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View Full Version : stringing a baritone uke to GDAE



davegraham
04-29-2014, 11:13 AM
Hello,

I don't normally post here, but I thought that this may be of interest to some baritone players, or uke players wanting to try something different. I've been playing uke for a few years now, and I also like the baritone quite a bit-but I'm not really a fan of the DGBE tuning, as I'm also a guitar player (although my love for the instrument has waned in place of the uke). In any case, I've come across a string arrangement for tuning the baritone to GDAE, which is the same tuning as a mandolin, but much lower. I've found that it really works quite well. So for those interested, here goes:

1st string- E string from a baritone set, nothing new there
2nd string- Fremont low G tenor string UNWOUND, tuned to A
3rd string- D string from baritone set, moved to 3rd position
4th string- Low E string from classical guitar set tuned to G, preferably hard tension.

The trickiest string was the "A" string, trying to find what would work best. I discovered the Fremont string just today, and it is perfect-no need to worry about too high tension or undue stress on the bridge, as the Fremont low G's are very elastic and when tuned to A on a baritone the tension is just right. So there you go, I know it's pretty lengthy, but I was fairly pleased to find this arrangement out, so hopefully some out there feel the same way.

ichadwick
05-01-2014, 02:39 AM
Hmmm. I bought a baritone uke from another member and it came with a set of GCEA strings. I personally didn't like them because I found them too stiff. And not very responsive (the sound wasn't better or louder). I play the bari at times because there are some songs the lower range suits better. I stick with DGBE because it's the same as my tenor guitars and I don't need to learn a new chord pattern.

savagehenry
05-01-2014, 03:02 AM
Very interesting. I just tuned my baritone DGAD, kind of like a mini version of DADGAD and I'm really loving it.

iamesperambient
05-01-2014, 06:25 AM
Hmmm. I bought a baritone uke from another member and it came with a set of GCEA strings. I personally didn't like them because I found them too stiff. And not very responsive (the sound wasn't better or louder). I play the bari at times because there are some songs the lower range suits better. I stick with DGBE because it's the same as my tenor guitars and I don't need to learn a new chord pattern.

i think DGBE sounds best with a baritone it seems everyone is afraid of it but really look up
kimo hussey baritone ukulele, you can see even tuned in standard you can get very much
a ukey sound just a more mellow laid back uke tone.

ichadwick
05-02-2014, 07:35 AM
i think DGBE sounds best with a baritone it seems everyone is afraid of it....

Who says? Everyone means ALL of the UU members: did you ask everyone?

I've never seen a single post where someone has expressed fear of any tuning, let alone a baritone tuning. I'm not sure what the name for that phobia would be, but it sure would be odd.

BigMamaJ40
05-02-2014, 07:46 AM
Interesting. I have been considering getting a tenor guitar and tuning it GDAE, but this option of going with a baritone uke is intriguing. I'll have to compare the scale lengths to see which is a better choice for me. Thanks for sharing the string info!

sirwhale
05-02-2014, 07:54 AM
Could we get some youtube action?

Foxfish
05-02-2014, 09:11 AM
I have a few baritones & small tenor guitars all nylon strung & tuned in 5ths GDAE or CGDA.
Personally I much prefer the CGDA tuning, it sounds so much brighter & seems to suit baritones very well.
It is not that easy to get a good sound & the right tension from the nylon, I have tried dozens of formats!
I play short scale tenor banjo & that sound just right in GDAE (steel string) but for my tenor guitars I love the ringing tone of CGDA :)
I also have a few modified baritones & a couple of home made small tenor guitars that all have narrow 30mm nuts, great for melody!
These tunings offer a different sound with lots of fast change chore at the top of the neck.


http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu261/foxfish_photo/image-43.jpg (http://s654.photobucket.com/user/foxfish_photo/media/image-43.jpg.html)
http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu261/foxfish_photo/image-34.jpg (http://s654.photobucket.com/user/foxfish_photo/media/image-34.jpg.html)

davegraham
05-02-2014, 12:49 PM
I strung up my baritone once with a set of tenors, low G string. I too didn't really care for them. I did like the stiffness, but it seems that the baritone is best suited for the lower tones, not the high ones (then again, maybe it depends on the baritone itself). In any case, the GDAE tuning is simply a suggestion for anyone (like myself) wanting to try something a little different on the baritone. The chord and scale patterns aren't hard to learn either, just pick up a mandolin practice book and you're good to go. Also, the fat low G string gives the baritone a much deeper sound.

Cornfield
05-02-2014, 03:08 PM
When I take my tenor guitar around guitarists they ask "Is that a baritone ukulele?"
When I bring it to a uke jam they ask "What kind of guitar is that? "
I can't win.

Foxfish
05-02-2014, 11:55 PM
Yeah I know what you mean!
The majority of tenor guitars have 23" scales but there are more & more becoming available with 21" scales now, although the body size is still larger than a baritone the sizes are not so far away from each other!

Foxfish
05-05-2014, 08:32 AM
Here is a CGDA 19" scale one ...

http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu261/foxfish_photo/imagejpg3.jpg (http://s654.photobucket.com/user/foxfish_photo/media/imagejpg3.jpg.html)

davegraham
05-05-2014, 08:42 AM
I tried CGDA once with my baritone, and while I liked the sound of it with the contrasting low/high notes, the D string when fretted on the second fret rang sharp. I've had the same problem with my tenor guitar. I eventually got around it by simply tuning the D string up to E, and playing a somewhat modified uke tuning (CGEA). Interestingly, I don't have the same problem with my baritone tuned GDAE.

Foxfish
05-05-2014, 09:00 AM
I quite agree, it is difficult to get just the right sound with nylon!