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Thread: Baritone Tuning Question

  1. #1
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    Default Baritone Tuning Question

    If the GCEA Baritone is tuned up to the same pitch as the GCEA Soprano (except for the low G), then what is the point of the much larger instrument? I had thought that the GCEA Baritone was tuned an octave lower than the Soprano, but now I'm told that isn't the case. Apparently, the GCEA Baritone is tuned exactly like the GCEA Tenor. I guess I'm missing the point somewhere. Would someone out there who plays a GCEA Baritone please tell me what the advantage of the larger instrument with high pitched strings is? Thanks!
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
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  2. #2
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    We have some other Key of C set arrangements that are unique to the Baritone, but for most players tuning in a linear C, "the point" is probably the same as having all the other sizes in C. They may play in a club setting, or along with instructional videos with that tuning and the Baritone (Soprano, Concert or Tenor) feels most comfortable.
    Dirk Wormhoudt



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  3. #3
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    the advantage of a larger body size is more bass. a tenor or concert, depending on the build, may not sound as balanced low G. I actually think my Favilla baritone tuned GCEA sounds better than most of my other ukes, some over $1000. It's a cheap experiment. put a set on a bari and see what you think. whatever works.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by strumsilly View Post
    the advantage of a larger body size is more bass. a tenor or concert, depending on the build, may not sound as balanced low G. I actually think my Favilla baritone tuned GCEA sounds better than most of my other ukes, some over $1000. It's a cheap experiment. put a set on a bari and see what you think. whatever works.
    This. Bigger bodied sound, bigger scale for people whose hands may be cramped with the tenor neck (it can happen), so on and so forth.

    The other reason could be, why not? Ukulele seems to be the most "open" to having different tunings on the instruments, so why not do a GCEA tuning on the baritone?
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  5. #5
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    Just thinking in writing here, but the DGBE tuning is down a fourth from the GCEA tuning. So if a GCEA player wants to play a tune in the key of G, it would by necessity have to be an octave higher than what could be played by the DGBE player. The same would be true for tunes in any key between G and B. Tunes in any key between C and F# could be played in unison. And, of course, the DGBE player could play higher on the fretboard, bringing his tunes in the keys from G to B up to the pitch of those played by the CGEA player. So, do any of you members playing Baritones strung GCEA miss the potential of playing in that lower octave in the keys from G to B?

    This isn't just idle curiosity. I have a Baritone on order, and I'm trying to decide how I want to string it. Thanks!
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGeorge View Post
    if a GCEA player wants to play a tune in the key of G, it would by necessity have to be an octave higher than what could be played by the DGBE player.
    Hmm, lets see if that true. A G baritone chord would be 0003, D3 G3 B3 G4. A G soprano chord (reentrant) would be 0232, G4 D4 G4 B4. So it's not quite a whole octave up because of the G4 note.
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  7. #7
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    I bought the Aquila re-entrant gCEA baritone strings and tried it out, but didn't like the tensions. They felt too tight for me compared to the other DGBE strings I had played (Martin's / Aquila's) and now Living Water re-entrant dGBE fluorocarbon ones (which are nice if you're looking to go re-entrant on a baritone).
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

  8. #8
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    Igor, try some Southcoast strings.

  9. #9
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    Sound and style are the biggies.

    My Kala spruce Bari sounds VERY Sweet tuned "Linear C" (g-c'-e'-a') playing jazz accompaniments. Right now I have it strung in Linear A (e-a-c#'-f#") where it also sounds pretty good, though I think I want a bit of a darker sound for that tuning WHEN I get my second Bari.

    The Baritone, more than any other uke, seems to be happy at many different tunings. The point is that you like the sound and enjoy playing it.
    Concert: Lanikai LU-21C (Southcoast MU)
    Soprano: Kala KA-PWS (Southcoast Machete)
    Baritone "Rennaissance Guitar": Kala KA-SBG (C-Linear with Worth BL-LGs currently.)
    Tenor: Kala ATP-CTG (Southcoast LMU-NW
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    Tenor: Kala SRT-CTG-E (Southcoast LMU-NW
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Hmm, lets see if that true. A G baritone chord would be 0003, D3 G3 B3 G4. A G soprano chord (reentrant) would be 0232, G4 D4 G4 B4. So it's not quite a whole octave up because of the G4 note.
    Yes, quite right. My "octave" comment was made thinking of the chords in first position, with the roots as the lowest note. And, yes, the DGBE tuned high note in the chord, assuming a repeated chord triad note, would be in unison with the GCEA tuned lowest same note. But I think the ear would hear the entire chord as being an octave lower. As soon as you start considering inversions, my entire notion goes out the window, so to speak.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

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