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Thread: Do Baritones have a problem with buzzing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    117

    Default Do Baritones have a problem with buzzing?

    I posted a thread earlier about whether to get a truss rod or not in a baritone. So this is a followup question. I have tried a number of baritones that some folks in our Uke club have and they all have buzzing issues. Some buzzed all over the map, very extensive.

    I've played high end ones, old ones and the general run of the mill moderate and cheap priced ones. All were familiar brands.

    On the two higher end ones the strings seemed too soft and weren't wound strings so I wondered if they needed something a little higher tension or not.

    Is it a general problem with Bari's due to scale length and DGBE tuning?

    I'd really like to get one but I must say that I am a bit spooked by it all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    lake of ozarks missouri
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    I don't think it is a Bari thing. I have six baris tuned to various tunings, and the only one that "buzzes" is my Makala, and that is my fault, I lowered the nut and bridge a bit a while back and got them a bit too low and now need to raise them a bit. Maybe someone else has that problem, but it has not been the case for me. I think maybe any uke can have a buzz problem and needs to be addressed as to nut/bridge/fret problem, not necessarily an inherent problem with the uke. just my thoughts. Lozark also, it has been my thought/experience that buzzing often has more to do with the placing of the fingers in relationship to the fret. the closer to the fret one places fingering the tighter the sound.
    Last edited by lozarkman; 04-07-2012 at 02:48 AM.
    Kala Spalted Maple Solid spruce top Baritone C/ high G
    Ohana B-35 Solid Mahogany Baritone G tuning
    Makala Mahogany laminate Baritone G
    Kala Solid Acacia slotted headstock Baritone G Martin J68
    Kala Solid Lacewood Baritone Bb all metal Classic flat wounds
    Kala Solid Koa Baritone Cutaway w/PU C / high G
    Kala Solid Mahogany Baritone C Linear

  3. #3
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    Oct 2010
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    Columbus, Ohio
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    I'm with Lozarkman. We now have about 27 baritones in the collection. Most tuned CGEA, two tuned DGBE, and one has the Guadalupe Octave Lower GCEA strings. Not one of them buzzes. I set up all the instruments and they sound great. I think you could invest in a decent quality baritone and have a great experience.

    Mike
    Mike Kaplan

    The Velvet Sirens
    Unique & Traditional Vocal Jazz and Swing
    http://www.thevelvetsirens.com


    "To this day, if I ever meet grownups who play ukulele, I love 'em." --Paul McCartney

  4. #4
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    Jan 2009
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    Florida Space Coast
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    I'd suggest you contact Southcoast re: baritone strings.

  5. #5
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    I've been playing baritone for a few months and DO have a problem with buzzing...

    but it's from my crappy fingering, not the ukulele.
    Just loving life. I get to make music for a living because of you people.
    Thank you.

  6. #6
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    Yup- My Bari does not buzz at all.
    My eight string tenor does like crazy-totally operator error (sigh)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleElvis View Post
    I've been playing baritone for a few months and DO have a problem with buzzing...

    but it's from my crappy fingering, not the ukulele.
    I've only been playing Bari for a few days, and I also have a problem with buzzing. But it's definitely me. I'm used to a much smaller scale (soprano/concert), and the fingering on the Bari has been a steeper curve than I thought. But I'm learning... and I can certainly correct the buzz, but I haven't yet gotten to the point of no buzzes ever. Some buzzing sometimes.

    But man oh, man do I love it!
    MELE KOA/MAHOGANY SOPRANO | MARTIN STYLE 1 (1920s)
    TALSMA HOLLYWOOD CONCERT | JUPITER CREEK ELECTRIC CONCERT
    LANIKAI O8-EK | MAINLAND RED CEDAR BARITONE


    YOUTUBE

  8. #8
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    The longer scale of a bari probably does make strumming technique a little more critical. I learned a few years ago on guitar that my technique sucked pond water. I discovered this when I picked up my custom-built-to-my-design electric guitar a few years ago. The builder was playing hard rock covers on it without a sign of a buzz - I touched it and it was a rattle-o-matic. We had to raise the action considerably for me. I decided to learn from that and I started paying more attention to my strumming technique until I was eventually able to get the action back down to where he'd set it initially.

    If you have too much up and down movement of the string it will be much more likely to vibrate against the frets. If you strum so most of the string movement is side to side you can strum much harder (louder) before the strings start buzzing. I suspect that the longer strings of a bari, complete with more mass, probably tend to make them buzz a little more quickly if there is too much downard (toward the body) component to your strum.

    Of course, I'm still waiting for my bari to arrive so I could be blowing smoke up yer...uh...yeah.

    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  9. #9
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    Nov 2020
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    I have purchased an okoume tiger flame Kmise baritone twice, and they both buzzed at the bridge on the B string if fretted at the third fret. I cannot figure out what would cause that. I also have a Hilo baritone, and it buzzes in various places. Wish I could find one that didn't. I love the sound of the baritone. On the other hand, I have a Kmise tenor guitar that doesn't buzz at all.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Flinner View Post
    I have purchased an okoume tiger flame Kmise baritone twice, and they both buzzed at the bridge on the B string if fretted at the third fret. I cannot figure out what would cause that. I also have a Hilo baritone, and it buzzes in various places. Wish I could find one that didn't. I love the sound of the baritone. On the other hand, I have a Kmise tenor guitar that doesn't buzz at all.
    Just curious as to what brand strings are you using..???

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