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Thread: Comparison of Bb vs C tuning

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain-janeway View Post
    I'm still trying to understand chord shapes etc, so If you tuned the uke down a half step like that does that mean you you fret a C chord on the 4th fret of the A string instead of the 3rd? I'm still having a problem with clean barring on the first fret, so then to get a c# I'd have to barre on first fret and then stretch all the way down to 5th fret? I'm probably overthinking it, but I'm trying to figure it out. Thanks.
    Noooooooooo!
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...-Thinking-in-C
    Ukulele:
    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
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    This works and it is how I play if I am playing solo and not with others. Basically you are played by shapes and the key is not relevant. It is just like CliveyG’s YouTube comparison video. The person played the exact same strings and fretted them the same, but the difference in tuning made the first one sound lower.

    If you play with others and do not tune up, you will have to transpose (been there done that and won’t do it again) or use a capo; which for me is the lesser of two evils. In the YouTube comparison video it would not be possible to play the same fingering in Bb and play with others tuned to C. You would need to play two frets higher to get back to C. Hence the capo.

    John
    Last edited by 70sSanO; 08-12-2019 at 01:33 PM.

  3. #13
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    I won't transpose "on the fly". I agree if you're tuning down 1 or 2 semitones that a capo is an invaluable tool.
    Ukulele:
    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
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Is it about the tuning or the tension on the strings? Does the lower tension help the uke more than the higher tension?
    It is about the sound of each tuning, but the tension in Bb does for me have better playability. Easier to fret and easier to manipulate the strings. Though a lighter tension would probably do the same in C tuning.
    Clive

  5. #15
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    The late Dirk from Southcoast Strings was, I believe, a firm advocate of lowered tunings. I miss that guy.

  6. #16
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    So this brings up a point I have been wondering about...If one tunes their uke down a whole step, say C to Bb, and then plays a D shape in order to “correctly” play the C chord with others in a group, then your uke shouldn’t sound any lower / different - correct? If so, do those who tune their ukes to a different key typically do it to get a different pitch/tone by playing standard C chords when playing by themselves or to get lower string tension? Just curious, as I have recently started learning the baritone as I like the lower sound, but if I want to play with others I will need to capo up to the fifth fret and am thinking I will lose that lower tone I am liking.
    Thanks,
    Bobj.

  7. #17
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    You are correct, but there are multiple chord shapes for the same chord. Technically if you play a D chord (tuned to Bb) as 2225 is will be the same exact sound as a C (tuned to C) played 0003. If you play the D as 2220 it will still be a C chord (tuned to Bb), the voicing will be different because you are playing a lower note 1st string open (G) than 1st string 5th fret (C). But there are no problems doing this and may result in a better accomplishment.

    As for a baritone, I would never capo on the 5th fret. You might as well play a tenor ukulele. You should probably just learn the baritone chords, (same as guitar chords without 5/6 strings). Adding a baritone to standard tuned ukuleles will probably enhance the overall sound.

    John

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    One reason I use Bb tuning is so I can move my home playing position up without changing the effective pitch range (with respect to C tuning). This allows me to use movable chords, which are more controllable and consistent in sound than chords with open strings, while also giving me some lower voicings to play with. When I play at or near the nut, I find the nut too often disrupting patterns and voice connections—it's actually more work than when playing with movable shapes.

    Pitch range affects dynamic tension; if you play at the nut, you can only "inflect" upward, like a Valley girl. If your home base is in the lower middle neck, you can move either up or down, darkening or lightening, more like you do in normal speech. And if you stick solely in first position, it's like someone speaking in a virtual monotone—I hate it.
    This is a great response. I am guilty of playing open/semi-open chords, but if you barre the 5 basic chord shapes it doesn’t matter what the starting point (tuning) that you choose. Playing a C or G or F will just be a particular shape(s) at particular location(s) on the fretboard. It is all relative to moving a shape up or down.

    John

  9. #19

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    Hmm, i like the sound of the Bb tuning, but i like the sound of slacker strings as well as the lower tuning itself.

  10. #20
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    I have two high end tenors, a Kamaka and a Kanilea. I keep the Kamaka tined in C and the Kanilea is tuned down 3 half steps to A. I tune the Kanilea down because I felt the C string just didn't sustain enough in standard re-entrant tuning. I use the Kanilea for solo performing and the Kamaka if I'm playing with other musicians.

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