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View Full Version : Re-entrant tuning on D baritone? Now there's an idea!



Ben_H
07-20-2012, 09:40 AM
I was in a fairly well known UK uke shop today trying baritones. I asked the chap if he had any that were strung as re-entrants. After several goes explaining that I meant high D and not a G tuning he looked at me a bit funny and said, "Never heard of that before, maybe you've come up with something new!"

Now, I've only been playing for about 10 weeks but have I imagined re-entrant baritones being the traditional way of doing things and the low D a more modern invention?

I said to the guy that I've seen re-entrant sets of strings for sale and he just seemed bemused.

Anyone else think it a bit odd?

ukuhippo
07-20-2012, 10:25 AM
Not odd at all. I tried it, like I tried lowDGBE, lowGCEA and the one-octave belowGCEA. My bari is still for sale, but I do find myself playing it more lately now I finally settled on tuning it highGCEA.

southcoastukes
07-20-2012, 10:37 AM
Hello Ben,

It is something fairly new. I've personally played that way for a long time, and we've been selling string sets for that set-up for around 5 years - our Heavy Gauge set.

We were the only ones doing this, but now over your way, Ken Middleton @ Living Water Strings sells a set for this.

Our is a plain set, as is Ken's. We've been working on a new string site for several months, and when it goes up, among a number of new sets will be a second Heavy Gauge set with a wound, polished 3rd string.

One thing to be careful of is what you said to the fellow in the store:


...explaining that I meant high D and not a G tuning

Whether your D string is high or low, you're still tuning to the key of G.

Here's a recent review on our strings - gives you an idea of the sound of this kind of tuning. Ryan Rodriguez does a nice job considering he's got something less than a perfect fretboard here (what do you expect on a $30 Baritone).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp6z1E4S1Zc&list=UUdrVayE3xQqbrVnIpi-z3EQ&index=1&feature=plcp

Ben_H
07-20-2012, 11:05 AM
I think I asked if he had any with re-entrant tuning and he was then talking about string tensions and whether a given uke could take a high G. I think when I said high D it took a few goes to get through.

I've now got a couple of Ken's sets of strings on two of my Sopranos and was thinking of putting some of his on the bari if and when I got one as I'm not keen on the wound strings. I will now of course have a look at yours too. :)

Chris Tarman
07-20-2012, 11:53 AM
My one and only baritone is strung with a set of Aquila High D unwound baritone strings. It sounds sweet!

mm stan
07-20-2012, 01:24 PM
I have been trying all types of alternate tuning on baritones for at least 3 years...not new to me at all.. even like to C,F, A, D or C#, F#, A#, D#

SailQwest
07-20-2012, 01:38 PM
We had our baritone tuned like that. My SIL has the bari now. She prefers the low D.

kauaijim
07-20-2012, 05:20 PM
I have the Southcoast heavies on my Pono baritone. They sound wonderful. If the other string sets are better than these, then they must play themselves. I have one of the wound strings that Dirk mentioned, but the regular heavies sound soooo sweet that I don't want to take the unwound 3rd string off. The ukulele has been to work with me and the boss had to tell me to put it away because everyone wanted to play it, stopping all production. Everyone really liked the re-entrant tuning that makes the baritone become a real ukulele rather than a small guitar sounding instrument. Highly recommended tuning!

Ben_H
07-20-2012, 08:37 PM
Everyone really liked the re-entrant tuning that makes the baritone become a real ukulele rather than a small guitar sounding instrument. Highly recommended tuning!

And that's what I'm after. I don't want a small guitar substitute.

I took a friend uke shopping with me yesterday who has many guitars and tho he was happier playing a tenor, he was playing it like a guitar and we had the same conversation about "Do you want it as a small guitar or as an instrument in it's own right". I think he now will get a concert as it keen to keep the portability of a uke and learn a new style and music. The tenor to him was just a smaller guitar

Ukeval
07-20-2012, 09:18 PM
I have a tenor banjo (same size as bari) and tuned high g as a normal uke (with some aquila strings, my string seller calculate the good caliber for the instrument...)
here it is :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCd-nWP6aLE

southcoastukes
07-21-2012, 09:30 AM
I have a tenor banjo (same size as bari) and tuned high g as a normal uke (with some aquila strings, my string seller calculate the good caliber for the instrument...)
here it is :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCd-nWP6aLE

Very nice! I have a Tenor Banjo myself, and have recommended that same set-up with Aquilas to a number of people (you, maybe?).

While the Tenor Banjo and Baritone Ukulele have roughly the same scales, I don't recommend reentrant C tuning for the Baritone. With a drum bodied banjo, you have a lot more power and projection than on a wood body. Also the high pitch works nicely on the banjo.

On the big wood body, it's best to stick with something that's got a little more depth and power. While to me, the traditional Baritone tuning goes too far, the reentrant C tuning is awfully weak for the wood body - too much unused capacity on the low end. Now if you drop the 4th string an octave to Linear tuning, that low G note will give you something that's a lot more appropriate.

Still, reentrant G: (d' - g - d - e') is my personal favorite, along with Linear B flat (o.k., here we go, down another path - let's just say that the Baritone is simply the most verstile of all the ukuleles).

bazmaz
07-21-2012, 09:42 AM
Not odd at all and I'm surprised at the shop. ken Middleton makes a high D set for Baritone. I played a Bari the other day with some on it.

Ben_H
07-21-2012, 09:03 PM
Not odd at all and I'm surprised at the shop. ken Middleton makes a high D set for Baritone. I played a Bari the other day with some on it.

I came straight home and looked at Ken's site to check I wasn't having false memory syndrome. My intention is to put a set of Ken's strings on as soon as I get the uke.