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Thread: Easy instant transposition for match our singing range with baritone G and ukulele C

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Easy instant transposition for match our singing range with baritone G and ukulele C

    Sometimes a song if your voice is a bit range limited like mine, does not seem suited to a key of a song, playing with ukulele. If uke makes me feel like its too low, I can take my classical guitar made baritone with stripping the bass E and A strings and sing a tune with using same chord fingerings a fifth higher and it feels better suited for me.

    And sometimes if I feel the original tune with ukulele goes too high for my voice as natural, I can also grab my ”baritone” and sing it a fourth lower using the original ukulele chord fingerings. That's the duality of those tunings.

    I don’t treat that instrument as a guitar anymore. I don’t much relate to the true key chords in it, because guitar chords are for the 6 strings, many barres etc. They don’t have so much in common with baritone chord fingerings. And this 4 string instrument is just a baritone, basically.

    Of course I know the guitar fingerboard notes and chords in it with over 40 years of experience. It is not that, just a baritone is not a guitar. So I treat my ”baritone” as a transposing uke. Maybe one day I get a real one too. Money is a bit tight as always, so I am not in danger of any UAS lol.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)


    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Kyoto Japan


    There are many transposing instruments. Most of them are wind instruments. But even guitar is transposing instruments. Their pitch is one octave below the real pitch. As it is one octave, many of us do not see it. Trumpet is transposing instrument. Bb trumpet's real pitch is different from written pitch (see the figure below). We see "Trumpet in Bb" on the score.

    If we think Baritone ukulele as transposing instrument, we may use them much easier (see the figure below). We just think 0003 as C (bari). We don't need to transpose them to G in our brain. And real c is located bit high on the second string (see the figure of bottom left). We just need to c on the third string. It is not real DGBE but GCEA (bari).

    This kind of transposing is often seen on ukulele and guitar tabs and chord charts (see the figure below). In this case (written pitch) C is not the concert pitch but Eb because of capo 3.

    I think Jarmo and ukulele Jim's proposal is very useful. I really try to use bari as a transposing instrument.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017


    With transposing instruments, the problem is that you have to write them differently. Now I am not talking about octave transposing of a guitar music. It is not that a big thing and I don’t consider guitar in so much as a transposing instrument.

    It is great that standard ukulele is tuned to C6/Am7, then you will always have an instrument that you can play with other people, as written. Is not a transposing one.

    My guess is that soprano ukes might sound better with D6, or tenors with say Bb6 tunings, just a thought.

    The point of this thread about just, how easy it is to change from ukulele to baritone with playing the same chords and then have the key transposed to better suiting our voice. It really works fine for me

    Now I diverge same as you guys did in that we as humans are not really that flexible in our brains, I am not at least, to think so easy that one chord with same fingering has a different name, or the note. So that is where the tranposing comes to play. We can identify the chord degrees. What are our 1, 4 and 5 chords and then 6, 2 and 3 chords, in a song. Can get more complicated of course but can usually be related. And then we can write chords in another key. With our main uke.

    As to play on fly, not so easy. So an easy solution if playing with others, on the same key of course and if our transposing tenor uke is tuned like Bb6, is to put a capo on second fret and then we can read without transposing and all that theoretical analysis. All the knowledge when ”thinking in C” is easily had. Some good ukulele light capos there, but I have only acoustic and classical guitar Shubb capos, and they are too heavy for ukes. And I don’t like capos on ukulele. But can be a quick save.

    With my ”baritone” that capo thing really does not work so well. Big classical guitar box more suited to lower notes than if to put a capo on 5th fret. Best way then is to know the real baritone chords. Knowing the guitar chords also don’t help, because as told they are mostly differently fretted.

    Coming back to the original subject, yes, having 2 instruments tuned so wide apart makes it easy to sing songs. So easy, just treat one instrument, not your main as a transposing one

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