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Thread: Help me understand the Baritone

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary52 View Post
    Capo on the fifth fret changes G tuning to C. But the fretboard becomes pretty short if you want to play anything other than first position chords.
    Doesn't that just defeat the purpose? I mean, to me the baritone has a low and mellow sound. People play it to get that sound. You capo it at the fifth fret, you just got rid of your low and mellow. I can't see the benefit to doing that. If I played a baritone, I would want to take advantage of those sweet first position chords, not eliminate them. That's just my opinion, I've played a baritone probably five times and I've never owned one, but if I did, I would just learn how to play it.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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  2. #52
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    If youíre going to put a capo on 5th fret all the time just because you donít want to deal with DGBE, then put on GCEA strings or the skip the baritone altogether.

  3. #53
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    Capo on the 5th only if you want to show off your new baritone to the ukulele club, but you haven't learned to transpose yet.
    Glenn

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerguy View Post
    Group settings is what makes it matter. For instance I was part of a jam session and on average we had 2 Ukuleles, 2 to 3 acoustic guitars, and a bass. We all had to be in the same key. So if someone showed up with their Baritone and only know Ukulele shapes that key would not match.
    You could put a capo at the fifth fret. Then you play what you already know, with the tone and sustain of the baritone.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by TjW View Post
    You could put a capo at the fifth fret. Then you play what you already know with the tone and sustain of the baritone.
    I did this for a couple of pieces when I first got the baritone and the group was doing a song with more new-to-me chords than I could learn on the fly. It's not something I'd want to do regularly: given the option, I'd rather pull out the tenor than capo to the 5th fret, but the capo is more flexible and much easier to carry than a second ukulele.

  6. #56
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    A baritone uke tuned DGBE is the same as strings 1-4 on a guitar. They both use the same shapes to make the same chords. A ukulele tuned GCEA is the same as a guitar capo'd at the fifth fret. They both use the same chord shapes, but each shape on the uke sounds five frets higher than it does on a guitar (and vice versa).

    Think of it this way: 0003 on guitar is a G chord. 0003 on uke is a C chord, because the uke is tuned five frets higher than the guitar. Same shape, but a different chord.

    Likewise, 2010 on guitar is a C chord, but on uke it's an F chord. 3211 on guitar is an F chord, but on uke it's a B flat. 2100 on guitar is an E chord, but on uke it's an A. 2220 on guitar is an A chord, but on uke it's a D. 0232 on guitar is a D chord, but on uke it's a G. See the pattern here?

    You can easily play the same songs with the same chord shapes on a baritone tuned DGBE as on a concert/soprano/tenor tuned GCEA, they're just going to be in a lower key because the baritone uke is tuned five frets lower. This becomes confusing when playing baritone uke with a group or in a jam, especially if everyone else if following song sheets with chord diagrams for C tuning. I agree with others who say that chords are chords regardless of tuning, but it behooves a baritone ukulele player to know the chords and shapes used on his or her instrument, so they don't have to try and follow other uke players by watching or reading GCEA chord diagrams. That usually doesn't work too well.

    As to why would anyone want to play a baritone ukulele? Some people like them. Some people even prefer them. (Those folks are a little weird, haha!) Different strokes for different folks!

    I grew up playing guitar, and only started playing ukulele eight years ago. For a long time I had no interest in playing a baritone ukulele, because I can always play my guitar if I want something tuned DGBE instead of GCEA.

    But then I started singing & playing a couple of really pretty songs on my tenor ukulele, and worked up nice finger-style arrangements for both. However, both songs were in keys that were too high for me to comfortably sing. I tried transposing them, but my finger-style arrangements didn't work as nicely or sound as good in different keys than where I learned them.

    The easy solution was a baritone ukulele! I bought a Kala Mahogany Baritone uke, and presto! I can play the same songs, exactly the way I learned them, only now I can sing them much better, because they're auto-magically a fourth lower on the baritone. I don't even worry about the different names for the same shapes and all that. I just play 'em the way I learned them.

    Now, I'm not in love with the baritone uke, and I do not prefer it over my other ukes, but it's a good tool to have because it just works better for me on some songs.

    Whew, didn't intend to write a treatise. That's just my slant on the poor, much-maligned baritone uke!
    Last edited by Steedy; 11-26-2019 at 04:57 PM.
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steedy View Post
    so they don't have to try and follow other uke players by watching or reading GCEA chord diagrams. That usually doesn't work too well.
    Heh. I massively confused a poor newbie sitting next to me at a jam because she kept copying my baritone fingering on her concert and not sounding right.

    it's a good tool to have because it just works better for me on some songs.
    That's an unassailable argument!

    I'm not in love with the baritone uke
    But that's just wrongity wrong wrong wrong Here. Have some kool-aid.



  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcy View Post

    But that's just wrongity wrong wrong wrong Here. Have some kool-aid.
    I've gained a modicum of respect for the baritone uke, and can't deny it has a certain charm!
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  9. #59
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    As a beginner trying to learn stringed instruments. A baritone uke made perfect sense to me. I bought a guitar first. But I drive a truck on weekdays. Actually I sit in the truck waiting for something to do about half or more of the time. And I wanted an instrument to carry around with me to pass the time and learn. A baritone uke is about the largest stringed instrument I can play while sitting in the drivers seat, and I figure my practice would translate to the guitar easy enough.
    I had thought about one of those tiny kids Stratocasters, but figured a ukulele would be more fun. But I just didn't want to play a tiny one with a whole lot of twang. The baritone seemed like a far more versatile instrument than the smaller ukes...to me.

    And I believe the baritone ukulele has the potential to be my main instrument more so than a smaller uke. I just like the mellower sound.
    Last edited by old and slow; 11-26-2019 at 07:10 PM.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by old and slow View Post
    As a beginner trying to learn stringed instruments. A baritone uke made perfect sense to me. I bought a guitar first. But I drive a truck on weekdays. Actually I sit in the truck waiting for something to do about half or more of the time. And I wanted an instrument to carry around with me to pass the time and learn. A baritone uke is about the largest stringed instrument I can play while sitting in the drivers seat, and I figure my practice would translate to the guitar easy enough.
    I had thought about one of those tiny kids Stratocasters, but figured a ukulele would be more fun. But I just didn't want to play a tiny one with a whole lot of twang. The baritone seemed like a far more versatile instrument than the smaller ukes...to me.

    And I believe the baritone ukulele has the potential to be my main instrument more so than a smaller uke. I just like the mellower sound.
    Those are all very good reasons to own a baritone ukulele. They can be the redheaded step child of the ukulele family but I love them, I own 4 baritones presently.

    Neil Young and Joni Mitchell started out on baritone ukuleles. That makes it a legimate instrument in my books. I saw some early footage of Joni performing live on TV with one, she sounded great with it.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

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