Baritone Strumming

sam13

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Hello Everyone,

I have started playing larger Ukes more and more and am really enjoying my RBSH C Spruce Top Pono Pro Classic as a finger style and thumb strumming / dragging Uke.

I have a wound 4th on it with Clear Worth's ... it is heavenly. The tonal colour is wonderful and the sustain is outrageous!

But it isn't a great strummer.

I am looking to find out what you are using for a Strummer Baritone ... what makes, wood choices whether you are using re entrant or linear tuning.

I think I might call Andrew at HMS and look into another Pono Pro Classic Baritone and string it re entrant.

One of the things that is very appealing for me is the radius fretboard as I do a lot of barring ... and am feeling a little arthritic in my fingers when I eat too many grains. Staying away from them as much as I can. Barring with my Pono Pro Classic Baritone is simple and easy.

Thanks.
 

anthonyg

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My two bobs worth. What makes a great strumming instrument is, GREAT intonation, particularly in the open position. When your picking the intonation can be just slightly out but its not that obvious. When your strumming all the notes are being struck at pretty much the same time so there is nowhere to hide if the intonation isn't spot on.

Anthony
 

sam13

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My two bobs worth. What makes a great strumming instrument is, GREAT intonation, particularly in the open position. When your picking the intonation can be just slightly out but its not that obvious. When your strumming all the notes are being struck at pretty much the same time so there is nowhere to hide if the intonation isn't spot on.

Anthony

Great points, Anthony. Do you have a Baritone? If yes, what do you use? Cheers!
 

strumsilly

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I find the baritone muddy sounding when strummed unless it is reentrant.
 

manfromtexas

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I like to strum it in "la pompe" fashion like in gypsy jazz - using closed chords and mutes. That sounds fantastic! If you use a light touch and can punctuate it with some plucking and muting the Bari can sound awesome that way. What doesn't sound good on it is clang a Lang a Lang a Langa Langa Lang
 

Domiuke

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I like to strum it in "la pompe" fashion like in gypsy jazz - using closed chords and mutes. That sounds fantastic! If you use a light touch and can punctuate it with some plucking and muting the Bari can sound awesome that way. What doesn't sound good on it is clang a Lang a Lang a Langa Langa Lang

Would be very happy to hear that.
 

sopher

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I actually have the same bari and mostly fingerpick on it. If you want to dedicate a bari to strumming I would recommend the "double-reentrant" tuning of Li-liu (?) from Southcoast. The 4th string is high and the 1st string is low - it's pretty good for adding a low tone to the strummers without the thuddy bass of the non-resonant low D

YMMV
sopher
 

DownUpDave

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I find the baritone muddy sounding when strummed unless it is reentrant.

Andy makes a great point Simon. Now you have another reason to buy a second baritone...........that in itself is "golden Jerry".

As we talked about I have my Pono strung with smaller gauge brighter sounding floros on #1 & #2 position. I then tune it up to E, A, C#, F# which makes it brighter sounding.

Come on over and and bring your bari, I will swap out the wound low D for a reentrant on my Pono and we can do a side by side sound sample. See if you like it. Or just go ahead and buy another bari........I won't stop you ;)
 
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sam13

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I like to strum it in "la pompe" fashion like in gypsy jazz - using closed chords and mutes. That sounds fantastic! If you use a light touch and can punctuate it with some plucking and muting the Bari can sound awesome that way. What doesn't sound good on it is clang a Lang a Lang a Langa Langa Lang

Any sound samples or links to that? It sounds intriguing.
 

mm stan

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Low G is not good for strumming.. go re entrant
 

JJFN

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Why is everyone trashing strumming a baritone ukulele? My kamaka sounds great, strumming, picking and packed away it it's case! My baritone is strung with Southeast, LL-WB's, that's with one wound string. It's sound is heavenly. I probably won't change these strings until the rot off (sorry Dirk). So I must respectfully disagree with most responders to this thread.
 

DownUpDave

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Why is everyone trashing strumming a baritone ukulele? My kamaka sounds great, strumming, picking and packed away it it's case! My baritone is strung with Southeast, LL-WB's, that's with one wound string. It's sound is heavenly. I probably won't change these strings until the rot off (sorry Dirk). So I must respectfully disagree with most responders to this thread.

In your signature it says your Kamaka baritone is "linear C". Baritones only really sound muddy when strummed in low D tuning and that is what we were refering to. I tune up one of my baris to E and even with low D wound string set it brightens things up enough to make a big difference. I have heard great things about the LL-WB string set from South Coast, I love the HML sets on my tenors.
 

mds725

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I also have a Kamaka baritone, strung low D with Kamaka's own strings. It doesn't sound muddy at all. I also have a Mya-Moe myrtle baritone, also strung low D, with Worth Clears (what M-M was using at the time). It isn't muddy either.

It would be an interesting experiment for the OP to get ahold of a Kamaka baritone (or a Mya-Moe, or another high-end production or custom baritone) and string it and his Pono the same to compare them. I don't mean to dis Pono -- my first baritone was a mahogany Pono and I really liked it, but my guess is that the better built a baritone is, the less muddy it's going to sound. Maybe, with a low D string, that difference in build quality is just more noticeable on a baritone ukulele.
 

Ukulele Eddie

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Low G is not good for strumming.. go re entrant

My sentiments as well. I just don't care for linear tuning for straight strumming. Re-entrant sounds better. Now, I almost never "only strum" so I enjoy both tunings.
 

DownUpDave

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I also have a Kamaka baritone, strung low D with Kamaka's own strings. It doesn't sound muddy at all. I also have a Mya-Moe myrtle baritone, also strung low D, with Worth Clears (what M-M was using at the time). It isn't muddy either.

It would be an interesting experiment for the OP to get ahold of a Kamaka baritone (or a Mya-Moe, or another high-end production or custom baritone) and string it and his Pono the same to compare them. I don't mean to dis Pono -- my first baritone was a mahogany Pono and I really liked it, but my guess is that the better built a baritone is, the less muddy it's going to sound. Maybe, with a low D string, that difference in build quality is just more noticeable on a baritone ukulele.

Interesting theories Mark. I think the trouble Simon has is he is a big strong guy and is "heavy handed" in his playing technique. He can make any uke sound "loud". He teases me about "strumming like a little boy". I have a Kamaka and a Pono spruce/mahogany baritone and when tuned the same with the same string set the Pono is just a bit brighter and definitely not "muddy".

Simon probably just needs to find what works for his playing technique. Lots of good info on this thread though, very helpful.
 

mds725

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Interesting theories Mark. I think the trouble Simon has is he is a big strong guy and is "heavy handed" in his playing technique. He can make any uke sound "loud". He teases me about "strumming like a little boy". I have a Kamaka and a Pono spruce/mahogany baritone and when tuned the same with the same string set the Pono is just a bit brighter and definitely not "muddy".

Simon probably just needs to find what works for his playing technique. Lots of good info on this thread though, very helpful.

The fact that there are so many variables makes it very difficult to answer the original question.
 

gvelasco

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There is A LOT of personal preference with respect to tunings and strumming/picking styles for each type of ukulele. I'm sure everyone ends up settling on what sounds and works best for them. But, there are at least a couple of strumming patterns that were developed around specific tunings. Claw Hammer was invented specifically to take advantage of re-entrant banjo tunings, so it tends to work with with re-entrant ukulele tunings. Of course you can use it with linear tuned ukuleles, but it won't produce the traditional frailing tones associated with re-entrant tunings. George Formby's split stroke strumming style was also developed to take advantage of re-entrant tuning. Again, you can use split stroke strumming with linear tuning, but it won't sound the same.

If I'm playing by myself, I'll do finger picking on the baritone, but if I'm playing with other uke players I tend to strum on the bari because finger picking is too quiet. If the soprano uke player is finger picking, then I might finger pick the bari too.

If I were playing the bari as my primary solo instrument, I'd probably tune it re-entrant, but since I use it to play with other uke players, I have it tuned linear in G to compliment the other players. I also tend to strum it rather than finger pick, but I don't use the faster strum patterns associated with the soprano uke - triplets, etc.
 

kypfer

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My Brunswick BU5B is strung with a low G and strums fine :)
 

Down Up Dick

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I don't usually strum my baritone much, but I do like open tuning on it a lot. I'm gonna use it for slide if I ever get around to it--busy busy busy . . . :eek:ld:
 

sam13

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Why is everyone trashing strumming a baritone ukulele? My kamaka sounds great, strumming, picking and packed away it it's case! My baritone is strung with Southeast, LL-WB's, that's with one wound string. It's sound is heavenly. I probably won't change these strings until the rot off (sorry Dirk). So I must respectfully disagree with most responders to this thread.

As Dave noted, your HF-4 is Linear C tuning ... we are talking about Linear D tuning.

And I wasn't trashing strumming on a Baritone at all ... just trying to listen to what others are doing or using as I would really like to have another Baritone for strumming ...

Dave knows me very well and I am tall and have no problem pulling sound out of a Uke ... even a laminate soprano. He has a HF-4 as well, and when strummed heavily it does get muddy ... I still love the tone on it.

I am considering getting one and having the neck thinned out a little and a radius fretboard added to it.