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mr roper
11-09-2013, 05:32 AM
If you've only been playing linear G you should try high reentrant G tuning. You get a nice ukulele sound as opposed to the "little guitar" sound you get with a linear tuning. I just got a set of Southcoast HU-NW strings from Dirk and they've transformed my baritone playing.

pdxuke
11-09-2013, 05:46 AM
Yes, Dirk's strings opened my world as a baritone player. Try the cuatro tuning as well. Great sounds...

iamesperambient
11-09-2013, 07:21 AM
If you've only been playing linear G you should try high reentrant G tuning. You get a nice ukulele sound as opposed to the "little guitar" sound you get with a linear tuning. I just got a set of Southcoast HU-NW strings from Dirk and they've transformed my baritone playing.

for me if i want a real plinky uke sound ill play my soprano, if i want a ukey sound with less plink plink ill play my concert if i was a robust deep sound with out the plink plink and some bass to it i pick up my baritone. I like the G linear tuning i think it works on the instrument. I've never been a fan of alternate tunings on guitars either though i had friends who played in all kinds of crazy tunings, one thing i would never do is tune my uke like another instrument in that case you may as well just learn another instrument....just my opinion.

Appalachian picker
11-09-2013, 11:43 AM
for me if i want a real plinky uke sound ill play my soprano, if i want a ukey sound with less plink plink ill play my concert if i was a robust deep sound with out the plink plink and some bass to it i pick up my baritone. I like the G linear tuning i think it works on the instrument. I've never been a fan of alternate tunings on guitars either though i had friends who played in all kinds of crazy tunings, one thing i would never do is tune my uke like another instrument in that case you may as well just learn another instrument....just my opinion.

+++++++++++1

Flyinby
11-09-2013, 11:43 AM
If you've only been playing linear G you should try high reentrant G tuning. You get a nice ukulele sound as opposed to the "little guitar" sound you get with a linear tuning. I just got a set of Southcoast HU-NW strings from Dirk and they've transformed my baritone playing.

I have an inexpensive baritone I've had for years, and never really had much interest in it due to its guitar-similarity (nothing against guitars, but I have a classical guitar that sounds pretty much the same, with the bonus of a couple of extra bass strings). I put some GCEA tuning (low G) strings on it, and to me it improved the sound a lot (not necessarily sound quality, just made it sound more like a uke), but still never really had much interest in it. A while back I got one of the Lanikai gambler's specials, and it's a big improvement over the Rogue, but again, with normal baritone DGBE tuning, I just don't play it.

I'm glad you posted the message, because I have a set of Aquila high G baritone strings that I've been intending to try on it, and just haven't gotten around to putting on...maybe now I'll have the incentive to do it. Re-entrant tuning, to me, is what gives the uke its unique sound, so I'll see if the baritone gets played any more once I get the new set on. (I don't play my low-G strung tenor all that much either, but it's nice occasionally for picking out tunes without having to jump up an octave)

Strumdaddy
11-09-2013, 12:23 PM
Re-entrant tuning, to me, is what gives the uke its unique sound,

Right on Brother/Sister Flynby !!!
Every combination of strings and uke sizes is valid - as long as the player feels good about making music with it.
For me it's about the feel of re-entrant tuning more than the "sound" - I am at my most inventive without having to account that low bottom string..... For others that extra bottom note is essential.
So re-entrant tuning supports my playing the most. When I want that feeling with a deeper, more resonant voice I play my re-entrant tuned baritone... especially nice for bluesy music. But mostly it's re-entrant tenor, a comfy chair, and a few unscheduled hours to travel in other worlds......

Luke El U
11-09-2013, 12:38 PM
I've never been a fan of alternate tunings on guitars either though i had friends who played in all kinds of crazy tunings, one thing i would never do is tune my uke like another instrument in that case you may as well just learn another instrument....just my opinion.

But you have a soprano tuned in D and two other ukes modeled after electric guitars! Vive la difference. I'm all for trying out new ideas, that's how our ukes got started in the first place.

iamesperambient
11-09-2013, 01:31 PM
But you have a soprano tuned in D and two other ukes modeled after electric guitars! Vive la difference. I'm all for trying out new ideas, that's how our ukes got started in the first place.

d isn't an alternate tuning it used to be he standard and I have it in d because c tuning won't hold in tune on that uke. I have electrics because I make ambient music and it's much easier to process the sound live than recording acoustic than post processing the sound. I do agree though to each his own I just prefer the standard tunings for myself.

Luke El U
11-09-2013, 04:04 PM
Jim Tranquada and the late John King report in their book, The 'Ukulele: A History, that "the earliest published tuning for the 'ukulele, in Edward Holstein's pioneering 1894 publication, Chords for the Taro-Patch Guitar, is the standard, my-dog-has-fleas G-C-E-A tuning known today . . ." They go on to say that 20 years later, "Angela Nunes, a daughter-in-law of Manuel Nunes, co-authored a brief primer unique in its insistence on tuning a 'ukulele like a Madeiran machete: D-G-B-D."
Tranquada and King also say that in 1950 there arrived "the new oversize baritone 'ukulele created by Eddie Conners at the behest of (Arthur) Godfrey." As to what tuning they used the authors do not say. Maybe some of our UU members know?

mr roper
11-09-2013, 04:30 PM
To clarify, I'm talking about high reentrant key of G tuning. So, the usual baritone tuning but with a high d. Is that written dGBE?

hucklelele
11-09-2013, 05:44 PM
I too just experimented with baritone uke re-string and re-tuning-
mostly because I found the Rogue action too high, the strings too taut and difficult to play.

I took off the bottom wound strings, put lighter guage nylon on everything but the top A, and lowered the bridge.

I first tuned it regular uke tuning, but found the strings very taut still-

so I lowered it back down to baritone tuning but kept the D still high- and I like that now.

Plus, f I want to sing along, then I have another uke in a different key and can still play uke chord forms.

cdkrugjr
11-10-2013, 06:21 AM
So basically what everyone is saying is "Win the lottery so you have enough to get a Bari in every tuning, 'cuz EVERYONE is sure their favorite is the best and they can't possibly all be wrong."

Sounds like a plan to me.

iamesperambient
11-10-2013, 07:00 AM
Jim Beloff's book "The Bari Best" has an introduction written by Tom Favilla, of the family that made the favilla instruments. He says that right after WWII John Favilla built the first baritones for his son, Herk Favilla. Herk Favilla used them with his very young students and women who could not handle a full sized guitar. By 1949 the baritone was part of the regular Favilla line.
It goes on to talk about Arthur Godfrey using Favilla instruments and I wont spoil the story for you. Maybe someone could prevail on FMM to post a copy for baritone players if there is enough interest.
So it would appear that Favilla made baritones with DGBE tuning after WWII.
I have found that the baritone is a very good instrument to learn stuff on and then move it to either guitar or soprano ukulele. There is a huge guitar repertoire to access which can mostly be played on a baritone. Even the Jim Beloff 365 days series seems to have a baritone version now, which I have not seen yet, and that may be very useful for anyone moving from guitar to ukulele via the baritone. Or vice versa. I tried it with re-entrant tuning and the sound is amazing, but I like some variety and to be able to access the melody in guitar music so I mostly use low D tuning.

hmmm... i started on guitar than learned bass, than learned soprano ukulele and mandolin at the same time, than played a baritone guitar for a few years and now i'm playing an electric baritone uke (and believe i can play all these instruments) i just feel very comfortable with a baritone uke for compositing my ambient music. (more range on the fretboard more bass when i lay down a drone chord base). When im just playing for fun or in most cases people will always see me holding and playing a soprano ukulele

I'm almost 32 now and learned guitar when was i about 14 (along with piano at the same time which i took lessons for and hated in general).
Anyway so my theory is the baritone may have been at first designed as a 'teacher' instrument but i think theres many players like myself
who see it as a serious instrument on its own rather than 'you can move to this or that' i say you can play them all....why not?

pdxuke
11-10-2013, 08:36 AM
I have 5 barry's and all tuned to a different tuning. I like them all. That's what makes horse racing.

But if you don't like traditional G tuning, try an alternate before you give up on the baritone. They are really fun to play, and I love sopranos as a rule.

ichadwick
11-10-2013, 12:27 PM
I have baritones tuned DGBE and dGBE. I like both, but tend towards the re-entrant, high D.

hucklelele
11-10-2013, 02:27 PM
I bought this Rogue mostly because I just couldn't resist the small price, and knew I'd have to try the different sizes-
the first day or two I was kinda sorry, cause I'm a little sick of working on instruments and not then playing them.
This writing gets that way too!

It was an instrument without a purpose beyond the experience of it and I first thought I didn't like it much and wouldn't play it much,
mostly because I'm really farthest on classical guitar and so there it was with THICKER strings but fewer of them.
It seemed to have lost then the uke sound largely with little gain
and the wound strings started with the G and not the D

That was a little interesting because I've always called the G on my classical guitar "The Elusive G"- it never seems to tune right
and I thought it could use a thicker guage- but now on the short 19" scale, a wound string was definitely too heavy in my own opinion.
Since I've been into ukes- a whole couple of months now- I've wondered what a low G nylgut reinforced string would sound like on the classical guitar, but not sure if it comes long enough to try.

Anyway, after I finally got the Baritone set up with lighter strings an a lower bridge, and it became comfortable I really like it.
It's sort of it's own thing- all nylon unwound strings with the "d" string much thinner and tuned high like uke tunings.
and I find myself picking it up more than I thought I might.
If I had to do it again- I might even spend a little bit more for a mahogany body, and some seem to have a larger upper bout-
I'm just assuming the sound would be better-
The rogue body seems a bit heavy and slightly muted- though I enlarged the soundhole just a bit when I was changing the strings.

so apart from the comments a I wrote earlier;
I think the neck could be thinner and the strings just slightly closer- probably make it comfortable to many people who aren't terribly large.

I have no tenor at the moment, but a Yamaha guitarlele, and it's a really SMALL classical tuned higher- I'm getting lots of time practicing written pieces on it because I don't have to get seated with the old Manhassett in front of me- I sit in lotus on the bed and read my pieces-
so I like that, but it's more like a guitar than a tenor to me-
the bari on the other hand still uses the same chord shapes, only lower

anybody know the chord transposition?- a uke plays a chord- the guitarlele especially- plays the IV chord of the I, IV , V combination-
relative to the guitar chord shape- A "D" is a uke "G" chord, etc.

What is the relationship to a bari chord in terms of I, IV, V ? It's a fifth lower tuned....

Flyinby
11-10-2013, 05:01 PM
What is the relationship to a bari chord in terms of I, IV, V ? It's a fifth lower tuned....

I'm not sure I understand the question correctly, but a normally-tuned baritone uke (DGBE) has the same fingering for the same chords on a guitar (top 4 strings of course).

I have a Rogue Baritone also, and about the same thoughts as you do...a very unexciting instrument that just feels and sounds too 'thick'. I might suggest looking up "Gambler's special" here in the forum or on ebay...There are some very decent Lanikai baritones you can get for about the price of the Rogue; it is a gamble, but nearly all seem to be fine, and they're much better than the Rogue.

I pretty much neglect my baritones, and this thread had me swapping some string configurations today. I tried one with normal uke tuning, both high and low G, and was unimpressed. It did sound more like a uke, but I kept thinking "why?". They're big, sound boxier than tenor/concert, and while I like the fingering room on a tenor, the baritones have too much room for my taste.

So I went back to DGBE, one with re-entrant and one not, and after all of that, I think I prefer the traditional baritone, 'sounds like a guitar', tuning, with wound strings. I tried some Aquila red low strings but was unimpressed, and they buzzed at times because they do flop around a bit. I'm not positive, as the high D tuning does sound a bit more 'uke-y', and it enables you to jam nicely in E with guitars, and not sound like just another guitar in the mix. (the only real use I have for the baritone is for jamming in E with guitars, as it's not a 'fun' key for ukes, as it is for guitar).

So after all the string swapping, I'm basically back to thinking I'm just not much of a baritone fan...they do sound nice, but when a classical guitar, with two more bass strings and closer string spacing is at arm's reach, it's hard to want to grab the baritone uke instead. And when I want the uke sound, the baritone just sounds "big", even with re-entrant tuning. (note: I'm not knocking the baritone in any way, it's just not a big favorite for me).

hucklelele
11-10-2013, 06:23 PM
Well, that's why I arrived where I did- I think it may be sort of the most middle zone for a bari- it's still the lower tone on the top three E-B-G like a guitar, but with a thin high D then- but of equal import I think is that 3 of the strings I've used then are actually thinner than the original.
The real beauty is that I still play uke chord forms then-
guitar chords are chopped off on the bari with the two lower strings gone- I guess it's not hard to adapt, but I'd rather just play the uke forms and know by transposing what chord it then is
if I play alone it's no problem (I always am) but if I want to multi-track, then I need to transpose the keys into what they really are-
I'm stll playing a "G" uke chord form, but what chord is it then really?

On the higher "uke-tune" guitarlele- It's always the equvalent of what the IV chord on the guitar would be.
But if I'm on the lower bari tone and using regular uke forms for -is it C tuning I think?- can I quickly transpose it to a I, IV, or V chord, or is it something different?
I was going to figure it out but hastily recorded a uke season 90 video instead.

anyway- with these strings and tunings, it's still more of a uke

I've looked at the "gamblers" thing on ebay and maybe I should have gone that way, but I also see mahogany ukes for 20-25 dollars more standard retail-

I'm not planning on investing ANY MORE in a baritone right now- just saying if I could go back to square one with what I know now.

I'm not really unhappy with it- just thinking a better body might sound better-

So how do the upper and lower bout sizes on your gambler's special compare to the Rogue body?
and what about the body depth? same or different?- deeper would be better I think.

jcarlos
11-10-2013, 07:20 PM
So basically what everyone is saying is "Win the lottery so you have enough to get a Bari in every tuning, 'cuz EVERYONE is sure their favorite is the best and they can't possibly all be wrong."

Sounds like a plan to me.

Same here, tune em up, tune em down, this size instrument can handle just about anything, which really has made it my preferred instrument, gonna make a some new videos soon with the alternate tunings that I been using at some point. When it comes down to it though my favorite is still gCEA becuase its what I originally learned, but different tunings are always fun, for me at least.

Flyinby
11-11-2013, 10:15 AM
So how do the upper and lower bout sizes on your gambler's special compare to the Rogue body?
and what about the body depth? same or different?- deeper would be better I think.

The body is a bit wider on the Rogue, maybe 1/2" total, but the Lanikai is about 1/2" deeper, maybe 3/4". The sound is very different, with much more resonance on the Lanikai.

JonThysell
11-12-2013, 09:13 AM
For me it's about the feel of re-entrant tuning more than the "sound" - I am at my most inventive without having to account that low bottom string.....

Funny, I have started to discover the exact opposite. Though I love re-entrant tuning, (11/12 of my ukes are tuned reentrant) as I've been exploring the baritone, with the very bassy low-d no-wound, living water strings, I've found that having to account for that low bottom string means I experiment with more chord voicings than I normally would on an re-entrant uke.

That said, will someone please invent an uke with a high/low switch for that bottom string? :D

SailQwest
11-12-2013, 09:39 AM
My husband and I tune our tenors dGBE. He enjoyed playing baritone, but it was too big for the boat (the headstock hit the bimini poles). A dGBE tenor turned out to be a great fit for him.

The combined voices of our differently tuned ukes is generally quite pleasant. And reentrant tuning suits our playing styles nicely.

strumsilly
11-12-2013, 01:12 PM
To clarify, I'm talking about high reentrant key of G tuning. So, the usual baritone tuning but with a high d. Is that written dGBE?
that is one way to write it. I purchased a Martin bari and it came with what I believe are Aquila dGBE, and I am really liking them on this instrument. Really easy on the ears and fingers.

mr roper
11-12-2013, 01:19 PM
My husband and I tune our tenors dGBE. He enjoyed playing baritone, but it was too big for the boat (the headstock hit the bimini poles). A dGBE tenor turned out to be a great fit for him.

The combined voices of our differently tuned ukes is generally quite pleasant. And reentrant tuning suits our playing styles nicely.

This is intriguing. Are you just tuning a tenor reentrant string set to this dGBE tuning?

Flyinby
11-12-2013, 01:48 PM
Funny, I have started to discover the exact opposite. Though I love re-entrant tuning, (11/12 of my ukes are tuned reentrant) as I've been exploring the baritone, with the very bassy low-d no-wound, living water strings, I've found that having to account for that low bottom string means I experiment with more chord voicings than I normally would on an re-entrant uke.

That said, will someone please invent an uke with a high/low switch for that bottom string? :D

They "almost" have...no switch though. There was a recent thread about 5-string ukes which have a high/low G and the rest of the strings are normal. I always thought this was a silly idea, but after thinking about it a bit, it didn't sound quite so strange. I like my 8-string for strumming, but don't particularly care for it when picking melodies on the higher strings. So I ended up ordering an Oscar Schmidt Willie K special (tenor, 5-string).

It's possible to pick either G string separately, though it's a little tricky to do the high G by itself; but even better, I've found that when picked together, they more or less fill in both the re-entrant uke sound and the low G for when I am picking a melody that needs the lower notes. I've been pleasantly surprised with it, it's a beautiful uke with a very decent pickup/preamp (side mounted, not the 'inside the hole' type). Ohana makes one too, and the forum seemed to lean toward that one, but I'm glad I picked this one.

But back to baritones, I tried all the normal tunings and found that despite what I read, I just don't care for the sound of them with re-entrant tuning, the body is just too big and it doesn't sound like a uke (to me). I shy away from tenors with low G for that reason, but at times they're nice for picking notes. Not that they sound bad in any way, just that they don't sound like a ukulele to me. So I basically gave up on trying to make the baritone sound like a uke, and put the standard tuned strings back, with wound low strings, which I think sound better than the plain ones.

That's why it's nice having all these sizes and configurations...so we can each find the ones that suit us best, be it a D tuned soprano or a G tuned baritone, or anything in between and sideways.

drbekken
11-12-2013, 09:08 PM
This is intriguing. Are you just tuning a tenor reentrant string set to this dGBE tuning?

Specially designed dGBE strings from Aquila, or you may use the Southcoast heavy gauge for this kind of tenor tuning. here's a video of how it may sound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8mrhUj0u68

SailQwest
11-13-2013, 05:51 AM
This is intriguing. Are you just tuning a tenor reentrant string set to this dGBE tuning?

We buy special sets and/or mix low G and regular tenor sets. Aquilas, Worths (brown and clear), Guadalupe Custom Fibre Cores...

Lately we've been using Southcoasts on all of our ukes. We can get them for every tuning we use from the same source, and they make everything sound good.

mr roper
11-13-2013, 06:48 AM
Specially designed dGBE strings from Aquila, or you may use the Southcoast heavy gauge for this kind of tenor tuning. here's a video of how it may sound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8mrhUj0u68

I just double checked the Southcoast chart and I see that I could use the same HU-NW that I've got on my 19" baritone on a tenor and tune to G.

iamesperambient
11-13-2013, 09:01 PM
I just double checked the Southcoast chart and I see that I could use the same HU-NW that I've got on my 19" baritone on a tenor and tune to G.

I'm buying a rogue baritone I'll keep this one in G standard I may buy a second since their so cheap
and try that one with the re-entrant style strings and have one of each. Can't go wrong. Once i hit the big
time a Kamaka baritone is my dream instrument....I'll prob have to rob several banks to obtain one of those. (a joke i would
never do something like that no worries).