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Thread: how challenging is baritone once you play soprano?

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    Default how challenging is baritone once you play soprano?

    I know that the chords are different and its larger but are there any other challenges learning to play baritone ? I've been playing soprano / tenor for 3 years and I'm a competent player but I have no other experiences with instruments. Also, is the sound of the baritone significantly different ? Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisinfp View Post
    I know that the chords are different and its larger but are there any other challenges learning to play baritone ? I've been playing soprano / tenor for 3 years and I'm a competent player but I have no other experiences with instruments. Also, is the sound of the baritone significantly different ? Thanks
    The chord shapes are the same, just a different name. The tenor C chord is now a G on the baritone, so in that respect, you already can play baritone. The scale length is longer so the frets are spaced a little bit farther apart, but not really by much, and you will very quickly adapt.

    With a larger body and longer scale, and depending on the tuning you choose, yes, it will sound different. Just as your playing soprano and tenor does now. Some tune to GCEA, but the "standard" DGBE, will be a deeper/lower sound. The dreaded "more guitar" like sound some don't care for is the end result.

    Also, the Bari usually comes with two wound bass strings, you can get all unwound, so if that is bothersome to you, that can be an option for you.

    Hope this helps.
    Tenor Ukes
    KoAloha KTM-00
    Pono MTD-(All Mahogany)
    Big Island BI-MO-TR-(All Spalted Mango)
    Compass Rose Style B Tenor-(All Claro Walnut)
    Boat Paddle ML style Tenor-(Red Spruce/Cocobolo)

    Baritone Uke
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    Tenor Guitar
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    Varies from player to player. Some ukers play everything from sopraninos to baritones and guitars, some settle in on a size that feels most comfortable.

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    If you can play soprano and tenor, you probably won't have a playability problem. But if you don't like the sound of linear tuning, low G/D on baritone, that may be a bigger hurdle.

    That is what has stopped me. I have no problem with a guitar, but I don't like playing a linear tuned ukulele. If you don't have your tenor in linear, try it and if you like it, go for the baritone.

    John

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    Played all sizes, but now have settled on just soprano and (mostly)baritone and the occasional guitar. To me it's not that hard to adjust to the scale change, tho if I haven't played soprano for a while, I might over-reach for chords for a little bit, until my finger memory adjusts. The different(but same) chord shapes start to stick in your mind pretty quickly but I have been known to accidentally throw in a soprano chord while playing Bari. It's the obscure chords that usually cause me to hesitate. If you don't want to do the mental gymnastics, transpose bari chords into C tuned ones, or buy GCEA Bari strings, or if you're not singing, just play C tuned chords.

    As for sound, I think the change in sound is HUGE between tenor and Bari. More than the change in any other size.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    If you can play soprano and tenor, you probably won't have a playability problem. But if you don't like the sound of linear tuning, low G/D on baritone, that may be a bigger hurdle.

    That is what has stopped me. I have no problem with a guitar, but I don't like playing a linear tuned ukulele. If you don't have your tenor in linear, try it and if you like it, go for the baritone.

    John
    a bari can be tuned reebtrant, both in C amd G
    there is no substitute for LOVE

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    It's exactly the same except it's much bigger, tuned differently, and sounds different.



    However, you can change these things via string choice. You can tune it in C and play re-entrant if you desire. Check out Dirk's site--on the charts it would be a 20" uke you are looking for. Lots of choices.
    http://www.southcoastukes.com/ukulele.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by strumsilly View Post
    a bari can be tuned reebtrant, both in C amd G
    A bari can also be restrung with a Venezuelan cuatro string set (D'Addario J98) to GceA or Adf#B for a different re-entrant experience. Or slack the top and bottom strings from DGBE to CGBD for plectrum-banjo tuning. Or just slack the top string to DGBD and play open chords. Or restring in fifths for a quiet mandola. I personally am not enamored of standard bari DGBE because I have enough guitars there already. YMMV.

    A bari neck is not *that* much larger than a tenor so you should not have handling problems. The main challenge mirrors git-pickers moving to 'ukes -- adapting between linear and re-entrant. If you fingerpick, everything you learned to do with your plucking thumb in one stringing is WRONG for the other and you must rethink fingerings. For merely strumming, no problem -- the chord forms remain the same. But (counter)melodic picking gets weird.

    I am uncertain how to proceed with my current small-voiced bari. It's now in plectrum banjo tuning but I'm not real happy there. I may end up cutting a new nut and saddle and adding a fifth string to double the bottom course in octaves, dD-G-B-e, to give it more of an 'uke sound. As is, I classify my bari as an 'uke-like-object and not an actual 'ukulele.

    Ukes: Alvarez 4- & Kala 6- & O.Schmidt 8-string tenors; 1 Ohana & 2 Kahalo sopranos; Harmonia concert & bari
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    Others: Maffick & First Act dulcimers; Mexican cuatro-menor; Puerto Rican cuatro; Martin tiple; electrics
    Wanted: charango; balalaika; bowlback mando; Venezuelan cuatro; zithers

  9. #9
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    for me bari tires out my hands. especially if playing it strummed which to me sounds bad with linear tuning.
    I just use my bari for picking. Sounds like a little guitar, even more so with string squeak if using 2 wounds.
    So for me: strumming with soprano, some picking and lots of portability. Bari for classical picking stuff and a nice mellow sound with lots of sustain. I still need a tenor...
    In order of play time: Martin OXK, Lanikai LU21B, Islander MT4, Rubin Sopranino

  10. #10

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    This may be a silly question, but if I tune a bari for GCEA would I be able to play it like a soprano?

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