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Thread: High tuned baritone?

  1. #1
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    Default High tuned baritone?

    I recently had a request from a fellow bandmate to build a baritone uke, but also the question can it be tuned G (low) C E A rather than guitar tuning? There is method in the madness as he is concerned about losing the chord shape relationship to all the songs he knows on his tenor.

    My initial reaction is that baritones exist purely to exploit the lower pitch of guitar tuning, and to tune up to standard uke tuning is pretty pointless.

    However, I thought it worth asking for opinions (and yes I realise the glib answer is to capo 5th ).

    I imagine I can address any string tension concerns by custom selection from the vast array of classical guitar strings.
    Cheers
    Paul

  2. #2
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    Yes its done. There are strings sets available from several manufacturers to tune a baritone ukulele GCEA. How do you go about making one that's better than a tenor tuned GCEA? Now that's a better question and I have NO idea.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    Yes its done. There are strings sets available from several manufacturers to tune a baritone ukulele GCEA.
    That's interesting - thanks Anthony
    Cheers
    Paul

  4. #4
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    Guadalupe makes a great low GCEA set of strings for baritone
    http://www.youtube.com/user/hoosierhiver

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  5. #5
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    Yes, it can be very effective. We make four different sets to choose from, depending on what you like in tension or material.

    Take a look at this recent thread:

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...-be-tuned-GCEA

    You'll notice the video posted there gives a clue of as to how to solve Anthony's question about making it sound better than a Tenor. Listen to Leonardo Lozano's sound and take more of the traditional Cuatro Solista approach in construction.
    Dirk Wormhoudt



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  6. #6
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    Thanks Mike & Dick. Not being much of a player, this is all new to me! I'll google Cuatro Solista for some construction ideas.
    Cheers
    Paul

  7. #7
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    My experience with tuning a baritone GCEA was with a pretty cheap laminate, and it sounded great - the longer strings, higher string tension and bigger body on the baritone resulted in more volume and sustain than you'd typically get on a smaller uke size. That said, it didn't have the "bark" that you get from a good soprano. Basically it took all the shifts in tone from soprano to tenor out one more step.
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  8. #8
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    I do quite a few baritiones in GCEA, and its my prefered tuning for them. 19" scale lenght works a treat for them.

    To make the DGEA work you really need to stretch out the scale lenght to 20 or even better 21 inches. That way you get the D to resonate fully.

  9. #9
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    O.K., Wild,

    I may have led you down a blind alley when I said Cuatro "Solista" construction. Solista is a style of play, not a type of construction. My bad.

    Cuatro construction in general is just a lot lighter than Baritone Ukulele. Often more like a Soprano Ukulele style. Cuatros built in that style produce fine tone at relatively low tension, but then again, aren't known for longevity either.

    I'd just approach it like any true custom, knowing you'll likely go towards something lighter than the Baritone. You already know the range of notes - the tuning. Nail down the scale (Baritones vary). Find out the sort of tension he prefers. See if he has any preference in tone (deeper emphasis / reverb or high note emphasis / get out the box quick).

    Once you know how he likes those elements the possibilities for things like soundbox shape, board thickness and bracing start to come into focus. Good luck!
    Dirk Wormhoudt



    website: http://www.southcoastukes.com

    email: sales@southcoastukes.com

  10. #10
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    I once played a baratone uke tuned to "C". It sounded great but it was like playing an unexploaded bomb...I was expecting the bridge to hit me in the eye any second .
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