Music theory -- Baritone and Low G key signature conversion table

wqking

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I made the table for learning purpose. I hope you find it useful, or let me know if there are any mistakes.
Baritone is EBGD tuning, Low G is AECG tuning, which G is Low G.

The conversion means, assume we have a score for Baritone, which includes both sheet music (the notes) and the tab (the fingers), if we want to convert the score to Low G, and keep the fingers same with Baritone, and only adjust the notes pitch and the key signature. It's similar to convert from Low G to Baritone. The purpose for such conversion is to make a tab works for both Baritone and Low G with the same fingering, and only adjust the sheet music.

For example, in Baritone, the 1st string (E string), 2nd fret, is F#, after converting to Low G, it's still the 1st string (A string) and 2nd fret, now the note is B. If the key signature in Baritone is F#, then the adjusted key signature should be B in Low G.

Hope my explanation makes sense.

In the table, the left column shows the key signature in Baritone, and the right column shows the corresponding key signature in Low G.
In each column, the first part before the two dashes is the tonic note name, the second part (after the two dashes) is the number of sharp/flat symbols for the key signature.

Table is below.

Code:
Baritone                        Low G
C                               F  -- b
G  -- #                         C
D  -- ##                        G  -- #
A  -- ###                       D  -- ##
E  -- ####                      A  -- ###
B  -- #####                     E  -- ####
F# -- ######                    B  -- #####
C# -- #######                   F# -- ######
F  -- b                         Bb -- bb
Bb -- bb                        Eb -- bbb
Eb -- bbb                       Ab -- bbbb
Ab -- bbbb                      C# -- #######
Db -- bbbbb                     F# -- ######
Gb -- bbbbbb                    B  -- #####
Cb -- bbbbbbb                   E  -- ####
 
Last edited:

wqking

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If any one with good music theory knowledge finds any mistakes in the table, please point out. Otherwise I will think the conversions are correct and I will use the result somewhere. :cool:
 

VegasGeorge

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What? I just don't get it. "Low G" refers to Island (or C) tuning where the reentrant high G is lowered an octave and becomes the "Low G." On a Baritone in standard Bari Tuning, the E is already lowered, and is a "Low E" so to speak. Of course, it is acceptable to tune any way you want. But, I don't understand what the OP is driving at here.
 

emba

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What? I just don't get it. "Low G" refers to Island (or C) tuning where the reentrant high G is lowered an octave and becomes the "Low G." On a Baritone in standard Bari Tuning, the E is already lowered, and is a "Low E" so to speak. Of course, it is acceptable to tune any way you want. But, I don't understand what the OP is driving at here.
My understanding of what this is for (OP may correct me) is if you have baritone uke but a tablature for low G, or vice versa. You can play the tablature on either, because they both have low fourth strings, but you’ll be playing in a different key. The chart is for figuring out what that key is. It would hold true for high g as well, but the fourth string notes would be an octave off.

as a relative beginner with a new (to me) baritone uke and a book of low g tabbed Christmas carols I’d like to work on, it’s very timely to me. If, as a previous poster, you have memorized the transposing enough to not need a chart, it might have little value for you.
 

wqking

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My understanding of what this is for (OP may correct me) is if you have baritone uke but a tablature for low G, or vice versa. You can play the tablature on either, because they both have low fourth strings, but you’ll be playing in a different key. The chart is for figuring out what that key is. It would hold true for high g as well, but the fourth string notes would be an octave off.
Yes, your understanding is correct, and you explanation is better mine. :D
 

robinboyd

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My understanding of what this is for (OP may correct me) is if you have baritone uke but a tablature for low G, or vice versa. You can play the tablature on either, because they both have low fourth strings, but you’ll be playing in a different key. The chart is for figuring out what that key is. It would hold true for high g as well, but the fourth string notes would be an octave off.
Oh, I get it now! I didn't really understand before. In that case, you might want to leave out the enharmonic keys like Cb because they'll just confuse you given that there is no actual Cb note.
 

robinboyd

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Hogwash. There is indeed an actual Cb note, even if it is enharmonic with B. If there were no "actual" Cb, scales like Gb would contain both a Bb and a B, while C would not be used at all (the next note in the scale being Db)—a distinct problem with staff notation. It may be true that many uke and guitar players prefer to notate chords rooted on Cb, Fb, B# and E# by their "simpler" enharmonic equivalent names on B, E, C and F, but this is technically wrong, and obscures important relationships in the harmonic structure.

Similarly, Cb is a completely valid key. I not infrequently play in the keys of Gb and Cb (also in F# and C#, which involve E# and B# chords).

That's not to say that using B when it "should be" Cb is always wrong, since sometimes there are competing considerations. But it's better to become acclimated to names like Cb than to always avoid them for the sake of a short-sighted "simplicity".
If this is not confusing to you, then go for it. Ubulele is clearly more knowledgeable than I am.
 

merlin666

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I don't understand the purpose of the table. Looks like a small part of the circle of fifths to me.
 

wqking

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Hogwash. There is indeed an actual Cb note, even if it is enharmonic with B. If there were no "actual" Cb, scales like Gb would contain both a Bb and a B, while C would not be used at all (the next note in the scale being Db)—a distinct problem with staff notation.
That's absolutely true. In music theory, Cb is not equivalent to B, they may have different roles.

I like the table and it works for its author and it is very complete. There are many other tools you can use for doing the fifth/fourth transposing involved in going from DGBE to GCEA. This is one which is bound to work for some UU members currently studying the transposing process.
I will create a more complete list which includes more keys such as B#, and a table that transpose Low G to Baritone. Current version is Baritone to Low G and the keys in Low G don't cover all keys so we can't use the table in back direction. I will update it later.

I don't understand the purpose of the table. Looks like a small part of the circle of fifths to me.
One purpose is for learning. During developing the table (well, actually, during developing the program which generates the table), I learned much more knowledge on music theory than reading books.
Another purpose is I do some transposition between Baritone and Low G, and such table can help me to adjust the keys.
 

merlin666

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I understand the concept of transposing where chord G in the key of C is equivalent to A in the key of D. I play in jams with many different instruments including fiddles, mandolins, and banjos and everyone is playing in the same key, so I don't understand why you can not just play in the same key on a baritone or tenor uke also.
 

merlin666

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By the way, B# is an invalid key: it would have two sharp notes and five (!) double-sharp notes. Only a sadist would force a musician to read that. Please do not include such keys in any chart.
My circle app shows Fb with six flats and one double flat. The beginner uke player will probably prefer E with four sharps though I don't think it sounds as good on a laminate uke.
 

merlin666

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If the purpose of this is about finding basic chord shapes there is a nice circle of fifths image that can accomplish this. To find the baritone shape for a regular shape move one wedge counterclockwise, and if you have a baritone and want to know what regular uke chord looks like then look one wedge clockwise.
UkuleleCircleofFifths.jpg
 

VegasGeorge

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After reading all the Reply postings, I went back and re-read the OP's original post. I think there is a lot of confusion in terminology displayed here. "Low G" is not a "key." It simply refers to the 4th string (G) in Island (C) tuning being lowered an octave, so that the 4th string sounds lower than the 3rd string. One can play in any key one desires regardless of whether the tuning is reentrant or linear, and regardless of the choice of tuning, Island, D, etc. I don't understand why the OP has set out the elaborate list of sharp and flat keys. The ascending order of sharp keys is G,D,A,E,B and the ascending order of flat keys is F,Bb,Eb,Ab,Db. Whereas double sharps or double flats are not unheard of, they are so unusual as to be exotic. There are very few pieces written in F#/Gb. B# and Cb are just the enharmonic equivalents of C and B, respectively. And, writing in C# is silly when its enharmonic equivalent, Db is much more accessible.
 

wqking

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I clearly remember there were two new replies from different users here, and seems they were gone. What happened?
 

Jim Yates

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I notice that many folks call "C tuning" what I have always known as "C6 tuning". (I suppose Am7 tuning would be just as accurate, but I've always heard it called C6 tuning.) What makes gCEA or GCEA "C tuning"? I know one of the strings is a C, but. . .
I would think that "C tuning" would be GCEG or gCEG.