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Thread: Baritone Tuning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Scotland
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    82

    Default Baritone Tuning

    Hi folks
    I'm thinking of changing my baritone from DGBE tuning to GCEA, and I wondered whether it's possible to get baritone strings in GCEA with a low G. I have a low G on my tenor and love the lower resonance.
    Also which brand would you recommend for a solid mahogany baritone?

    Thanks.
    Kala KA SMHB Baritone, Ohana CK-20s Concert, Cloud Music TT12s Soprano, Yamaha Guitalele
    Taylor GS Mini guitar

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Port Hueneme, CA
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    Just my opinion, but I tuned a baritone GCEA and was very unhappy.
    The beauty of a baritone is the deep growl, with GCEA that seemed to disappear.
    Keep Strummin'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default

    For exotic stuff like regular octave GCEA strings for a baritone ukulele, I would consider asking UU member Dirk of Southcoast Strings. I know that some of the major ukulele stringmakers make GCEA strings for baritone ukuleles, but I've never used any.

    If you like the low baritone sound but would prefer GCEA tuning, you can always use octave lower GCEA strings. A company in Los Angeles called Guadaloupe Ciustom Strings makes them. The website doesn't seem to be working for me today, but here's the URL. http://guadalupecustomstrings.com/
    And here's a link to its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/GUADA...073043&sk=info

    Rick Turner built me an GCEA octave lower baritone Compass Rose ukulele, and he strung it with the bottom four (AEDG) strings from nylon string classical guitar sets.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    16

    Default

    I've used both wound and unwound low G (linear) sets from southcoast ukes.

    I preferred both to the standard baritone tuning. The unwound sets have a more uke sound, while the heavier gauge wound strings sound more guitar like -- deeper basses and crisper highs.

    Wythe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers, New York
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    In Glen Rose's video tutorials, he uses a baritone tuned at GCEA to show the fingering in a less crowded manner than a smaller uke. (It looks like an entry level Kala in the old videos & an entry level Riptide in the newer ones) He has written that he recommends, for this purpose, Aquila 23u strings, which he calls long concert strings, & Aquila markets them for this. It is a high g set, so he strings them by thickness, so from 1 to 4, they are strung 1-4-2-3, the former C string becoming a low G.
    I didn't have that set, but know the D'Addarios to be quite long, so I used a concert set of T2s (EJ87C) on a Riptide Spruce Baritone, knowing I risked utter failure, as they were not the same as Nylguts. In fact, one string was too skinny & buzzed. I replaced the 2nd string position with the 2nd string of a T2 tenor set. (Worked fine) That problem might not have occurred with the Aquila Nylgut ( or D'Addario Nyltech)...
    At some point, I will find out, as I have enjoyed the experiment. I have decided that I like this with a tuning a whole step - 2 frets- lower than standard tuning (F A# D G).

    I had a Red low G on my tenor until it snapped last night, & have wondered how it would have worked in this set-up. I do want to try the low Reds for baritone, Aquila 73u & 74u, but don't have them yet.
    There seems to be a lot of possibilities, & hope to hear your experience. I don't think I would have done this if I didn't have the other baritone to fall back on...
    Last edited by dickadcock; 03-11-2014 at 12:21 PM.

    Mainland Red Cedar Concert, Mango Tenor
    Boulder Creek RipTides: UB-2N spruce-top baritone, UT-5NS tenor, UT-11NS acacia-top tenor, UC-5NS concert

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Blaine, Washington
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    Have you thought about Bb tuning. According to Dirk at Southcoast Bb is the optinum tuning for a bari. I have mine with hisw classical metals tuned to a Bb sounds great.

    I've had a few tuned to C but didn't like it and also I have several tenors already touned to a C. A good friend just put on a set of her HL-Sw's tuned to low G. Incredible sound, best I've heard from a low G bari.

    With a Bb tuning it just takes a capo on the second fret and you're playing in C.

  7. #7
    Hippie Dribble Guest

    Default

    Don't do it!!! Unless you want it to sound thinner and tighter and lose it's resonance and sustain. GCEA on a bari just sounds like a crappy tenor. Leave it in G tuning with either a High or Low D. Just my dos centavos...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    A Kamaka baritone I have in GCEA with linear lights from SouthCoast sounds great. The A string is very chime/bell-like different from a tenor in GCEA. Actually the note clarity all over is more defined than a tenor in the same tuning. Definitely worth a try.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    Have you thought about Bb tuning. According to Dirk at Southcoast Bb is the optinum tuning for a bari. I have mine with hisw classical metals tuned to a Bb sounds great.

    I've had a few tuned to C but didn't like it and also I have several tenors already touned to a C. A good friend just put on a set of her HL-Sw's tuned to low G. Incredible sound, best I've heard from a low G bari.

    With a Bb tuning it just takes a capo on the second fret and you're playing in C.
    Agreed!
    My tuner displays A#, but we get there just the same.

    Mainland Red Cedar Concert, Mango Tenor
    Boulder Creek RipTides: UB-2N spruce-top baritone, UT-5NS tenor, UT-11NS acacia-top tenor, UC-5NS concert

  10. #10
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    For less money than a set of strings, you could get a capo---a capo at the 5th fret tunes your baritone to GCEA (with something like concert scale) and you can go back to classic tuning whenever you like. The capo is one of my baritone uke's best friends, for sure. (Don't even get me started about the glorious beauty of the FBbEbG tuning with the capo at the third fret. So sweet. Oops, I got myself started.)
    -Ralf Youtz

    My videos are here.

    The future is unwritten.

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