Baritone Ukuleles

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About Baritone Ukuleles

The baritone ukulele, with it’s deep, soulful tone, is a bit of an outlier in the ukulele family. The largest of all the ukulele sizes, it is the only model not tuned to GCEA. The baritone ukulele almost has more in common with the guitar as it’s DGBE tuning is the same as the top 4 strings on the guitar. In this sense it is a kind of hybrid between the two. Perfect for anyone making the move from ukulele to guitar and guitarists who are on the move and looking for a smaller travel instrument.

Although the baritone ukulele is in a different tuning, the intervals between the strings are the same. This means that all the chord shapes you’ve learned on small ukuleles still apply to this instrument; they are just 5 semitones lower. For example, the first chord everyone learns on the ukulele is C. On the baritone ukulele the fingering for a C chord produces a G chord.

Baritone ukuleles are more specialist musical instruments and not as common as other ukuleles. Alvarez and Freshman both make excellent examples of baritone ukuleles. Baritone ukes are great for ukulele players who fingerpick or are looking to create a blues style of music. These instruments are perfect for those who prefer that deeper and fuller sound.

Why Should I Choose a Baritone Ukulele?

  • Deep, soulful tone
  • Lower register than other ukuleles
  • Stepping stone between ukulele and guitar

Frequently Asked Questions about Baritone Ukuleles

Question: Does a baritone ukulele sound like a guitar?
Despite the fact that the baritone ukulele is tuned the same as the top four strings on a guitar, it has a very different sound. It is still much smaller than the guitar with a shorter scale length. The impact of this is it has a much more delicate, mellow sound than any guitar. The shorter scale length means that it doesn’t have so much sustain, creating a plucky, percussive sound. The nylon strings means that the baritone ukulele is closest in sound to a classical guitar.
Question: What is the difference between a baritone and soprano ukulele?
There are four sizes of ukuleles which, from smallest to largest, are soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. This means that the soprano ukulele and baritone ukulele are on opposite ends of the spectrum. The soprano ukulele measures 21 inches from tip to tail whereas the baritone ukulele is a whopping 30 inches. The soprano ukulele, like the tenor and concert, is tuned to GCEA. Whereas the baritone is lower and tuned to DGBE.