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luluwrites
05-31-2012, 04:42 AM
I'm struggling still with vocabulary, so if this isn't clear, please let me know.

I found a cheap baritone in my garage, got it strung by a guy who happens to be an accomplished luthier, and have been playing around with it.

I expected it to be more difficult to play because of the distance between the frets. I can bar with my index and stretch about seven frets on my soprano and expected to be able to do two or three on the bari. That turned out to be true.

What I didn't expect was how much more force would be needed to make chords sound right. I have to press really hard on the strings to make a G chord sing, for example.

My question is: Do I need to use a lot of extra pressure because this is a baritone or because the baritone I am playing is a not-so-great instrument?

My ten year old daughter wants to take up the baritone and I'm willing to help her finance the purchase of a Mainland if the answer is that a better baritone will not require such effort, but if the answer is that baritones simply take stronger finger/hand/wrist muscles, I will dissuade her.

Clear? Not clear?
Help!

and thanks in advance!

Bill Mc
05-31-2012, 06:49 AM
How is the baritone tuned and how high is the action ? My Lanikai baritone tuned DGBE takes little effort to fret.

DeVineGuitars
05-31-2012, 07:01 AM
If it's properly set up it should be as easy to play as any other uke or guitar. Level frets and proper set up are the key.

luluwrites
05-31-2012, 07:08 AM
It is tuned traditionally (DGBE) with what I believe are Aquila baritone strings. I may have made the improper assumption that since the luthier replaced the damaged nut and strung it, that he also did a complete set up. It is decidedly more difficult to play than my Mainland soprano or a friend's Cordoba tenor and requires a significant amount of increased pressure to fret.

I'm going to check out the action more carefully now. Thank you for your help, Bill and Eric.

mm stan
05-31-2012, 07:27 AM
Aloha Lulu,
You can also drop tune it to F# or F and it will improve playability and comfort....yes less tension on the strings...
also like mentioned...your action may be high....(string height from frets to string)
And Types of strings...slinky(skinny) and a soft compound.... Good Luck and happy strummings..

luluwrites
05-31-2012, 07:49 AM
Thank you, Stan! I'll give that a try.

So, are you all saying that a baritone, properly set up as one from Mainland would be, should be okay for my ten year old?

No. I don't intend to sneak into her room and play it while she's at school. Wouldn't dream of it. Really. Why do you ask?

jackwhale
05-31-2012, 08:20 AM
I gave my 6 yo grandson (he's now 8) a baritone. He's had no problem. I told him that the baritone would be an easy transition to the guitar later. That seemed to work.

Now he asks me why I don't play my guitars any more. Sometimes transitions work both ways. :)

mm stan
05-31-2012, 08:24 AM
My friends four year old likes his tenor...hee hee

luluwrites
05-31-2012, 08:34 AM
My friends four year old likes his tenor...hee hee

She likes my soprano, but really wants to play guitar. Knowing her as I do, I suspect that the relative difficulty of the guitar would frustrate her and she'd give up too soon. I've told her that the baritone is a stepping stone (gateway drug?) and she's keen. And if she gives up, I'll have another ukulele to play with. So, win-win.

mm stan
05-31-2012, 09:14 AM
Here is my friends son on an earlier age...at 1 year 9 months...hee hee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOwG7rawk-g&list=UUzxOs-g_v-cJ9isJzY9r5xw&index=7&feature=plcp

mds725
05-31-2012, 10:09 AM
She likes my soprano, but really wants to play guitar. Knowing her as I do, I suspect that the relative difficulty of the guitar would frustrate her and she'd give up too soon. I've told her that the baritone is a stepping stone (gateway drug?) and she's keen. And if she gives up, I'll have another ukulele to play with. So, win-win.


Playing a baritone incentivized me to buy a tenor guitar set up with DGBE tuning. To be honest, I began playing the ukulele after years of being frustrated with the size and more-strings-than-fretting-fingers characteristic of guitars, but I really like the guitar sound. In buying a DGBE steel string tenor guitar, I achieved guitar nirvana with an instrument that produces a guitar-like sound but only has four strings. I still play my ukuleles a lot more than the tenor guitar and don't think of a baritone as having been a stepping stone to conventional guitars for me, but with DGBE tuning, it probably does make the transition to guitars somewhat easier.

luluwrites
05-31-2012, 10:15 AM
Oh my dog, that is so cute!


Here is my friends son on an earlier age...at 1 year 9 months...hee hee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOwG7rawk-g&list=UUzxOs-g_v-cJ9isJzY9r5xw&index=7&feature=plcp

luluwrites
05-31-2012, 10:24 AM
Thanks for this. I think she wants a guitar sound -- and guitar cool. I really think that if she gets into the baritone, she'll be happy. And I'll be happy for her! :)




Playing a baritone incentivized me to buy a tenor guitar set up with DGBE tuning. To be honest, I began playing the ukulele after years of being frustrated with the size and more-strings-than-fretting-fingers characteristic of guitars, but I really like the guitar sound. In buying a DGBE steel string tenor guitar, I achieved guitar nirvana with an instrument that produces a guitar-like sound but only has four strings. I still play my ukuleles a lot more than the tenor guitar and don't think of a baritone as having been a stepping stone to conventional guitars for me, but with DGBE tuning, it probably does make the transition to guitars somewhat easier.

mm stan
05-31-2012, 11:02 AM
would be easier for her first learning on a soprano....even with her attraction to the baritone...which may give her more incentive to continue....and not lose intrest due to learning difficulties of size

GaryC1968
05-31-2012, 11:08 AM
Playing a baritone incentivized me to buy a tenor guitar set up with DGBE tuning. To be honest, I began playing the ukulele after years of being frustrated with the size and more-strings-than-fretting-fingers characteristic of guitars, but I really like the guitar sound. In buying a DGBE steel string tenor guitar, I achieved guitar nirvana with an instrument that produces a guitar-like sound but only has four strings. I still play my ukuleles a lot more than the tenor guitar and don't think of a baritone as having been a stepping stone to conventional guitars for me, but with DGBE tuning, it probably does make the transition to guitars somewhat easier.

That is my instrument of choice these days. I love the sound a steel string acoustic with the ease of 4 strings. Getting the calouses built up takes a little time, but it's worth it.

luluwrites
05-31-2012, 11:17 AM
would be easier for her first learning on a soprano....even with her attraction to the baritone...which may give her more incentive to continue....and not lose intrest due to learning difficulties of size

She's been playing my soprano -- but yeah, seems like I should encourage her to keep at that for a while.