Some great stuff to share with you all today… if you are into Ukuleles and want to try something new and cool on your baritone.
Like Many Ukulele enthusiasts I have a baritone Ukulele in my instrument collection and like many, I rarely use it because I have to learn or switch the name of the chords that I play due to the difference in tuning. That is other ukuleles are usually tuned to GCEA, and Baritones are usually tuned to DGBE like he first 4 strings of a standard guitar.
Well I had heard about baritone strings that come in GCEA tuning so little research yielded Aquila 23U strings.. I ordered a set, expecting nice rich bass baritone sound with the normal tuning. well, it turns out that it was GCEA but it was at the same Timbre or Pitch as a regular Ukulele string… I guess it sounded deeper, but not lower in pitch.
After doing a bit more research I found an old thread at Ukulele Underground where they mentioned a small family run company in California that makes all types of custom strings for stringed instruments including an (Octave lower) set of Baritone Ukulele strings.
Well after some searching because unfortunately the name of their site is a bit too abbreviated I found their site at http://thegcs.co Yes its dot.CO not COM… and specifically their ukulele strings page is at http://thegcs.co/ukulele-1/
I ended up ordering a set of LOW GCEA strings including an extra high g to try both tunings. Well in less than two weeks I received a flat envelop from California, with a low set of CGEA Baritone Ukulele strings and an extra high g string to try out.
The 1st string A is a bit unusual, it’s a wound string but instead of steel or silver winding, it’s wound in very thin nylon.. i’ve never seen such a string in my many years with classical guitar and ukuleles… the other 3 strings look like typical silver wound classical guitar strings…
From what I understand this is a family business and all strings are custom made in their factory. They make all types of strings but as you know I was focused in this special set that nobody else seems to make.
I quickly put them on my Lanikai inexpensive baritone Uke.. I tuned them, and like typical classical guitar strings I knew it would take a few days to settle in.
I tried the high g string first knowing that I would most likely not keep it on.. yes it sounded good but somehow the reentrant sound typical to a ukulele did not translate well to the low (one octave lower than a standard Uke). I changed to a low G and yes!!!
Having studied classical guitar for 8 years, I immediately loved and recognized the similarity to the deep rich sound of a classical guitar… yet it still had the personality and most importantly\practical the GCEA tuning that I’m so used to.
Not only do these strings give you the familiar GCEA tuning but they go 4 tones lower (G) than the standard DGBE baritone sound!!!
It’s now been a week, and after responding to a couple of threads about it over at the Ukulele Underground Forums and after emailing The Guadalupe to let them know how pleased I am, I have been enjoying the baritone like I never did before.
I went through a lot of my repertoire and realized that this will be a great complement to future recordings… simply playing the chords of any song along with a regular ukulele and other instruments will add a deep and full bass line that is not a BASS, but rather like the sounds of a beautiful classical guitar.. while the standard ukulele provides the treble line with the standard higher Timbre\Pitch.
Well I’m pleased that as I had said I would both at UU and in my Email to “Guadalupe”, being a rainy day today, I decided to do a video review in one take and share the beautiful set of strings that are just perfect for any Ukulele player that wants the Bari sound with the same sets of chords and fingerings.
My next step for me personally is to check out their site, and perhaps try some other sets of Ukulele strings as they have sets available for all standard sizes, Tenor, Concert and Soprano.
The strings can be bought from Mainland Ukuleles or directly from Guadalupe Custom Strings I chose to purchase directly from Guadalupe simply because it’s a family business and I want to support them as much as possible. Also because I wanted to order the extra high g to try out both tunings.
As they say, a picture\video is worth a thousand words, so Below is a the one take video review that I put together earlier today. Please be aware that I am not affiliated with Guadalupe Custom Strings, in any way. I’m just very pleased with this unique product and as always want to share my positive experiences and findings with the Ukulele community in the spirit of Aloha. It’s my way of paying it forward for all the help and support that fellow Ukulele players show for one another around the world.
Peace, Love and Ukulele.
Disclaimer: Please excuse the many mistakes in my playing today… since this is not a “performance” I wanted to do a real quick, on the spur video review so I just played stuff off the top of my head and so I stumbled around both in my talking and playing.. this was a one take review.. wanted to share these wonderful strings with you despite my poor playing. ;-)
Guadalupe Custom Strings, Muchisimas gracias amigos. Estas cuerdas para baritone son fabulosas!!!!
Video Review: https://youtu.be/wTcl2vfofBk