. I purchased my first Baritone yesterday a good bargain off ebay a Kala K-B. Now i have been scouring t'net and i know the general tuning is DGBE, but i see that aquila do a set of strings in standard GCEA tuning, so I am wondering if i use the strings that are tuned at GCEA, does the baritone loose it's "Baritone" sound. I am hoping for answers from those in the know. I know that if i use the Aquila's in standard tuning then i havent fot to learn a load of new chord shapes, that is not a issue with me, i am happy to if it preserves the bari's tone, also i really dont want any wound strings, trying to get these is like hens teeth in my local shops, i might get some worths, i also see that kala has a new line of monofiliment red strings, but cant find them in the UK, or the new red aquilas.
Anyway could really do with some input, about the tuning side, so i await your advice before i print to many songs off in DGBE, in case i can stick with my GCEA song sheets, anyway thanks for taking the time to read cheers all.

Raygf
03-25-2012, 04:32 AM
Here is a baritone tuned gCEA (http://youtu.be/V4eAj6UmO_o) and I think it looses it's baritone sound. In a blind listening it would sound like a tenor to me.

I have two baritones, one tuned DGBE (http://youtu.be/Ve_a-z3_3jk) and the other FBbDG (http://youtu.be/XqGe-tP6Cl4) Southcoast Flat wound G650 (http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/fwound.htm) Linear strings. (In this video I have a capo on the 2nd fret for GCEA tuning. I really like these strings!) I have a few sets of other DGBE strings I want to try because I am not happy with the current strings I have on the DGBE Bari, but I like the instrument and the DGBE tuning for some songs. I hope this helps.

chris667
03-25-2012, 04:34 AM
I bought one last week. It is tuned GCEA, and while it sounds much "bigger" than my uke it sounds very different to most of the baritone uke music I've heard.

I'm buying another (it got sent to my dad's address; he took a shine to it!) which will probably be tuned DGBE. It means learning some new stuff, but I don't think learning's ever wasted!

ukuleledaveey
03-25-2012, 05:24 AM
Hi guys many thanks for you tips and advice, greatly appreciated, we have one other bari at our uke club i am going to ask his opinion tomorrow as well, the person i bought the uke off had it tuned to GCEA, but i think they are standard bari strings i dont know, i have retuned it to DGBE, but the strings make a lot of noise like they are under alot of pressure even with me tuning down.
Chris you are so right about learning, it is funny having ago at the nerw chord shapes, i feel like a total newbie again and i only started learning uke last year, it is funny every time i go to do a c chord i keep going for the first string as if it was gcea tuning :)

Raygf
03-25-2012, 05:50 AM
Hi guys many thanks for you tips and advice, greatly appreciated, we have one other bari at our uke club i am going to ask his opinion tomorrow as well, the person i bought the uke off had it tuned to GCEA, but i think they are standard bari strings i dont know, i have retuned it to DGBE, but the strings make a lot of noise like they are under alot of pressure even with me tuning down.
Chris you are so right about learning, it is funny having ago at the nerw chord shapes, i feel like a total newbie again and i only started learning uke last year, it is funny every time i go to do a c chord i keep going for the first string as if it was gcea tuning :)

If you tuned a set of GCEA strings down to DGBE you are getting a lot of noise because the strings are too loose (insert French painter joke here). When I first put the G650s on I tuned them DGBE and they were buzzing like crazy. Once I figured out what I had done and tuned up to FBbDG they sounded great. I know what you mean about switching chord shapes. I have played guitar for 40 years, ukes for 5 or 6 years and when I first tried to play baritone in a uke club setting last summer I was playing GCEA uke chords too. It gets easier to do with time.

ukuleledaveey
03-25-2012, 05:58 AM
Hi again Ray :) manythanks for your advice, yeah i never tuned the strings to gcea, but as i tuned them down you can hear the release of the tension, which is probably a good thing for the poor old bari , i have printed some songs off in dgbe so gonna get stuck in to them now, will see if any other advice or opinions come in then im gonna order some strings, im going to try worth browns i think all 4 strings are fluros anyway thanks for your help hope to see ya around on the forum have a good week kindest regards and keep on strummin :):shaka:

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
03-25-2012, 11:06 AM
I prefer standard (DGBE) tuning for a baritone, for sure. That big body (mine's a KA-B, too) sounds much more sweet when it produces those deeper notes. If you want to play your baritone tuned GCEA, just put a capo on the fifth fret and have at it.

ukuleledaveey
03-25-2012, 11:12 AM
Thanks Ralf :) had a go at learning some songs this afternoon,was making myslef chuckle as i was struggling with the chords and my fingers kept trying to do the GCEA chord shapes, and then i tried to play my soprano after, but was fun and a good challenge, thanks for your input, yeah i think i will stick with DGBE just gotta get some new strings sorted this week, enjoyd all your entries in the 6 seasons, fingers crossed for elvis non stop comp starting soon :)

Oh Ralf meant to ask, regarding the cappo, is it a uke cappo or standard guitar one, thanks for the tip :)

Hobo
03-25-2012, 11:44 AM
Glenn Rose uses GCEA tuning and gets some amazing sounds from a baritone ukulele. He uses a 'low' G which really adds to the richness of the tone. His website (www.jazzyukulele.com) has tons of information on his style of playing and tuning for the baritone ukulele.

Here's a very informative demo of using GCEA (with a low G) and the amazing jazz chords possible with just a few basic patterns.
http://youtu.be/TE6dmFSTDSc

Hippie Dribble
03-25-2012, 11:46 AM
hi Dave, funnily enough mate, in the last 3 weeks I've bought 2 baritones. One came strung DGBE and the other came strung GCEA.

To me there's no contest re my preference on the comparative tunings. I much prefer the lower DGBE tuning. Much warmer, richer sound that is perfect especially when you're fingerpicking. If you want to just strum out and have more volume, then maybe GCEA is a good way to go there. But for me I'd just like to get to kinow the instrument with the lower tuning.

here's a little sound comparison for you between the two tunings. First, here's the DGBE:


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

now here's the GCEA:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnC4fZbAPYU

the higher tuning certainly has a more conventional "ukey" sound, eh. You can always mitigate that a little with a Low G string though... Guess it's just a matter of personal preference though mate. Guess you already know to just move 5 steps up when you are transposing the chords mate??? So that an F on a standard song sheet becomes a C on the bari?

Anyway brother, cheers and have a ball with it Dave.For myself, I'm ashamed it's taken me this long to discover the joys of the baritone. Love em!!!! :)

ukuleledaveey
03-25-2012, 12:04 PM
thanx Hobbo and thanx Jon :) and thanx so much for the sound comparisons, i defianetly am drawn to the sound of DGBE, I am just not tokeen on wound strings, dont really have a reason to quote a pun i cant quite put my finger on a reason, i think i am going to defo order a set of worth baritone browns fluro's.
I've printed off chord charts and some songs with the chord shapes on to get me going, it is great and a bit challenging for the old grey matter but when it comes to the ukulele i dont get phased by challenges :)
Yeah i avoided baritones as well Jon, you are partly responsible for me diving on in and i named my bari after my late grandad and just realised it could also be a nod to you mate as my bari is called gee gee sounds like a part of eugine lol.
Love the painting of the goat in the background, we used to have a pet goat when i was younger. i used to dabble in water colour painting, but all my hobbies have been swept aside since discovering the uke last year, anyway thanks for your help guys.
Oh i have been trying to play green door and a song called margerittaville. i would love to have a go at some woody guthrie on the bari some time anyway chaps have a great week all the best from me :)

kaizersoza
03-25-2012, 12:28 PM
Hi Dave, Barry Maz has a ukulele chord book out and you can visit his blog page to get some of the chord shapes, i have been fancying a Bari, i was lookin at them the other day and to be honest you have all the chord shapes from playing GCEA you just need to transpose them from C to G, (i think) and bingo m8, i am thinking off getting a Bari as well they sound really deep and mysterious, good luck with your new uke

edit:- shoot Jon already mentioned the transposing bit sorry to repeat m8

Hippie Dribble
03-25-2012, 12:38 PM
know what you mean about the wound strings Dave. The ones on the orange uke are a cheap all nylon set. I much prefer the feel of them too.

ukuleledaveey
03-25-2012, 12:49 PM
Hi Kaizer, yeah i had a blinding deal on ebay saw it was in the next town i managed to get the uke for 50 and drove round to his house, he shut the listing and let me have it , which was really nice of him, i do like the sound of the bari,
Im gonna order some strings now online Jon, have you seenthere is now some called kala reds and aquila reds but cant find them in the uk, tried to order some from the states but they wouldnt deliver and somewhere else the shipping was quite high, im gonna order the worth browns try them first just cant wait to get that pesky wound string off lol.
Anyway cheers for all your help guys.

mm stan
03-25-2012, 01:32 PM
Generally you baritone will still have that my dog has flea tune like other ukes...I prefer alternative dropped tuning though ...for picking to make them richer sounding and the lower tension..
which helps playability and comfort, but regular tuning is fine for picking too also it fits my voice better dropped..and I can slow down the tempo....happy strummings..

ukuleledaveey
03-25-2012, 01:57 PM
many thanks stan , im just doing a massive online search for strings, not many options for sets with no wound strings, it is pretty much the worths, wish i could find some of those kala reds or the aquila reds ,but guess they will be in the uk eventually

mm stan
03-25-2012, 02:21 PM
Aloha Dave,
I bought the Rogue Baritone for 29.99 and it has all nylon strings... everybody puts them down....but I love them, since when I first started the baritone over three years ago...I have
tried many strings on my other baritones and love them too... but my rogue is my daily player though...it's a great picking bari, not much strummings for me.. sheesh it has thought me alot
even to tune by ear since the volume is louder and I can hear better...I even bought a second Rogue because I liked the factory strings so much..ha ha I called the company about the strings
and did not want to dilvuge where they get it or what they are...I guess protecting their trade secrets....he he I even asked for the factory, and got we don't give out that info from the
manager...ha ha had to ask though..LOL

ukuleledaveey
03-25-2012, 02:32 PM
Hi Stan, yeah for some reason i just dont like wound strings, and i dont know why,lol im certainly no fantastic uke player or know much , i guess it is just some preference i have, we seem to be quite limited here in the uk on strings, i cant justify paying abut 20 bucks for some strings from the u.s of a, i think i will give the worth browns a go and see how i go from there i hope they are ok as you get double lengths with worths :)
Yeah i certainly like the Baritone, i only got my first solid soprano in december and feel she is going to get slightly neglected now as i tackle the mighty baritone, anyway great to hear from you as ever , have a great week, warmest and kindest regards from me :)

lozarkman
03-25-2012, 03:03 PM
I guress I will wade in on this topic for a moment since I am a Bari "fanatic", as you can see from my signature. Yes I played tenors for awhile and like tenor a lot, but I have traded my tenors for Baris as I just love the sound and playing of a Bari. There is a lot said about the tunings on a Bari, but most accepted tunings are possible on a Bari, possibly more so than on the smaller Ukuleles. As to wound strings, I love them and use them a lot. I think it is mostly that I like a more clear, maybe sharper sound to my playing than the somewhat mellower, a bit more muffled sound I get from nylon strings. As to tunings, I do love the DGBE tuning as it is rich and full and does give a more "guitarish" sound (I use Martin and D'Aarrio strings), but my favorite tuning is Bb tuning with low F ( you can do a high F with Southcoastukes soft light string set for Bb tuning if you want a reentrant tuning in Bb). My favorite Bb strings are the southcoastukes G650 all metal classic. Yes I know = All Metal? Yes, but they give such a beautiful clear resonant sound I prefer them over all others. yes also it does take a small toughening of the fingers adjustment, but not like with a guitar, just not that much tension as on a guitar. All that said, I do still love the C tuning and tune with both low and high G. So let UAS kick in and get several Baris so you can tune to different tunings :) Lozark

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
03-25-2012, 03:12 PM
Thanks Ralf :) had a go at learning some songs this afternoon,was making myslef chuckle as i was struggling with the chords and my fingers kept trying to do the GCEA chord shapes, and then i tried to play my soprano after, but was fun and a good challenge, thanks for your input, yeah i think i will stick with DGBE just gotta get some new strings sorted this week, enjoyd all your entries in the 6 seasons, fingers crossed for elvis non stop comp starting soon :)

Oh Ralf meant to ask, regarding the cappo, is it a uke cappo or standard guitar one, thanks for the tip :)

Thanks! Six Seasons was a blast. So many great performances and such great spirit in that contest.

My favorite capo is the Shubb ukulele capo (http://www.shubb.com/uke/). It works on my Kamaka soprano, my Kala baritone, and all the ukes in between.

ukuleledaveey
03-25-2012, 03:21 PM
Many thanks lozark and thanks for the info :) wow you certainly have a few baritones :), im looking forward to hopefully learning on the baritone, still love my soprano as well .
Many thanks Ralf, will look into getting one of those capo's, i just ordered some worth browns, you get double lenght so basically got 2 sets of strings, i will see how i get on with those, any way havea great week kindest regards from me :)

ukuleledaveey
03-29-2012, 02:36 PM
Well i just thought i would add a little foot note, firstly thanks for all your advice and suggestions greatly appreciate it. And secondly i got my delivery of worth browns for the baritone today, now with my limited knowledge or lack of it :) i must say and i know it is only my personal opinion, but wow i lve these strings, they sound amazing to my untrained ears and they feel great on m fingers, i love them, very very tempted to get a set for my soprano now, and to see how they sound , i also love the fact that the baritone set are al fluros and no wound strings , just my preference.Anyway cheers for all your help.