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