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View Full Version : some chords don't sound as good with low GCEA tuning on baritone



post4rational
01-25-2013, 10:19 AM
I recently got a pono seconds MB and put southcoast linear strings on it GCEA. Anyway, I've noticed that certain chords that sound good on my re-entrant concert don't quite work as well with the linear tuning. The example that comes to mind is Em played

-2
-3
-4
-0

Filling in the base note sounds much better:

-2
-3
-4
-4

I guess re-entrant tuning allows you to cheat a bit with some of the fingering. Any thoughts from more experienced musicians?

Thanks.

OldePhart
01-25-2013, 11:38 AM
That's because you're playing different inversions. When you play 0432 on the reentrant uke the lowest note is the E on the C string, when you do it on a linear uke the lowest note is the open G so you have an inversion where the minor third is the bass note (i.e. you are playing an Em/G). This isn't necessarily terrible, but definitely has a different voice than the other chord. When you "fill in" the bass note your lowest note is now B - still an inversion, but it's an inversion over the fifth instead of the minor third. The fifth is a less significant note than the third so the chord sounds closer to normal.

John

uke4ia
01-25-2013, 12:49 PM
Also, sometimes a low G can overpower the other strings in chords where it's an open string.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
01-25-2013, 03:02 PM
Welcome to UU!

It took my ears a while to learn to appreciate ukes with linear tuning. The way you approached playing Em is exactly right---just keep messing around with chord voicings as necessary. Have fun!

Sanagi
01-25-2013, 06:43 PM
Yeah, the low G has a much stronger sense of being the bass note than the C string does in re-entrant. The upside is you can play chords that capitalize on that. 3210, for instance - Bb major 7.

anthonyg
01-25-2013, 10:29 PM
I play 0,4,3,2 regularly on a linear strung ukulele's and I like the sound just fine. Its what your used to.

Anthony

post4rational
01-27-2013, 10:19 AM
Thanks for the welcome and the replies, especially about the chord inversions. I'm finding the simplicity of the ukulele has taught me a lot about basic music theory in terms of what is really needed for a chord and its variations in a way that I never really thought about while playing guitar. It is now much easier for me to improvise and have some idea about how it is going to sound.

Anyway, after a few weeks on the linear set, I decided to try the high dGBE southcoast set a few days ago (right after this post) and I'm finding it a lot of fun to play and really love the sound. Transposing chords sometimes gets mixed up in my head, but I think that is part of the fun.

lambchop
01-27-2013, 11:42 AM
Now every time I turn to my tenor, event kamaka , I miss the deep tone. Tenor sounds light and hollow. And this is in comparison to rentrant high-d baritone. I just need to play more and I re appreciate the tenor, but those five half steps down do add a lot.

OldePhart
01-27-2013, 01:00 PM
Now every time I turn to my tenor, event kamaka , I miss the deep tone. Tenor sounds light and hollow. And this is in comparison to rentrant high-d baritone. I just need to play more and I re appreciate the tenor, but those five half steps down do add a lot.

It's funny because I think it's playing the baritone that made me accept my tenors more. I almost hadn't touched my tenors in over a year and was figuring I'd sell them now that I have pickups in my other ukes. I'd been playing strictly soprano and occasionally the baritone. Then I got the Pono baritone and spent two or three weeks playing it almost exclusively. When I went to change humidifiers in my cases last week I fooled around with each uke and suddenly my tenors were a lot more exciting. Tenors are still not my favorite, I still prefer the sound of a soprano over all (I think of even my reentrant baritone as more like a guitar so it doesn't count).

But, I definitely appreciate the tenors more now and in fact really like the fretboard width - lets me do the things I can do on baritone on a smaller "really a uke" instrument. I think that playing a baritone more retuned my ear so now the tenors don't sound "too deep" to me, if that makes any sense.

John