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Thread: Learning Eight String Baritone

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    Default Learning Eight String Baritone

    Hi All

    I pray you are in good health and spirits in this difficult time.

    I have been inspired by my eight year old granddaughter to take up music again after she began to learn the uke at school this year. It's some 36 years since I last played (drums) although I originally played french horn and tinkered around with a bass guitar before settling on drums.

    It is my intention to learn how to play the Baritone uke and as I particularly like the sound and tone of the eight string I was wondering am I asking too much to learn on an eight string?
    Last edited by Keety; 04-07-2020 at 01:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    San Francisco CA USA
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    11,574

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    Eight string any ukulele is a bit harder to play than a four-string. Fretting is a little more difficult and barring (placing a finger across all the strings on the same fret) will probably more than a little more difficult. It's doable; the big risk is that because it's a little tougher on your fretting hand, you may get frustrated and quit. My suggestion would be to get an inexpensive four string baritone from a reputable manufacturer (Kala, Ohana, etc.) and buy it from a place that does setup (Mim's Ukes, The Ukulele Site, Uke Republic) and eliminate the additional difficulty of playing with double courses of strings until you feel comfortable with basics like fretting and barring, and then take on the slight additional challenge of the extra strings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Half-way up a hill in Southwest France
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    Default

    Hi, Keety! Baritone is probably my favourite uke size. I recently bought an 8-string Kala baritone. It is definitely more challenging than the 4-string and is probably best suited to strumming. I would recommend starting on a 4-string, if I were you.
    "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place." George Bernard Shaw
    ​"Never hurt that person whose only intention was to see you happy."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    Thank you both for your advice. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to own a Kala KA-ASAC-B Baritone. It is 10 years old and in excellent condition. There seems to be little evidence of use bar a change of strings at some period. The fact it is aged appeals to me as new ones don't seem to have any character. What do you think?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Southern California
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    Hi, Keety. I have a Kala tenor eight string, and, even though I can play melodies on it on good days, I don’t care for the way they sound. Agreeing with the others above, I only use mine to play chords to accompany my singin’.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBE - Finger style
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    Kala tenor eight string - gGcCEEAA Strum ‘n Sing

    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA - Wall hanger
    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B Wall hanger
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    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - Bookshelf

    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

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