Always observe your instruments reaction to a new tuning or string. The tension you put on your ukulele is much like us. It can drive us to greatness or cause us to crack. Usually it just erodes us slowly. The ukulele life span is also determined by it’s environment, how it’s cared for, and the abuse it’s under. So tuning baritone strings up a fourth is not condoned. That sort of reckless behavior is heavily frowned upon by us. Bad uke owner! The strings that you can use for tuning your baritone to standard ukulele pitch are these Aquila’s (selectable in the drop down) . You can only buy them from us… (just kidding!)
SO this was on my mind because last week, Corey bought a Spruce Rosewood Pono Baritone and converted it to GCEA. However, he used his own string concoction. But first, let’s listen to something just recorded with this Pono RBC used as a tenor long neck. He backs himself up with his Pono guitar (Cedar/Acacia ooo-15)
SO what strings?….Corey gives these details:
For the top and bottom strings, I used the D’Addario Nyltech Concert set. I used some leftover from the tenor set but the tension was too high so I switched to a gauge down. Seems to work out fine. The C and E strings are Savarez 528R & 529R They produce a really bright tone but at the same time maintain a good body from the mid and lower ranges. The G and A strings pick up the slack on the upper frequencies and produce a bright bell-like treble tone. I thought about using Worth strings instead of the Nyltechs but didn’t want to sacrifice volume. When strummed, the overall sound is perfect. I had thought maybe the Savarez would overpower the other strings but they work really well. I set it up this way for overall balance and these new Pono’s are just amazing.
On this song, Corey is in the higher register quite a bit with complex harmonies. The longer scale tuned up allows precise intonation to be more attainable. Could this be the tenor’s evolution, natural selection for the bigger and sharper? More stable pitch and space in the higher register will give musicians a different freedom. It can also be a challenge for the increased extension required of your fretting hand. It’s an inexpensive experience if you already have a baritone. If not, even inexpensive baritones often sound really good. And the mid priced ones can be incredible.
So that was a look into Corey’s new Pono’s and upcoming album. This is just a rough track but Kelli Cruz is such a talented engineer. She used the same mic setup as when she recorded Jake S. under direction from Milan. Together Jake and Milan came up with a recording formula that Kelli shared with me. I am working towards a version of this setup as well. But we’re into a whole other blog now. The question at hand; Will the baritone scale tenor rise up as a new trend? Are more string companies gonna make sets? Will Corey have his own signature set? Does his girlfriend know that he bought 2 new instruments while she was in Japan? Find out next time on TheUkuleleReview.com!
Share your experience or post your questions below. A Hui Ho!