Thursday, September 30, 2010

WINNER || Worst Blog Name (for a Baritone Ukulele Blog)

I have been amazed with how poorly that I chose my blog names Humble Uker and Humble Baritonics because neither one seems to come up real fast in the various search engines. I think that Humble Baritonics has devoted the most energy to the baritone ukulele. It is a "tweener" instrument which sits between the ukulele and guitar but I have come across many great videos that show the versatility of the bari and the diversity of the bari player.

I put this blog onto the Top 50 Ukulele Sites because I didn't think it was being seen and I wanted to make it continue to grow. It started out somewhere around 126 and now sits at 97 of 130 sites (in the Top 50) and appears to be moving upward -- so there must be some curiousity.

I would like to change this blog a bit and clean it up some. Perhaps I'll update the players list and put it in a page to clear the face of the blog for more sidebar videos. Marvin Falcon's Rhapsody in Blue needs to be somewhere. I also need to add the website since it has a plethura of songs, allows one to change to Bari-tuning as well as change keys.

I would like to put some ideas in your head too. If you have a special book or musical insight to share I would be glad to hear about it, especially as it pertains to the Bari. I am also a fan of player pictures and would welcome a jpg/image of readers with their baritone ukuleles. Or even of their band and with their baritone ukes. I have found some good ones of Krista Muir and would like to build the collection and post them here.

EZFolk has links to some of HB posts. I am not sure how they do this but they seem to attach occassional posts into "their" blog. EZ Folk is a great asset to the music community and I appreciate their linkages.

I have also noticed that there's another baritone blog and it seems to have some of my posting on it. I guess I better not complain too much or my buddies in the Ukulele Cosmos are gonna get after me again. BTW Ukulele Cosmos is a fine community site with a lot of good information. (They paid me to say that -- no just kidding! [Really!] -- Allibee had been quite generous when I inquired about her music. But I have been credited with some evil shananigans with the dark side TUKUO players -- whom have slipped into cosmic oblivian.)

I would also like to say that I have picked up the last 4 issues of Acoustic Guitar magazine and since they're an acoustic instrument there are many things that I find readily adaptable to Bari. They also explore and provide music sheets of current, folk and vintage music. Has anybody else looked at these magazines and what do you think?

[Oh, the photo above is of the Doctor and Rose from the BBC's Doctor Who.]

Dirk (MagumbisMonkey) || Brauner Zucker im Kaffee - Baritone Ukulele Original (German)

Dirk is a creative force in the ukulele community. He writes original songs and befriends other YouTubers and supports their work and arrangements -- sometimes even recreating a song or two. He has a few baritone ukuleles too: A Pono, A Mango Pono, and a guitar converted to a Bari. What dedication to his craft. I like the sound of this song in German some of the words are very similar to the Swedish words that I know.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

TimeWalker1 || The Way You Make Me Feel (MJ Cover)

Get ready for an explosion. I normally wouldn't post a partial song. But Craig had such energy he knocked my socks off and the song sounds great on the ukulele. His comment... I was inspired so I thought I'd do a little rendition of Michael Jackson's classic "The Way You Make Me Feel" on my baritone uke. My name is Craig Larson, a.k.a. Timewalker. I'm from the Twin Cities, Minnesota.

Elyas Khan || Chances with Wolves || EVR Radio NYC 10-17-09

Marvin Falcon || Rhapsody in Blue (YEAH!!!) || Baritone Ukulele

I had tried to post Marvin Falcon before but the video just wouldn't work so I was very glad to find this Gershwin masterpiece today.

Coveywood || Accentuate The Positive

Coveywood. This video had 10,443 views when I "found" it. It is wonderful to find a little tutorial instruction at the end of the song. Well worth a careful listen.

pewipo || Spanish Theme

The video quality is poor but the performance is unique for the baritone ukulele and needed to be heard. This is the only video of pewipo that I could find.

Nipper with GrittnGravell || All of Me

Enjoy the band...

littleukulelemonster || Cors on Baritone Ukulele

djangobole || 30 Seconds of a 9/8 Tune on Baritone Ukulele

Jon Braman || I Miss You || Hip Hop Baritone Ukulele

I have kids that grew up with Hip-Hop/Rap and I always cringed with the language and violence. I have heard some rap that expresses issues in a direct and positive way. Jon sings & plays his rap in a collage of talented musicians.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

teaktart || Video from Burning Uke 8 || 2010

This video gives a good feel for the daytime at Burning Uke 8. There were a few Baritone Ukuleles in a some scenes but it would take careful looking. There were several free music classes on a variety of subjects -- many were play-alongs with a theme. The Bluesgrass group seemed to be the largest and I had a good chance to play the Bari along with two baritone players in the band.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Those Darlings || Lake Fever Sessions

Snaggle Tooth Mama

Hung Up On Me


I was alerted to this band by the biggest ukulele blogger of them all -- Al has been an inspiration to me for quite a long time. He has the largest readership by far because he knows his stuff and puts out a great product. This band has an interesting sound, there's a bit of Hillbilly Rockabilly twang -- They have a good sound and are fun to watch perform.

Cinderella Lifestyle || Petrol Guzzlin' Blues

I just like Laurie Lee's style. I am not sure if this is her Hotrod Bari or her Hotrod Cigar Box Slide. Who cares? Let's just take a little road trip with Cinderella Laurie Lee...

It's pretty quiet around here at the Humble Uker's Humble Baritonics site. I am a social guy and would love to hear from some of you frequent readers from around the world -- Do you have a story that you'd like to share? Do you know of a special book that has been especially helpful when playing the Bari? Yarmouth, Nova Scotia? Sueca, Espana? Ottawa, Canada? Hood River & Bend, Oregon? Fremont, California? Derby, U.K.? Rotterdam, Holland?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Left Turn Only

Guitar, Baritone Ukulele & Harmonic Voices
Here's a video them playing

Antebellum Instruments || German Lyra Baritone Ukulele

Jake Wildwood has another Beautiful Baritone...

Read here:

rockettedog || Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want || Morrissey Cover

Cheryl - thanks for posting your version of this song. Morrissey's songs are so full of melancholly. I don't see any messy desk -- all I see is you playing and singing beautifully. You are also on the Baritone Playlist 001.

CaribouBill || Charlie's Shoes || Country Baritone Ukulele

He has many songs played on the Baritone Ukulele.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jay Holiday's Burning Uke in Flames || Burning Uke 8 (2010)

Jay Holiday's Metal Ukulele Sculpture: It's big, must be a Bari

Relative Insanity || Bluegrass Beachboys from Burning Uke 2009 || Baritone Ukulele Too!

I met Karen at Burning Uke 8 2010 and got a look at her custom Bari. Her husband made the ukulele and it is beautiful. Tried to get a picture but it wasn't clear. The Bluegrass play-along was a blast.

Nipper's Bikes and Baritone Ukuleles

Nipper is a Baritone Ukulele Player in the U.K. and has a very nice site...

Lew Dite || St James Infirmary || Baritone Ukulele

Olenka Burgess || Ukranian Music with the Baritone Ukulele

Orkestra Kurochka Live at Pickathon 2010

Ukester Brown || Mansion Over the Hilltop || Vintage Gospel on the Baritone Ukulele

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jim D'Ville || Play Ukulele By Ear || 3 Questions with Glen Rose

Jim D'ville is another great friend to the musician. He does great musically related interviews and here he questions our friend Glen Rose. Remember Glen is playing a Baritone Ukulele tuned GCEA with a low G but DGBE tuned instruments rely on the exact same principles. See the link below to get the good stuff from Jim directly...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

biliousbobnjohnnie || Dixieland Ukulele

This is either a tenor uke or a baritone ukulele tuned GCEA. I like the performance and the YT comments give a good lead to a possible ragtime book for guitar that may be Bari friendly, see below.

'An arrangement for ukulele taken from Lasse Johansson's Fingerstyle Guitar book. I heard his version first on "Masters of the Ragtime Guitar" back in the 80's. The playing's a bit uneven and scratchy, as ever but I'm working on it.'

The Hula Honeys || Ginger on Baritone Ukulele || Wine Country Ukulele Festival 2010

I had a chance to meet Ginger and talk to her for a few minutes before her next class. She's just behind the canopy for most of the song. I wasn't there for this performance so I am glad that some taped it.

4th Annual Uke Fest hosted by the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

kaleolancaster || Baritone Ukulele

Kaleo has a nice Hawaiian / Mainland style blend. He also has a blog entitled Island Trails for those Hawaii lovers in the crowd.

[NOTE: I am having some technical difficulties with Google Blogger. I tried Google Chrome and it may be counteracting my Internet Explorer so links and colors are off (until I go to my laptop and reset them.]

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Keola Beamer || Slack Key Guitar (4 Parts)

Sometimes I like to take a peak into another world...

Part 1 of 4

Killing the Blues...

I have written about Richard G's Ukulele Songbook over on Humble Uker and his arrangements show fingerings for the standard GCEA ukulele tuning. He posts this song both in A and C and since they are 3-chord songs are easily transferred over to the Bari. Richard has this song linked to this Alison Krauss / Robert Plant version.

I first heard this on a Chris Smither album called "Live as I'll Ever Be" and is one of my favorite albums. What a voice for the blues! This song needs to be played on a Bari.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pierre of Uke Attitude has a most AMAZING posts of a Baryton Ukulele (Baritone)

You won't believe this...

Polyjesters || Take the Long Way Home (Supertramp Cover)

The Polyjesters have become one of my favorite bands. They played this supertramp tune during the fundraiser for the young musician's scholarship fund. Jason, Sheldon, Aaron and Rob played for a good cause. The Ironwood in Calgary, January 31, 2009.

Cindy Church P.S. I Love You With the Polyjesters

Mills Popular Standards for Baritone Ukulele

I was helping my wife at her craft show in Napa Saturday when this came due on eBay and lost :<(. But will keep an eye out for this one in the future...

Found a copy on Amazon :<).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Joe Tate || Ukulele Baby Song Book (Baritone & Tenor

I was able to make it on the last day of the Wine Country Ukulele Festival and came across a man sitting at a table in the shade of some large trees. He was jamming on a vintage Martin Baritone Ukulele. He had some nice spiral bound books for sale "18 Songs Arranged for Baritone & Tenor Ukulele" and it includes a Play-Along CD. Of Course I had to buy it at a very fair price of $14.95 and present it here to the Baritone Ukulele player community.

Joe has a really good strong country/folk singing voice and does some mean Travis-style picking on some songs. The songs are not "baby" songs, they are a wide variety of songs:

  • Ukulele Baby
  • Don't Think Twice
  • Tumbling Tumbleweeds
  • Down by the Riverside
  • I'm a Cowboy Too
  • Froggy Went a Courtin'
  • Manha de Carnaval
  • Song of Old Hawaii
  • Under the Boardward
  • Hanalei Moon
  • In A Canoe
  • Girl from Ipanema
  • Just the Thought of You
  • Over the Rainbow
  • Sailor's Alphabet
  • You Don't Know
  • Time and Time Again
  • Avenging Angel
If you're interested in his book, his contact information is --> HERE.

The End Times Spasms Band

Americana, Swing, Jazz & Roots

I'd like to see more bands like this. Hey, who put Bari back there?
Here's a band article...

Michael Parmenter || New Baritone Ukulele Beauty

Michael Parmenter has another set of photos from his new batch of Baritone Ukuleles. Click the link below and take a gander...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Baritone Techniques (Guitar Crosspicking)

Here's some more fingerstyle work for reference. Folk of the Wood is a guitar site that has some information that can be implemented for sweet arpeggios, for playing some turnaround melodies, intros or endos. There's plenty of information at this site. This is just a starting point.
Crosspicking Forward Roll Patterns

Crosspicking Alternate Roll Patterns

I am double dipping here, I already posted this over on Humble Uker but This one has a different focus... watch for the lonely baritone ukulele.

PHOTO: Nina Playing Bari Bare Foot || Where do you play your Baritone Ukulele?

Tim Randolph's Photo

Forbes Library || Borrow a Uke (Baritone Ukulele)

Linda Stout || Musician (Photo with Harmony Baritone)

You will mainly see a guitar in her hands but
here's another beautiful Harmony Baritone

Dirk (MagumbisMonkey) || Plays an Original for another Song Challenge

Dirk has a great Pono Baritone Ukulele and always seems to be up for a song challenge. He's a member of the German Ukulele Club and I think has started a new trend. I think his hat should be the new standard for Baritone Ukulele players for that look of distinction.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

washedupsk8 || Ashcloud Blues || Baritone Ukulele

I have been curious about playing blues with the slide. I sometime play around with the edge of my cell phone. Washedupsk8 is a Swede living in or around Stockholm, so I YT-mailed hime to talk about relatives and how he plays the slide on the baritone. I wanted to record what he told me here,

To be honest, I had no idea how to play slide on my bari. I started doing it 'cause the action was very, very high when I bought it. What I did was tuning down the E string do D which made it tuned in an open G (DGBD low to high). From there I just started playing in open chords you know, (unfretted it's a G, with the slide on the 5th fret it's a C, etc. etc.) I also experimented with playing the open G and at the same time fretting the high D string to make little melodies/riffs. My advice if you wanna play some simple slide is to pick the uke with the highest action and just tune down the E to D and you're off and rolling. I hope this is some kind of help.

GCEAtuning || Anything for the Quiet Life || Baritone Ukulele Original

Horse Feathers || Drain You

Horse Feathers / Drain You cover from Lesley Graves on Vimeo.

from Al.

Howlin' Hobbit || Baritone Ukulele Tidbits

I had linked a Howlin' Hobbit present to the ukulele community, called "Chord Exercises For Baritone Ukuleles" in which he lamented the "dearth of material available for the Baritone Ukulele.

Here's some trivia, "...The tenor guitar you see here (see the link below) is one of those gotten for a song. He keeps it tuned DGBE (like a baritone ukulele) which is known in the tenor guitar world as Chicago Tuning for reasons that completely escape me. If I was forced to make a guess, I'd say that the tuning was popularized by guitarists in Chicago who picked up the tenor and, like the tenor banjo players it was designed for, tuned it to something they were already familiar with."

HoHo also likes the Polyjesters and has a nice write-up on them too,

HoHo has another bit of historical info about Alice Stuart,

Flatpicking Doc Watson on Guitar (for Baritone Ukulele Study)

I heard a Doc Watson interview on "Fresh Air" with Teri Gross. His playing is mesmerising and those old country lyrics are good ol' Americana. That flatpicking technique is something I'm trying with my fingers on my 1950's Harmony Baritone Ukulele.

Deep River Blues
Shady Grove
Tennessee Stud
Windy and Warm

She's having a Bari good time!

Photo Credit to

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gary from Albuquerque || Tales of Soda Town || Original

Gary has created an original song with familiar names. It's a long sad tale. The lyrics are posted in the video comments.

Just Lloyd with a Baritone Ukulele sans Deedle Deedle Dees

I really like the ease that Lloyd creates, sings, and strums.

AheadByOne11 Andrew || Here's a Crazy Example of Talent

Andrew is from Kharkov, Ukraine and lives in Canada.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Krista L.L. Muir || à Mange ta ville

Beautiful spot for a video. I am a fan of Krista.

L.L. = Lucy Lederhosen?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ann Mayo Muir || Forever Came to My Door || Baritone Ukulele

Here's another Muir playing the Baritone Ukulele. There's quite a write up on the TouYube comments as well as the lyrics. If this song touches you then check it out.


jo6pac2 || Gentle on my Mind || Baritone Ukulele

garretbakermusic || To Each A Love || Electric Baritone Ukulele

The Bari Best BARITONE UKULELE Songbook

Since I am taking a look at a few books, this is another Jim Beloff, Jumpin' Jim music book specifically for the Baritone Ukulele. It is in a larger format than most of his books at 8-1/2" x 11" tall. There is a generous list of songs at 30. There's a blend of musical genres: Little Grass Shack to As Time Goes By to Tennessee Waltz to When I'm 64. It was published by Hal Leonard and can be found on

This is an example of perhaps the most complex chordings.

This is an example of a simpler arrangement.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Jack Tuttle's Bluegrass Guitar Collection Vol. One

This book is also a guitar book. It has about 80 songs but I have not fully gone thru to see how many are exclusively DGBE. It has both a standard musical score and guitar tablature. It doesn't come with a CD. I will have to give this some further review and come back to it later.

Mel Bay Music Book || Fancy Fiddle Tunes for Flatpicking Guitar

I found this book at the 5th String in Berkeley, Calfornia but it should be readily available. I picked this out because it has several old-time fiddle tunes translated into guitar tablature but also including the standard musical score. There are 16 arrangements but almost 9 are played exclusively on the DGBE strings. I have been working on the Blackberry Blossom arrangement. The songs are folksy-bluegrassy songs and are predominantly 1/8 notes since they were fiddle tunes.

The best thing about this book is that it comes with 3 CD's that were recorded in the 1970's but do not feel dated. Each song is played at speed first, then the song is broken down into several parts and suggested fingershifts and strum directions are talked about in detail. I did not have the luxury of having any musicians in my family growing up so I find these instructions fascinating. If you have any questions please leave a comment.
Also, I especially like this book because it has movements up and down the neck. The author has succeeded in creating more interest and made the arrangements just a bit more complex to make it a serious and challenging arrangement without being overly difficult.

The basic flatpicking technique uses a pick. The "beats" are typically played with a downstroke and the "ands" are picked "upward." Also a pick is not mandatory but the author believes the pick will increase your speed. I have been using my fingers and experimenting a bit with the fingers.

Friday, September 3, 2010

smyrna5 || Bobby Henshaw Baritone Ukulele || Willie Nelson Cover

Smyrna5 shared this video with us at Humble Baritonics, your all things Baritone Ukulele source. This is a Baritone that I haven't ever seen before. Love that brass plate label. Smyrna5 also goes by the name SweetWaterBlue on Ukulele Underground. So, this begs the question, who was Bobby Henshaw? He was known as Bobby "Uke" Henshaw and was another Vaudevillean. If you want to know more, take a look at this link...,_bobbyuke.htm

Note: If this is the first blog post on ukulele that you've ever read, or if you're new, the two places that are the most highly respected are:

They are both focused on a standard tuned ukulele GCEA whereas most Baritone Ukuleles are tuned DGBE jist like the high 4 strings on a standard guitar. But every technique can be applied to playing any ukulele. Ukulele Hunt has actually given the Baritone some love by posting some baritone ukulele tablature.

Thank you smyrna for sharing a Beautiful-Bari and helping HB share a little Bari-history.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Vintage 1988 UOGB with Baritones

'ere's another Bari-Centric vintage UOGB video...

Baritone Ukulele Noodling by Richie Williams of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

The UOGB has been putting out a few up close and personal videos recently. I will have to do some more detective work on Richie. This is inspiring to me since I have been doing some fingerpicking work recently.

Doogey9 || Shake Em' On Down || Baritone Ukulele Slide

Blues Man, no introduction required...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Amy Bleu || Persephone's Blues on a Baritone Ukulele

A story and a song from Amy Bleu.

"Amy Bleu performed this song at the Alberta Street Pub, in Portland, Oregon, on 2/21/10. This was a Benefit for the Portland Women's Crisis Line, put together by Lindsey Walker. The band members are: Amy Bleu: guitar, vocals, baritone ukulele; Adam Sullivan, aka Bellows Bot: accordion, xylophone, melodica, keyboards, back-up vocals, other random sounds; Matt Cornett: bass guitar, lead guitar, mouth harp; Gabriel Edge: drums, percussion."