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Thread: some chords don't sound as good with low GCEA tuning on baritone

  1. #1

    Default some chords don't sound as good with low GCEA tuning on baritone

    I recently got a pono seconds MB and put southcoast linear strings on it GCEA. Anyway, I've noticed that certain chords that sound good on my re-entrant concert don't quite work as well with the linear tuning. The example that comes to mind is Em played

    -2
    -3
    -4
    -0

    Filling in the base note sounds much better:

    -2
    -3
    -4
    -4

    I guess re-entrant tuning allows you to cheat a bit with some of the fingering. Any thoughts from more experienced musicians?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    That's because you're playing different inversions. When you play 0432 on the reentrant uke the lowest note is the E on the C string, when you do it on a linear uke the lowest note is the open G so you have an inversion where the minor third is the bass note (i.e. you are playing an Em/G). This isn't necessarily terrible, but definitely has a different voice than the other chord. When you "fill in" the bass note your lowest note is now B - still an inversion, but it's an inversion over the fifth instead of the minor third. The fifth is a less significant note than the third so the chord sounds closer to normal.

    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!

  3. #3
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    Also, sometimes a low G can overpower the other strings in chords where it's an open string.
    Uke can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find uke get what you need!

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  4. #4
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    Welcome to UU!

    It took my ears a while to learn to appreciate ukes with linear tuning. The way you approached playing Em is exactly right---just keep messing around with chord voicings as necessary. Have fun!
    -Ralf Youtz

    My videos are here.

    The future is unwritten.

  5. #5

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    Yeah, the low G has a much stronger sense of being the bass note than the C string does in re-entrant. The upside is you can play chords that capitalize on that. 3210, for instance - Bb major 7.

  6. #6
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    I play 0,4,3,2 regularly on a linear strung ukulele's and I like the sound just fine. Its what your used to.

    Anthony

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the welcome and the replies, especially about the chord inversions. I'm finding the simplicity of the ukulele has taught me a lot about basic music theory in terms of what is really needed for a chord and its variations in a way that I never really thought about while playing guitar. It is now much easier for me to improvise and have some idea about how it is going to sound.

    Anyway, after a few weeks on the linear set, I decided to try the high dGBE southcoast set a few days ago (right after this post) and I'm finding it a lot of fun to play and really love the sound. Transposing chords sometimes gets mixed up in my head, but I think that is part of the fun.

  8. #8
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    Now every time I turn to my tenor, event kamaka , I miss the deep tone. Tenor sounds light and hollow. And this is in comparison to rentrant high-d baritone. I just need to play more and I re appreciate the tenor, but those five half steps down do add a lot.
    Lampchop
    Playing Kamaka HF-3 Tenor with LR Baggs Five.0, modified Cordoba signed by Jake, a Lanikai S-TEQ and a Kohala Tenor
    www.mikekasselmusic.com
    see my blog at http://lambchopukulele.blogspot.com
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lambchop View Post
    Now every time I turn to my tenor, event kamaka , I miss the deep tone. Tenor sounds light and hollow. And this is in comparison to rentrant high-d baritone. I just need to play more and I re appreciate the tenor, but those five half steps down do add a lot.
    It's funny because I think it's playing the baritone that made me accept my tenors more. I almost hadn't touched my tenors in over a year and was figuring I'd sell them now that I have pickups in my other ukes. I'd been playing strictly soprano and occasionally the baritone. Then I got the Pono baritone and spent two or three weeks playing it almost exclusively. When I went to change humidifiers in my cases last week I fooled around with each uke and suddenly my tenors were a lot more exciting. Tenors are still not my favorite, I still prefer the sound of a soprano over all (I think of even my reentrant baritone as more like a guitar so it doesn't count).

    But, I definitely appreciate the tenors more now and in fact really like the fretboard width - lets me do the things I can do on baritone on a smaller "really a uke" instrument. I think that playing a baritone more retuned my ear so now the tenors don't sound "too deep" to me, if that makes any sense.

    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!

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