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Thread: Question about low g tuning for strumming

  1. #1
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    Default Question about low g tuning for strumming

    Hey guys,
    total beginner here. A few weeks ago my brother gave me his old baritone ukulele (a cheap one (Kmise) from amazon) that was tuned in High-G CEA from the beginning.

    So far I'm loving the ukulele and I'm actually making progress (always wanted to play guitar but I'm a total musical failure and did not have enough discipline). I started learning the C-G-Am-F chord progression and different strumming patterns to play some basic beginner songs like I'm Yours (Jason Mraz).

    My brother also gave me a set of baritone DGBE strings (Martin) that he bought but never actually opened. If I want a little "fuller" sound for my ukulele, could I just use the G string of this set to tune my ukulele Low-G CEA?

    I did not want to make the switch from High-GCEA to DGBE because I started to like that typical ukulele sound, but I wonder if Low-GCEA would be a nice middle ground between not losing that typical sound but still getting a bit richer sound?
    I read about the low g tuning in terms of fingerpicking to get more range. But if I'm not yet interested in fingerpicking and just stupidly want to strum my C-G-Am-F "I'm yours"-kinda songs, do you think that would work or sound weird?


    Cheers and sorry if this is a dumb question
    Last edited by fabimu17; 02-06-2020 at 03:04 AM.

  2. #2
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    The G string of the DGBE set will be the equivalent to your present GCEA, you need to get hold of a high G (or A) string to change to re entrant gCEA tuning.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Croaky Keith View Post
    The G string of the DGBE set will be the equivalent to your present GCEA, you need to get hold of a high G (or A) string to change to re entrant gCEA tuning.
    Oh I think I failed at the lower/upper case notation. The current set is a high g (re-entrant?). I was asking about changing it to low g (linear?)

  4. #4
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    In that case, then yes, it should work with your other strings.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  5. #5
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    I don't get this gCEA tuning notation. It doesn't make any sense. If you play those notes on a piano you immediately see that the G falls in the same octave as the others, i.e. it sits between the E and the A from that C6 chord.
    Where does that convention come from?

    I have done the opposite after the wound G snapped on my baritone; I replaced it with a low G string from a tenor set. It works for me.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms Bean View Post
    I don't get this gCEA tuning notation. It doesn't make any sense. If you play those notes on a piano you immediately see that the G falls in the same octave as the others, i.e. it sits between the E and the A from that C6 chord.
    Where does that convention come from?
    Not sure where it comes from, but it's just a way to differentiate between "high G"/reentrant (gCEA) and "low g"/linear (GCEA). Since both are common in ukulele, we need a way to communicate which is which. Just think of it as a "ukulele idiom".
    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
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  7. #7
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    The "low G" issue applies mainly to tenor ukes as an option for people who prefer a strong root note for finger style or strumming. A baritone uke is designed for linear DGBE tuning, to appeal to guitar players and lure them to ukes. As it has a fairly long neck the best way to emulate a gcea with low G is to just put a capo on it on the 5th fret with the set of strings that is intended for it.
    Last edited by merlin666; 02-07-2020 at 04:20 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms Bean View Post
    I don't get this gCEA tuning notation. It doesn't make any sense.
    Basically it is because the capital letters are the traditional way of writing the tuning of other instruments, the ukulele needed a different way to write the re entrant tuning, so the lower case letter was used.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  9. #9
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    I keep a Low G on many of my Ukuleles. And, the normal way to string and tune a Baritone is with a Low D. In fact, I can't recall ever seeing or hearing a Bari with reentrant tuning. I always thought the linear, or Low G (D) was for extending the range of the instrument, and for producing a darker sound. It certainly opens up the sound of the chords in a pleasing way. I suspect the world's most listened to Ukulele recording is IZ's "Over the Rainbow." If I'm not mistaken, he plays a Tenor with a Low G string in that recording. I find it interesting that your Bari is strung for Island (C) tuning. I have one that I restrung that way, but I never saw a new one with that setup. One thing to keep in mind, you can restring your Bari in the traditional (Low) D,G.B,E, and then you can play it as is, or capo to the 5th fret, which throws you into Island (C) tuning, and play it just like the other Ukuleles. Baritones have a very sweet tone in their upper register and you may really like that.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  10. #10
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    I have three baritone ukes and keep one strung with a high d for a re-entrant sound. In fact, you can now buy re-entrant string sets for a bari. Living Waters makes a set and I think Southcoast used to make them that way. I like it for certain songs. It might not be real noticeable to the listener (or my bass-guitar-playing husband) but it makes a big difference to me.

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