Retune a baritone ukulele for EADG?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Amara, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Amara

    Amara Fumble-Fingered Beginner

    Jan 13, 2014
    I'm looking at bass ukuleles, and I'm noticing that I can get my hands on a baritone ukulele for a lot less. The tuning for those seems to be DGBE. Has anyone had any success (changing strings, perhaps?) in tuning them EADG? Or even DGCF or ADGC?

    Also, what's the best ukulele for metal?
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I have changed the strings on my father's baritone uke—only to install a new set tuned DGBE. I used classical guitar strings, which work well. It is an old Kay, and has a classical guitar tie-on string type bridge, not the ball-end slot type my modern soprano uke has.

    If you are considering restringing a bari-uke to the pitch of the Kala basses, i.e., the EADG of the electric bass, I'd compare the scale lengths AND look closely at how the strings would fit the tuners and bridge. The nut can be modified more easily than the bridge system and tuner holes.
  3. Amara

    Amara Fumble-Fingered Beginner

    Jan 13, 2014
    Hmm. Now that I think of it, tuning to D standard only involves going a semitone sharp on the top two strings, so I think this may be trivial. I'm actually fine with being up an octave from where the Kala is; this is just a portable way to be able to get some practice in when I might not otherwise have been able to have a bass with me. If I actually use it to play with anyone, it would be to comp a soprano uke, and I should be plenty low for that.
  4. I have a Baratone uke that I practice with. I tried to tune it to EADG but the tension is too high. DGCF is a good compromise. I use a capo if I want to play with open strings tuned to EADG.
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  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    It'll be TWO octaves higher than a Ubass. (edit: two octaves minus a whole step)

    But it is pretty easy to do using classical guitar strings. When I tune my bari uke to EADG I mix and match with strings from a classical guitar set until I find the ones that work. I think it's the high four. But it might be the middle four.