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Thread: Beginning Baritone Music Theory Question

  1. #1
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    Default Beginning Baritone Music Theory Question

    I am very new to playing instruments and music theory, so forgive me if I am not making sense.

    Why does The Daily Ukulele Book Leap Year Edition by Liz and Jim Beloff song book have songs with melody notes below D?

    I have the The Daily Ukulele Book Leap Year Edition for standard ukes and I recently bought the baritone version. The melody notes are the same for both books. The chords are different.

    But what's the point of having a baritone version of the book if you can't play the melody notes on the baritone?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Can you post an image from the baritone DU-LYE book of the D note you think is too low to play on a baritone? I can't imagine the book would have any melody notes lower than what you can play on the bottom (D) string of a baritone ukulele.

  3. #3
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    I attached a photo of an example from the book. How do I play that note on my baritone uke?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by TodR; 01-21-2021 at 11:02 AM.

  4. #4
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    The book has many songs with notes below D, about 50% are that way. I know how to play those low notes with my low-G tenor. There is a statement in the book that states "the whole point of the book is to allow both C-tuned and G-tuned ukes to play together." As a beginner I don't even know what that means. It's just weird they have BARITONE in big red letters on the cover but half the songs include notes not playable on a baritone.

    I was also looking at the Ukulele Fretboard Roadmaps - Baritone Ukulele by Fred Soklow & Jim Beloff. A sample page on the Hal Leonard site shows the same thing of notes below D.

  5. #5
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    Does the book specify that all melody lines is arranged for the ukulele?

    Lots of "fake books" have lead sheets with staff music for the melody, intended for singing. And then the chords you can play on whatever instrument you prefer posted above.
    This has chord diagrams for how to play the chords on the baritone. If you wanted to play whats on the staff on your ukulele, it would suit it to have some more notes than just the melody in there, so it would make a chord melody arrangement.

    Anyway, if you want to play the melody on your baritone I guess you play it an octave higher.
    Playing:
    Anuenue AMM tenor - Magic Fluke Koa Tenor - Cocobolo concert - Kamaka Tiki concert - Cort concert - Ohana LN soprano.

  6. #6
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    Ok that makes sense. The notes on the staff are for singing and the chords are what you play to go with the singing. This book and other "fake books" are not intended for picking notes. Thanks!!!

  7. #7
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    It was the same for me as a tune picker, I expected to be able to play the tunes from these books, but it is only the chords for playing along with the tunes, unfortunately.

    The uke is seen as an accompanying instrument, & not really as a solo instrument.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  8. #8
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    If the song is in the same key then the notes for melody are the same and this is independent of the instrument. I assume that the melody is provided for singing, if this was supposed to be played on uke then a tab should be provided. Also, the chords in the picture seem to be for gCEA tuned uke.

  9. #9
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    most (non-guitarist) will say middle C is not relative. Middle C is specific to the piano, guitars just play transposed. Actual middle C is C4 but guitars are a transposed instrument so when reading a guitar notation what looks like middle c in standard notation is actually c3 in guitar notation. This is done so as to not have to use both a bass and treble clef when using staff notation for guitar.

  10. #10
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    Wow! You just answered my next question. What's the deal with middle C. Now if I think of uke and piano as C3 and guitar as C4 then things make a little more sense.

    Also the idea of playing my DBGE baritone as a GCEA instrument is a great idea! I just checked the relative tuning patterns and they are the same for both instruments! That is really interesting and I can not wait to try switching the playing pattern to see how they sound. I don't have plan of joining a band so playing solo in a different key wont be a problem if the tunes sound good on their own.

    As for the simple format and the arrangements, I use the lyrics to help with the timing. I have a metronome but knowing the song and playing to the pace of the lyrics is fun. It's really cool when I start to hear the song come out of my fumbling with the instrument. However, I can see that after a few more months of practice those melodies won't be enough. I will most likely at that point start incorporating the chords and singing, or go to more complicated classical sheet music.

    Thank you!

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