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Thread: Help me understand the Baritone

  1. #11
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    Sep 2013
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    After playing tenor sized Ukes for 3 years or more and playing with a few groups that got together for charitable gigs I decided to learn to play the Baritone just to add a bit of color to our sound. Every Saturday I play with a group that jams at a local music store. They allow you to take a uke off the rack and play it with the group. So I tried the Baritone at first it was awkward to think of the different shapes for the chords but soon I could play the Baritone chords as well as I could the standard tuning. I do switch back and forth and find that it is not that difficult. Your brain just makes the switch with the instrument and you don’t even have to think about it. I love playing Baritone.

  2. #12
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    Oct 2011
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    After awhile, you'll learn there are chord patterns to most songs. C,F,G7; G,C,D7. Once you learn the shapes and the patterns it becomes almost routine to know playing with one shape chord usually corresponds to the next shape.

    I hardly know the names of most chords I play up the neck. I just know if I'm playing a particular shape, the next one will normally follow the pattern. I play in a couple uke groups and guitar in a bluegrass group. Most of the instruments are tuned differently; they just play the chord. A C or F is a C or F no matter what tuning it is. If everyone plays the same chord shape in the same tuning; it sounds fairly mundane imo. I purposely play 2nd and 3rd positions jamming with others just to add some color to the sound.

  3. #13
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    Jul 2015
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    That's why I don't have any baritones.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  4. #14
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    Jan 2009
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    West Midlands GB
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    "you have Soprano, Concert, and Tenor all with the same tuning"

    It wasn't always so. Many years ago each of those three types would have had a different standard tuning. Tuning them all gCEA is a fairly recent phenomenon, and represents a dumbing down.

    John Colter.

  5. #15
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    Jul 2011
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    Chicago
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerguy View Post
    ...So why would someone who wants to learn ukulele use one that differs greatly from the others past the sound difference?
    First things first: If you want to learn ukulele pick one tuning and stick with it for a while. I don't know anyone who attempted to learn standard and bari at the same time.

    Some beginners start on bari because they prefer the sound, or the fret scale, or they're already familiar with guitar chords... or that's the kind of uke they bought/borrowed/inherited/found. Many players never attend a uke club or group classes, so it matters not a hoot whether they start on bari or standard.

    If you're in a uke club and you're a beginner, it's easier -- but not mandatory -- to use the same tuning most people use. I've never met a club that defaults to bari tuning, but it's possible.

    Once you are comfortable playing in one tuning, you can branch out. For many people, the "sound difference" is a plenty good enough reason to learn both tunings. When I play bari in a group, my fallback is to remember when the sheet music says play a C chord, I count up 4 notes and play the shape I know as F. On a 3- or 4-chord song this is easy. When it's a 23-chord song I don't play bari... yet. It is good to learn new things.

  6. #16
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    Aug 2019
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    CT
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    Chord shapes are the same as a guitar. A G chord is 320003. Since you donít have strings 5 and 6 on a baritone, you just play the strings that are there... 0003. If you want you can pretend the extra strings are there until it clicks... semi air guitar.

    John
    Yes BUT a 3rd fret on a Ukulele (Soprano, Concert, & Tenor) is C not G. That is my whole point!!!

  7. #17
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    Apr 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerguy View Post
    Hmmm....I hear ya but still something doesn't seem right. Whatevs!

    Think of 12 Bar Blues. Many songs, lots of Rock and Roll songs, are based on I IV V progression. Because of this, in a Blues Jam, you simply say ď12 Bar in GĒ, and everyone will know to play G C D.
    In the Key of C, this would be C F G.
    In the key of E, this would be E A B. Guitar players like E, ukulele players not so much. So when Iím told to play blues in E, I place a capo at the 4th fret and play with fingering as though Iím in C, using the chord shapes C F and G.

    If you took your ukulele and tightened the strings to where it was tuned to C sharp - C# G# E# A#, you would play the chords C# F# and G# exactly the same as you now play C F and G.

    The baritone is tuned to G (?). So playing the chords G C and D (I IV V) are fingered the same as you play
    The tenor/ concert tuned to C playing chords C F and G (I IV V)

    The fingering is the same, the chord names are different.

    Clear as mud?

  8. #18
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    Aug 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Ukulele View Post
    Think of 12 Bar Blues. Many songs, lots of Rock and Roll songs, are based on I IV V progression. Because of this, in a Blues Jam, you simply say “12 Bar in G”, and everyone will know to play G C D.
    In the Key of C, this would be C F G.
    In the key of E, this would be E A B. Guitar players like E, ukulele players not so much. So when I’m told to play blues in E, I place a capo at the 4th fret and play with fingering as though I’m in C, using the chord shapes C F and G.

    If you took your ukulele and tightened the strings to where it was tuned to C sharp - C# G# E# A#, you would play the chords C# F# and G# exactly the same as you now play C F and G.

    The baritone is tuned to G (?). So playing the chords G C and D (I IV V) are fingered the same as you play
    The tenor/ concert tuned to C playing chords C F and G (I IV V)

    The fingering is the same, the chord names are different.

    Clear as mud?
    I already know this. Going to say this one last time and then leaving this topic alone. The standard tuning of the baritone is different from the other 3 ukuleles. So the "chord" shapes will have different notes and as such I was asking what is the point of a Baritone? The open notes and the fretting is completely different. YES I know it is the same as the first 4 strings of a guitar. Yes I know the 3rd fret is a G. Yes I know the the 4 bar blues. What does that have to do with the question?

    Ugh! I will leave you all to discuss this for I feel only one maybe two get it. I'm out!

  9. #19
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    Apr 2019
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    San Francsico Bay Area
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    The point of a baritone is the deep, rich resonance and the volume that the larger size produces.

    Sorry if I/we misunderstood your initial question.

    I want the mellowness that I will achieve through a baritone.

  10. #20
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    May 2018
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    Steamy Hilo, HI
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    Quote Originally Posted by acmespaceship View Post
    I don't know anyone who attempted to learn standard and bari at the same time.
    I am. I actually got my ukuleles to help me learn to play electric guitar. They are more conveniently sized to sit down and exercise my novice fingers on than the guitars. I have a tenor and a baritone, and I switch between them without thinking of them being any different. Same shapes, which just make slightly different sounds. My original instrument was lute....also pretty much the same thing on the fretting side with a different "right hand" technique.
    Cordoba guilele
    Rebel N.E.O. tenor
    Birger Huber Baritone

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