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pdxuke
03-06-2013, 05:12 PM
REVISED: I now understand the standard notation Dirk is talking about, so I'm going to post that next to my twisted language. Nothing like re-inventing the wheel. Dirk will correct me if I'm wrong :-)

You all know I've gone a little Barry Tone (my new best friend) crazy, but I've been having a heck of a good time trying different strings and tunings, and thought I'd issue a report.

First, some notation talk. I know Dirk will yell at me, but I can't get my head around the official notation on strings--my head hurts. So much for my degree in music.

So, this is what I'll use:

DGBE-- REVISED: d g b e' standard Barry tuning, the two wound low strings everybody is used to. This is a linear tuning; start low on 4th string, notes rise to the 1st string.

dGBE REVISED: d' g b e' would be a uke tuning, with the d being high like in standard uke tuning. Reentrant.

CUATRO tuning has the 4th and 1st strings low; a different kind of reentrant, where it's linear until the first string, which drops an octave from where it would be in a normal linear tuning; I'll notate it like this:
Cuatro in C would be GCEA (It would be easier, I hear Dirk saying, if you just learned the D#$mn proper notation! I will, I will...) REVISED: OK, I have, I have: g c' e' a


My Ukes, Strings and Tunings:

Martin Style 51:
Tuned d' g b e' using Southcoast HMU-NW: Heavy Medium Gauge Ukulele Set -- no wound strings

Favilla
Cuatro in C: g c' e' a using Southcoast LMC-NW: Light Medium Gauge Cuatro Set - no wound

Regal Spruce Top
Cuatro In D: a d' f#' b using Southcoast LC-NW: Light Gauge Cuatro Set - no wound strings

Silvertone (made by Harmony)
Linear tuning in C : g c' e' a'

KALA KA-B
d' g b e' using 2 sets of D'Addario Classical Guitar Strings (Normal Tension), discarding the wound strings and using the 1,2, 3 string from one set, and repurposing the 1st (e) string in the second set to use as string 4 and tuned to d. http://www.amazon.com/DAddario-EJ45-Pro-Arte-Classical-Strings/dp/B000EEL6J6/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?s=musical-instruments&srs=2588030011&ie=UTF8&qid=1362623958&sr=1-3-fkmr0&keywords=d%26apos%3Baddario+guitar+strings Thanks be to Lambchop for this idea.

LANIKAI
Out of the Box with d g b e' and Aquilla strings. I'll put on Martin 630s.

Observations

1. I'm in love with Cuatro tuning in C. It is probably my favorite of the bunch. The Favilla sings as a powerful, but chirpy rhythm instrument. I may very well string my Martin this way too. Absolutely fantastic way to tune Mr. Tone. I'm a believer.

2. My second favorte tuning is d' g b e' The Southcoast strings are wonderful. But I also really, really like the D'Addario two set mash up. I like the classical guitar feel of it, with the uke sound. Nice.

3. Cuatro in D and Linear C are a tie. I like them both.

4. d g b e' traditional Barry Tone tuning--meh. I have yet to take to it. I'll keep one uke tuned this way just to try and let it grow on me, and to help me find strings.

So there it is. I'd like to try Bb tuning as well. I'll enter this in the string Data Base, and I promise to record sound samples this weekend.

This journey has been fun.

Thanks to Dirk at Southcoast for opening up Mr Barry Tone's world view, and to Lambchop for his D'Addario idea, and to all Barry lovers who have encouraged me with advice and moral support along the way.

justinlcecil
03-06-2013, 06:55 PM
Thank you so much for this. Do you have a preference over the Southcoast HMU-NW: Heavy Medium Gauge Ukulele Set and the D'Addario mashup? Also which has a greater tension? I think I might like a higher tension than came on this Lanikai Bari.

Dan Uke
03-06-2013, 06:56 PM
Did you try the SC F Bb D G tuning? That's what I have on my bari right now

pdxuke
03-06-2013, 07:02 PM
Did you try the SC F Bb D G tuning? That's what I have on my bari right now

I just ordered that set and I'm looking forward to it. I recall that you and Patrick liked that tuning and I'm looking forward to trying it! :-)

pdxuke
03-06-2013, 07:04 PM
Thank you so much for this. Do you have a preference over the Southcoast HMU-NW: Heavy Medium Gauge Ukulele Set and the D'Addario mashup? Also which has a greater tension? I think I might like a higher tension than came on this Lanikai Bari.

They both are great, but feel different. It's probably going to be personal preference. I'd say the SC probably have higher tension. Try them both! :-)

Patrick Madsen
03-06-2013, 07:20 PM
I have the Martin in a Bb tuning and like it a lot. The Fav. is in Linear G tuning with Martin 630's. I tried G tuning with Living Waters but the Fav. sounded too quiet and muted. It needed the wound strings to bring that lusty smoke filled bluesy sound to it. May try the two wound classical strings like John has.

I ordered the LMC-NW Cuatros but sent them back after finding the Living Water non-wounds were too soft and ordered a set of the wound Cuatros. Will try them on the Martin.

I agree about the Gtuning being meh. A wound 3&4 string makes a big difference.

mds725
03-06-2013, 07:36 PM
Thanks for that report! To what degree do you think the ukulele you used for each tuning is a variable? For example, do you think you might like DGBE better on a Martin than on your Lanikai? I guess what I'm wondering is if each of your baris has sound properties that make it sound better in certain tunings, and maybe you haven't matched up each of the tunings to the uke with the best sound properties for it. I guess the only scientific way to assess this would be to try each set of strings on each ukulele and look for ukulele-to-ukulele differences for each string set and string set to string set differences for each ukulele.

Dan Uke
03-07-2013, 07:53 AM
I just ordered that set and I'm looking forward to it. I recall that you and Patrick liked that tuning and I'm looking forward to trying it! :-)

Actually I love the sound but don't like the tuning as it's too close to a tenor. I tried to tune it half step lower but it felt too loose and I didn't like the sound of the 4th string. Dirk really knows what he's talking about and finding the right tension. I like high tension so I might try the highest tension linear set and play to a A tuning.

However, the Bb's great if I want to play with others as I just have to capo the second fret vs. capoing the 5th fret, which causes you to lose volume or learn new chords.

I'll do a sound sample in Bb w/ the Pono bari...You might want to buy one after hearing it :p

Stackabones
03-07-2013, 09:52 AM
Great review! I'm very interested in that cuatro tuning.

bnolsen
03-07-2013, 10:18 AM
I'm going straight for CUATRO in C. Got my lanakai bari yesterday and it seems I have a set of DGBE worth browns waiting for me at home. I'll restring those D->G B->C E->E G->A tonight if I have time. People complain the low D is floppy so hopefully up 5 semi tones isn't too much.

I'm sad I didn't see the southcoast page before:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/cuatro.htm

coolkayaker1
03-07-2013, 10:29 AM
dGBE is the best tuning, so I don't understand this thread.

mds725
03-07-2013, 10:30 AM
dGBE is the best tuning, so I don't understand this thread.

What is "best" when it comes to any stringed instrument tuning is a highly subjective thing, so I don't understand this post.

bnolsen
03-07-2013, 10:59 AM
dGBE is the best tuning, so I don't understand this thread.

I can't handle all this transposing and I still prefer soprano.

pdxuke
03-07-2013, 04:50 PM
Thanks for that report! To what degree do you think the ukulele you used for each tuning is a variable? For example, do you think you might like DGBE better on a Martin than on your Lanikai? I guess what I'm wondering is if each of your baris has sound properties that make it sound better in certain tunings, and maybe you haven't matched up each of the tunings to the uke with the best sound properties for it. I guess the only scientific way to assess this would be to try each set of strings on each ukulele and look for ukulele-to-ukulele differences for each string set and string set to string set differences for each ukulele.

Of course certain Barrys are better than others, but truthfully--cheap and classic, once i find the right strings they all sound great! A very odd thing, and NOT my experience with sopranos. Maybe Barrys are more forgiving, as others have said.

The Martin came classic DGBE. So did the Favilla. Didn't like it on those instruments either, but I will eventually give it another shot. It's a lifetime of tinkering :-)

pdxuke
03-07-2013, 04:52 PM
dGBE is the best tuning, so I don't understand this thread.

Haha. Oh, Steve!

pdxuke
03-07-2013, 04:55 PM
Why are you transposing? Just get music that has been arranged for guitar instead of music that has been arranged for soprano ukulele. If you are just playing the chords it does not matter if you have high or low D on your baritone, you just follow the guitar chords. A major problem for ukulele players at the moment seems to be musical ignorance. If everyone just spent some time learning the notes on the fret board and the notes in each of the main 8 or nine chords you use, you would not be a prisoner to dumbed down musical arrangements.
I notice that PDX does not have a baritone with open G tuning, DGBD, is this an oversight or a project for the next acquisition?

Actually, I've never tried DGBD tuning. Thank you for giving me an excuse!

bnolsen
03-07-2013, 05:16 PM
Why are you transposing?

a C chord on a GCEA ukulele uses a different fingering than a C chord on a DGBE. I'm currently not interested in having to shift gears every time I pick up the baritone. I have a couple of fake books I grab (one a hymnal), open up and play. Chord names are there and that's it, I play them through 2-3 of times and they are ready to go.

pdxuke
03-07-2013, 05:22 PM
a C chord on a GCEA ukulele uses a different fingering than a C chord on a DGBE. I'm currently not interested in having to shift gears every time I pick up the baritone. I have a couple of fake books I grab (one a hymnal), open up and play. Chord names are there and that's it, I play them through 2-3 of times and they are ready to go.

Then stay away from G tunings. There are a couple of C tunings that you would not have to transpose. If you do the Cuatro in C--my favorite tuning--it's wonderful for chording. I think you'd like it!

UkeKiddinMe
03-07-2013, 05:31 PM
dGBE is the best tuning, so I don't understand this thread.

Hopefully that was a joke. You should have ended that post with a smiley.

pdxuke
03-07-2013, 05:40 PM
Hopefully that was a joke. You should have ended that post with a smiley.

Steve and I are Uke Buddies. He's messing with me. It's okay. My enforcer Barry Tone is on the way over to rough up his Martins.

Appalachian picker
03-07-2013, 06:19 PM
When are we going to see pics of the new Lanikai Barry????

pdxuke
03-07-2013, 06:22 PM
When are we going to see pics of the new Lanikai Barry????

Pesky day job. Patience :-)

bnolsen
03-08-2013, 12:27 AM
Then stay away from G tunings. There are a couple of C tunings that you would not have to transpose. If you do the Cuatro in C--my favorite tuning--it's wonderful for chording. I think you'd like it!

i Cuatro C'd the lanakai last night. Not a bad sound but the strings need to settle quite a bit more. Soprano vs bari fret spacing, well they're very different.

UkeKiddinMe
03-08-2013, 02:03 AM
Steve and I are Uke Buddies. He's messing with me. It's okay. My enforcer Barry Tone is on the way over to rough up his Martins.

Niiiiiiiice. :cool:

southcoastukes
03-09-2013, 05:06 PM
What a great thing to do, Thom! That's the main thing I want to say.

For quite awhile we've tried to make the point that the Baritone can actually be an Ukulele - a legitimate part of the family. It's been miscast as a "Junior Guitar". The body size and scale make it incredibly versatile in how it can be tuned, it's just that the gimmick tuning it was "designed" for is the least satisfactory from a standpoint of acoustics and stringing.

Our little efforts pale, however, in what Thom has done - buying six instruments, putting them (almost) all in resonant tunings, and reporting on all the results. Can't wait to hear your sound samples, but as you say, Thom, there's at least one more option lacking. Time to buy another Baritone!

There's one itty, bitty problem with your review, however, and as you left a crack in the door, I'll take the opportunity to kick it open!


First, some notation talk. I know Dirk will yell at me, but I can't get my head around the official notation on strings--my head hurts. So much for my degree in music.
So, this is what I'll use....

It's so difficult that you'll make up your own language? That's more work than using standard notation! I know what you're talking about. As you took a lot of time to explain things, and given this is a thread about Baritone tunings, probably a lot of other people figured it out as well. Just the same, if you don't mind, I'll take this as an opportunity to try to promote the standard notation that most people in music use. After all, someone who was not "tuned in" to the Baritone Ukulele, or Ukulele slang in general would probably have a hard time figuring out your system.

"DGBE" - do they all fall within the same octave? "dGBE" - is the "d' note higher than the "E"? Colors for different octaves? Thom!, standard notation is simpler than this. It's just small case & capitals with commas and apostrophes.

I'll post a couple of the things we have on page 2 of our website "Tunings" pages. This first one shows standard pitch notation:


50017


It's not that hard to figure it out. Middle C - the same C note that is the third string or root of modern standard ukulele tuning is written c'. The eight notes above that, or the ocatave above that, also have the apostrophe. When you get to the next C note you write it as c", in other words, add another apostrophe, and so on as you go higher.

As you go down from middle C, the next octave is simply small case with no apostrophe. The octave below that goes to large case. Then as you continue to go on down, you just add commas after the large case letters like you add apostrophes after the high case letters.

Just remember, if it's middle C or the octave above that, use an apostrophe. Below that, small case - no apostrophe. There are a few notes that use the double apostrophe or large case letters, but not many.

The more you talk about the variety of tunings available on the Ukulele, the more this simple system makes sense. And with the Bartione and it's wide range of tunings, it's especially approriate. I'll post a table from the site at this point. It shows how to write an entire range of tunings in standard notation, and in three different forms: linear, Ukulele reetrant (or high reentrant), and Cuatro reentrant (or low reentrant).


50018


If you look at the top tunings, you'll see, for example, listings for d" g' b' e" and d' g' b' e", the high reentrant and linear tunings an octave above what is used on a Baritone. These can work on Sopranos and Sopraninos. If you know standard notation, you don't have to go into all those labored explanations.

Well, thanks for giving me an opening here for one of my pet projects, but again, thanks most of all for sharing your experience with UU.

coolkayaker1
03-09-2013, 05:10 PM
Steve and I are Uke Buddies. He's messing with me. It's okay. My enforcer Barry Tone is on the way over to rough up his Martins.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've never met this man in my entire life.

coolkayaker1
03-09-2013, 05:10 PM
Dirk and Thom go way back to Thom's brilliant interview with Dirk on UkeTalk. That was keen.

Dirk, as always, nails it.

pdxuke
03-09-2013, 07:42 PM
Dirk, that was a great explanation of standard notation. Any way I can get a larger resolution of that chart--it's too small for my aged eyes to see.

EDIT: What-- i see that it's HERE: http://www.southcoastukes.com/tunings2.htm

pdxuke
03-09-2013, 07:43 PM
Ladies and gentlemen, I've never met this man in my entire life.

This is actually true. But we'll fix that one day.

coolkayaker1
03-09-2013, 07:45 PM
sho nuff, bruddah

pdxuke
03-09-2013, 08:06 PM
I have taken what I've learned from Dirk's chart and explanation and have applied it and revised my post. I have still left my original "key" for idiots (:-) like me who couldn't wrap their heads around this.


REVISED: I now understand the standard notation Dirk is talking about, so I'm going to post that next to my twisted language. Nothing like re-inventing the wheel. Dirk will correct me if I'm wrong :-)

You all know I've gone a little Barry Tone (my new best friend) crazy, but I've been having a heck of a good time trying different strings and tunings, and thought I'd issue a report.

First, some notation talk. I know Dirk will yell at me, but I can't get my head around the official notation on strings--my head hurts. So much for my degree in music.

So, this is what I'll use:

DGBE-- REVISED: d g b e' standard Barry tuning, the two wound low strings everybody is used to. This is a linear tuning; start low on 4th string, notes rise to the 1st string.

dGBE REVISED: d' g b e' would be a uke tuning, with the d being high like in standard uke tuning. Reentrant.

CUATRO tuning has the 4th and 1st strings low; a different kind of reentrant, where it's linear until the first string, which drops an octave from where it would be in a normal linear tuning; I'll notate it like this:
Cuatro in C would be GCEA (It would be easier, I hear Dirk saying, if you just learned the D#$mn proper notation! I will, I will...) REVISED: OK, I have, I have: g c' e' a


My Ukes, Strings and Tunings:

Martin Style 51:
Tuned d' g b e' using Southcoast HMU-NW: Heavy Medium Gauge Ukulele Set -- no wound strings

Favilla
Cuatro in C: g c' e' a using Southcoast LMC-NW: Light Medium Gauge Cuatro Set - no wound

Regal Spruce Top
Cuatro In D: a d' f#' b using Southcoast LC-NW: Light Gauge Cuatro Set - no wound strings

Silvertone (made by Harmony)
Linear tuning in C : g c' e' a'

KALA KA-B
d' g b e' using 2 sets of D'Addario Classical Guitar Strings (Normal Tension), discarding the wound strings and using the 1,2, 3 string from one set, and repurposing the 1st (e) string in the second set to use as string 4 and tuned to d. http://www.amazon.com/DAddario-EJ45-Pro-Arte-Classical-Strings/dp/B000EEL6J6/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?s=musical-instruments&srs=2588030011&ie=UTF8&qid=1362623958&sr=1-3-fkmr0&keywords=d%26apos%3Baddario+guitar+strings Thanks be to Lambchop for this idea.

LANIKAI
Out of the Box with d g b e' and Aquilla strings. I'll put on Martin 630s.

Observations

1. I'm in love with Cuatro tuning in C. It is probably my favorite of the bunch. The Favilla sings as a powerful, but chirpy rhythm instrument. I may very well string my Martin this way too. Absolutely fantastic way to tune Mr. Tone. I'm a believer.

2. My second favorte tuning is d' g b e' The Southcoast strings are wonderful. But I also really, really like the D'Addario two set mash up. I like the classical guitar feel of it, with the uke sound. Nice.

3. Cuatro in D and Linear C are a tie. I like them both.

4. d g b e' traditional Barry Tone tuning--meh. I have yet to take to it. I'll keep one uke tuned this way just to try and let it grow on me, and to help me find strings.

So there it is. I'd like to try Bb tuning as well. I'll enter this in the string Data Base, and I promise to record sound samples this weekend.

This journey has been fun.

Thanks to Dirk at Southcoast for opening up Mr Barry Tone's world view, and to Lambchop for his D'Addario idea, and to all Barry lovers who have encouraged me with advice and moral support along the way.

pdxuke
03-09-2013, 08:09 PM
Also, I'd like to add that I have tried dropping the cuatro tuning in d to the key of c using using Southcoast LC-NW: Light Gauge Cuatro Set. It's not suggested for that, but I actually like the lower tension on that uke. It's easy to strum, and fan and do triples with that lower tension as well, giving me easier access to some guitar-ish latin style strumming that I'm having fun with.

NewKid
03-09-2013, 11:00 PM
Great job! Thank you.

coolkayaker1
03-09-2013, 11:41 PM
Pdxuke: "Thanks to Dirk at Southcoast for opening up Mr Barry Tone's world view, and to Lambchop for his D'Addario idea, and to all Barry lovers who have encouraged me with advice and moral support along the way."

A smidgeon of advice from us in the peanut gallery, perhaps.

But, please don't blame us for your morals.

:cool:

strumsilly
03-11-2013, 03:20 AM
dGBE is the best tuning, so I don't understand this thread.

sorry to disagree, I have my Lanikai S-B tuned EAC#F#, or is it eac#f#' , with SC flatwound bases and Aquilla trebles [I don't remember why],and it is the best.:)Just got another set of ML_FW to try on a tenor, they are pricey, but I love those flatwounds, but then I even like regular wound strings too.
sound sample
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VDWXd5T7dpc

southcoastukes
03-12-2013, 12:57 PM
sorry to disagree, I have my Lanikai S-B tuned EAC#F#, or is it eac#f#' , with SC flatwound bases and Aquilla trebles ,and it is the best.:)...

Verrry interestink!

You almost got the notation - it's e a c#' f#'. In other words, a linear A tuning. It's one step up from the traditional Baritone tuning, and with a Baritone body typically resonating at D#, that e note makes it the tuning we recommend when someone wants the deepest fully resonant linear tuning possible.

Usually our first recommendation for a Linear tuning on a Baritone is B flat - halfway between A & C. One reason is that for people who still need or want to play in C tuning, you only need to capo behind the 2nd fret to get back there. The other reason is that there is a big selection of those responsive Medium Gauge strings to choose from. To get to A tuning we would recommend a set of our Heavy Gauges.

Sillyboy, however, has me thinking about some other possibilities. Our flat wound strings are rated for a bit more tension @ B flat than our round wounds. If you're able to "slack" them to A tuning, then I'm guessing you switched the trebles for more tension on them, not the flat wound basses.

I don't currently have a Baritone I can string up, but that will change in a few weeks. I'll see what I can come up with in this regard - maybe a HML-FW set? After all, if like me, or like any solo player, C tuning is not important, then it's simply a matter of the sound you like, and what suits your voice. The key of A, for example, fits my limited vocal range very nicely, and I do like the sound, from a personal standpoint.

************************

As I am writing this now, something occurs to me. Rather than wait for me to string up, if anyone else wants to give this a spin, then with any ML-FW set, I'll add in a pair of the Heavy Gauge trebles at no charge. Just write it in in that you want the extra trebles in the "Intructions to Merchant" link with Paypal. Feedback will be appreciated.

At worst, you'll have that nice firm tension B flat tuning with the standard trebles (and Andy, I think I'll just send you a pair of Heavy trebles anyway, for bringing this up).

[I]A note of Caution -

Baritone scales vary a lot. If you have one of the shorter 19" scales (Andy has 20"), then "slacking" the Medium Flatwounds to A tuning is less likely to be successful. You'll probably need a set of Heavy Gauge Roundwounds.

rustycase
03-02-2016, 09:52 PM
Thanks for all the great bari info in this thread! and also Dirk's pet project...
Best
rc