News & Views Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ukulele: Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Bass Monday, April 08, 2013

leon-00699406-fMany of us are familiar with the soprano ukulele.  Did you know that there are also concert, tenor, baritione and bass ukuleles?  Wow! A whole ukulele family!  A good book to learn to play the soprano and concert ukuleles is “Jumpin’ Jim’s Ukulele Tips ‘n’ Tunes” by Jim Beloff.  This book teaches how to tune the uke, how to play the chords, and has 29 songs. The tenor uke’s top string is tuned  to “G” an octave below the soprano uke’s “G”, otherwise, the strings are the same, so the same chords can be played on the tenor as on the soprano or concert ukes. The sound is different because of the lower string, but the chord fingerings stay the same.

The Low G String Tuning Ukulele” by Ron Middlebrook includes a CD and is helpful for learning  the tenor uke.  The baritone ukulele is tuned like the 4 highest strings of the guitar: E, B, G, D.  Hal Leonard’s “Baritone Ukulele Book 1” includes a CD, and has a chord chart in the back of the book.  The baritone ukulele  was introduced about 1949-1950.  Now there is the bass ukulele, the U-Bass, from Kala, new in 2009.  Mel Bay has a book that includes a CD, “Ukulele Bass Manual” .  The UBass is tuned to standard bass tuning: E-A-D-G.  It is surprising how big a sound this  amplified 21″ instrument can produce!

For more information about ukulele books or others, please contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our sheet music website.

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