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View Full Version : True baritone? Opposite of tenor? Ukulele bass (not the kala way)



hey_day
05-12-2012, 02:52 AM
I've been thinking of an instrument that has a ukulele type body and scale Or size roughly. I'm a guitarist and to me the ukulele tuning is the same as the High 4 strings of a guitar with a capo at the 5th fret. What about an instrument the is the lower 4 strings at that same spot? So it would be tuned ADGC of even EADG or anywhere in between. I commonly have allot of things written on the guitar using the bass string rather than the higher string. I know I'm essentially explaining a tiny bodied bass but I don't want it to be that low of an octave or with that thick of a string. I'd like it to feel and sound like a ukulele but the lower end. I picture it being a baritone size and scal maybe a slightly larger body. Does anything like this exist? Can a baritone uke do this? Any thoughts?

hey_day
05-12-2012, 03:03 AM
Sorry posted this in the wrong forum, should be in uke talk if a moderator could mOve for me?

kissing
05-12-2012, 03:07 AM
yeah, just get a baritone uke and get the right strings.

Guadalupe has a custom baritone ukulele set that tunes to GCEA one octave lower than ukulele tuning, for example.
With the right strings, it can easily be done.

Some people also tuned their baritone uke as EADG, like a "piccolo bass".

hey_day
05-12-2012, 04:54 PM
Anyone have one like this? What kind if strings?

kissing
05-12-2012, 08:49 PM
Certain gauges of classical guitar strings would work.

southcoastukes
05-14-2012, 02:54 AM
One thing I would say about this idea is that these tunings are too low to sound good acoustically. If you're doing it with an amped Baritone in mind, then it would work fine. For a "Bass" intrument of some sort, I'd imagine most people are thinking that way to begin with.

We've had a "Piccolo Bass" on the drawing boards for a loooong time. Having to redo everything to comply with Lacey / CITES has set us back. Now that we're finally getting started again it's on track for this winter. It's on the body of a Parlour Guitar, and would be tuned EADG (also fretless). Even with the bigger body, we wouldn't think of it as an acoustic instrument. It will be our only instrument with a standard pick-up. Likely with a laminate top as well.

We actually already have strings online for it. They're the "squeak-free" flatwounds that have been so popular (on our flatwound page). They're for EADG on a 650mm scale, and even with those low notes, they're not terribly thick. They should give "Octave" Linear GCEA on a Baritone.

hey_day
05-14-2012, 11:47 AM
That's pretty close to what I had in mind, is there more info, pics, price? I was looking at mandolas or octave mandolin and tune it piccolo bass style with steel strings if I could find one dirt cheap to experiment with.

southcoastukes
05-14-2012, 12:17 PM
That's pretty close to what I had in mind, is there more info, pics, price? I was looking at mandolas or octave mandolin and tune it piccolo bass style with steel strings if I could find one dirt cheap to experiment with.

We're not supposed to put up links. For the Guitars, go to the Instruments section on the main site. No picture yet of a bass, nor even the Plectrum Guitar, for that matter though we've built some). The info is not all correct for that matter, but at least you can get a look at the body - it will be the same as the Tenor Guitar pictured.

For the strings, go to the String site - then bottom of the Flat Wound page.

hey_day
05-14-2012, 03:05 PM
So the piccolo bass is pretty much a tenor parlor sized guitar with different strings?

southcoastukes
05-14-2012, 04:25 PM
In our case, it's a Plectrum Guitar - 650mm scale, as opposed to the 23" Tenor Guitar - but fretless and tuned EADG - like 6th through 3rd guitar w/ a MiSi pick-up.

It's not something you'd play with guitars, for example - it would just blend in. But it's much lower than most ukulele tunings, and often true basses are so much lower than ukuleles that the huge difference can seem odd.

The way we're building it - fretless - lends itself to more of a traditional bass playing style. If you had something else in mind, you could always get the fretted Plectrum Guitar, add a MiSi, and string it with the Octave Bass strings.