Friday, December 31, 2010

Lil' Rev || 101 Licks for the Ukulele

The book & CD are available for pre-order, 15 days to go...

Garret Baker || Irish Musician playing Baritone Ukulele

Garret Baker posts his music regularly on YouTube. Sometimes playing guitar and others on the Baritone ukulele. I googled Garret trying to find a player photo of him with his bari and found an Irish musician site called, 2 U I Bestow, link, and Barret has been posted in several places there and it appears he has performed at Whelans fairly regularly.


BOOKS || Irish Dance Tunes for Flatpicking BARITONE UKULELE

This is my third Mel Bay book and for it's song value it is perhaps the best for any ukulele player. It is the best bank for the buck because there are 16 total Irish Dance Tunes and all but one are played on the high four strings of a guitar. So they would work for any Low G ukulele or Low D tuned baritone ukulele.

These books are a great value because the come with (3) CD's that play each song masterfully and then break down the song to into "bite-sized" segments. Eric Thompson is the instructor and he always has comments on how to get the most out of a tune.

Tunes: Sligo Maid, Bright Star of Munster, Fulham Broadway, Gallagher's Frolics, Tommy McCarthy's Jig, Untitled Reel, Pigeon on the Gate, Sweets of May, The Wise Maid, (The Pipe on the Hob [not Bari]), Apples in Winter, Sean Sa Ceo, The Moincoin Jig, The Traveler, The Old Customs House, The Choice Wife.

Some Non-Bari Examples:
Sligo Maid (on Violin)

Mugambo Italiano || Seminatori di Grano (Gianmaria Testa) - Baritone Ukulele Cover

Trilingual Dirk, aka MugambisMonkey, plays a moving Italian song.

This got me thinking about languages and I found a site to tell me what the most spoken languages are. Interesting to note that number one is spoken approximately 2-1/2 times more than the number two language. I was surpised to find that number 2 was English as it follows Mandarin Chinese. Take a look at this chart if you're interested, link. Swedish didn't make the list. My mother is from northern Sweden and I speak a little swedish.

JakeLoewMusic || Fishin' Blues

Fishin' Blues is a tune written by Henry Thomas. I wish the video quality was a good as Jake's playing. Great old-time song. Mike Dasilva, a Berkeley California Ukulele Luthier, has a version for the Berkeley Ukulele Club, link. The chord charts are for soprano but are standard chords.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Glen Rose & Linda Dathe || What Are You Doing New Years (Song & Lesson)

Another treat from Glen Rose (GCEA Tuning Shown)

Zolktizzer || When You Wish Upon A Star (Baritone Ukulele)

This is Zolktizzer's first video and a great first posted song selection. Cliff Edward's snag this and it became Disney's Television theme song. Nice chord melody, timing and singing. Believe this uke was tuned GCEA. Bravo!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jai Michael Barry "Crossroads" live on Acoustic Spotlight

Here's his other video performed on a guitar and an unusual Christmas tune gathering different religious aspects, link. Jeanne, I think you'll enjoy this one: Christmas in the Ashram.

Photo: Glen Rose the Jazzy Ukulele Guy has more Jazzy Lessons

I asked Glen Rose to share a photo of him with his Baritone Ukulele
and he provided a one with some flair, well he's all about Jazz!

I have some more to add to this post but need a little break
from my computer so I'll be telling you more
about what Glen's been up to shortly (to be continued.)

Garretbakermusic || All I'm Waiting For (Baritone Ukulele)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vic Chestnutt || Played the Baritone Ukulele (No Bari Here)

I had been doing a search of albums released and looking for baritone ukulele players and came across Vic Chestnutt. So far I've been unable to find a photo of him playing a baritone ukulele. I heard Terry Gross interview him on NPR's Fresh Air. He was a songwriter. Has anyone listened to his music? I see Brian Stipe of R.E.M. produced one of his albums.

Vic was critically injured when 18 and used a wheelchair. This video shows him playing a guitar. His right hand dexterity was definitely limited but what a performer.

NY Times Obit. Article 2009

JChoneybell || Strumming a Silvertone Baritone Ukulele

manriq47 || Jambalaya (Hank Williams Cover) on Baritone Ukulele

Baritone Ukulele Scales TOOL from Ukulele Tabs

Here's quite a tool for the adventurist! I have also put a link in the Misc. Music section for easy future reference. My friend Bajan Pied Piper got me interested in doodling with exotic scales.

Check out this scale pattern...

Or the Iwato (Japanese sounding) scale. Try playing the scale at the 8-11 frets.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dirk (MugambisMonkey) || Don't Gimme No Snow

An Altared Christmas || Silent Night || Rhan Wilson & Patti Maxine

I came to know both Rhan Wilson and Patti Maxine over the last 4 years of attending the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz. They are both musicians that have been members of numerous bands and add a creative essence to everything that they participate in. Rhan has a new computer and put this terrific video together of the 2009 performance. (Wendy and I were there in 2008 and 2009.) The An Altared Christmas show puts the twist of playing Christmas melodies in minor keys.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jackson Browne || Late for the Sky [Uke Tab]

Uke Tab is the top listing on the TOP 50 UKULELE sites. I frequently wouldn't even notice it on the list because it was it a separate box and I alway think of Ukulele Hunt as being number 1. The site had so many songs but it seems that it may have run into copyright issues and so they had to put a lot of "xxxx's" in for the real "words." That makes the site a whole lot less user friendly in my opinion.

I was looking for chords to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" because I really enjoyed the way that it was done by Craig Larson but it was not to be found. But while searching I came across Jackson Browne's "Late for the Sky" and it also has way too many "xxxx's" BUT I also noticed that Uke Tab also has a way to change the chords to BARITONE CHORDS.

Glen Rose & Linda Dathe || Winter Wonderland

A Christmas treat from Glen & Linda.
The arrangement is available for download, link.
Glen's YouTube Channel, here.

Joe "Gableman" || Imagine (Solo on Baritone Ukulele)

Very good arrangement...

... just wish this had a bit more volume.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

tessandmaya || The Sound of Silence (Guitar & Bari Duo)

ukulalienjane | I'll See You In My Dreams

Jane with Barry -- If I Fell

CarmenBorgia || It's Love, Boys


Jenerally Speaking || Doo Da Doo

It's a very sweetly performed original song. Jen normally has long intros but this time she gets right into the performance and it is outstanding. Really Jen!

Kate liked it so much she gave it a go on her Bari too.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

ClaraBelle & Rosa || High & Dry (Radiohead Cover)

I think I see ClaraBelle playing a 6-string Bari here with Rosa on Guitar. What do you see?

Acoustic Guitar Magazine

I have found that Acoustic Guitar Mag has many areas that may be interesting to the ukulele player as well. In particular, the January 2011 edition has a section called "25 Tip for Thriving at a Jam." The article is not one or two line quips but really thought provoking ideas and instructions on what to do in each area to prepare.

But there are also a few songs in each issue that have been fun to try as well as a variety of guitar based tutorials. There usually an acoustic classic song or two. This month is Bob Dylan's Goin Nowhere (or as I knew it "Whoo-ee, Ride Me High").

There's also a feature article on: Blues Man Corey Harris, The Reverse Boom-Chuck, Percussive Rhythm Techniques, Three Paths to Fretboard Mastery, Tommy Emmanuel's arrangement for the Beatles Day Tripper.

BOOK || Hal Leonard EZ Guitar || Selections from O Brother Where Art Thou?

Here's another book that I found on sale. It is a Hal Leonard book with notes and tablature. There are 11 songs including Alison Kraus' "Down to the River to Pray" that is played solely on the DGBE strings.

Also handy for Bari players would be:
  • Keep on the Sunny Side
  • I am a Man of Constant Sorrow
  • I'll Fly Away
  • Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby

So 5 of the 11 are already set for the Bari.

BOOK || Stefan Grossman || Country Blues Guitar

Gryphon Strings in Palo Alto, California is having quite a sale on their music books prior to the holidays so I have purchased a few because I am a consumming robot. These Mel Bay books are made specifically for guitar but the come in standard notation AND tablature AND 3 CD's with over three hours of instruction that break down the music into bite-sized chunks. AND these are old country tunes from african-american musician from the early 1900's AND the old recordings are also played in full.

Anyone who likes hearing Del Rey's music will enjoy hearing "Keep it Clean." I am looking at these books from a baritone ukulele adaptation perspective and (unfortunately) all of the tunes are tabbed using the guitar's 5th and 6th strings. Sometimes these are alternating base patterns. I will be investigating adaptations to use the D-string for this effect.

LaurenAlegre || Diamonds & Gold

Friday, December 17, 2010

What a beauty...

... My wife Wendy & I, have good friends Bill & Kathy who made a recent trip to Hawaii last month. One evening they were out for dinner and ended up in a small tent at the outside of the restuarant. They ended up at a table about 5 feet away from Taimane performing . They were amazed by her skills and said to each other, "I'll bet Jeff knows who she is!" I don't know if this uke is a Bari or a Tenor but this is quite a spectacular photo.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

ukulelestu || I'll Fly Away on Baritone Ukulele (Open G tuning)

Stu changed YouTube accounts but I have this link fixed now.

Ukukulele || White Wedding on Baritone Ukulele

It's a rockin' Billy Idol cover...

KDUS || Où avez-vous passé avec votre Baryton Ukulele?

Voici un trio de chansons de KDUS. Ils ont été postées sur YouTube e 2007. HumbleBaritonics aimerait en voir plus, mais il est probablement fatigué de tout le mondedemande la tablature! KDUS si vous lisez cette page, s'il vous plaît, encore!, encore! Merci beaucoup Humble Uker.

(This is my best French using google translator. I hope it conveys my appreciation properly.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bob "DuhDog" Rainey plays his Tony Graziano Custom Baritone Ukulele

Bob is my friend from the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz. Here he's giving a baritone ukulele a little picking over slack-key style. Tony Graziano is a Santa Cruz luthier that has made ukuleles for players around the world. Last month, Bob had a Vega baritone ukulele that I got a chance to strum at the November club meeting. He has always got something to share and an enthusiasm for the ukulele and outrageous jokes.

Cho Happy Bear (Korea) || Fingerstyle Baritone Ukulele

Friends & Family Band || Uke & Bari Tunes

The video boxes are all small because the images don't change. The songs are all very nicely performed.

Willow Tree

Good King Wenceslas

Monday, December 13, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010




Solid Lacewood

Sprucetop Baritone









(all are Approximate)

Mahalo U-320B $70

Lanikai LU-21B $100

Oscar Schmidt OU52 $100

Kala Makala MK-B $105

Lanikai S-B $140

Riptide UB-5N5 $160

Oscar Schmidt OU53S $167

Ohana BK-20 $210

Oscar Schmidt UB-2N $240

Lanikai CK-B $250

Kala Spruce Top KA-SB $270

Mainland Mahogany $310

Kala Lacewood Spruce Top $315

Pono Solid Mahogany $400

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WEEK FOCUS #4 || Good Baritone Ukulele Search (Buying a Baritone Ukulele < $250)

I have been delaying starting a new Week Focus partially because I wanted to let Lew Dite's information to be available for a bit more time and because I hadn't completed conversations with a few of my planned Week Focus Baritone players. Then, earlier today I got a message from Drea, who inquired...

"I was directed to your blog through some of the folks at Ukulele Underground. I am trying to choose the perfect baritone uke for me and am having a hard time deciding which one to get. I think I would like one that is solid wood and in the price range of around $250. I had liked the mahogany ones but have been looking at some spruce top w/ mahogany sides as well. I just want something with a nice rich sound and feel a little lost in the world of ukulele reviews. Could you help me with any suggestions?"

So fortuitously, this week's focus chose me. I have decided to post some videos based on instruments and not necessarily the players. I personally have two 1960's baritone ukuleles: both in very good shape, one is a Harmony and the other is a Mawell. They both appear to be solid mahogany and are very similar in construction. The main differences between the two is that the Harmony has an arched back, nice edge trimming and a more slender neck. Of these I think the slender neck increases the ease of playability.

The most critical thing that I come across when it comes to playability is the action. [Which is the distance between the strings and the fretboard. A closer action adds to the ease of play but too close and the strings may buzz against frets during rapid strumming. I had the blessing to meet with the ukulele superhero Ken Middleton at the Wine Country Ukulele Festival and he thinks we are a bit to obsessed with low action. The reality is that it will probably take some time to discover what is best for you if you are a novice. So be sure to ask a knowledgable person to take a look for you. I had bought a concert ukulele from The 5th String in Berkeley, California about 18 months ago and they adjusted the action for free with my purchase.]

I hope to post a good variety of ukuleles that I know are readily available. If anyone has specific information corroborating or denying anything I write -- PLEASE share your experience. After I look thru the videos again I may add some to this post. So you may want to check back.

Flea Bitten Dawgs || Laredo Rose

Boat Paddle Baritone Ukulele

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

blinktwice4y || If You Ask Me To (Original Song on Baritone Ukulele)

Tonight was like a surprise jackpot for Baritone Ukulele videos. First I've heard from Sam Hart but I hope to hear a whole lot more.

Dobro33H || The Daily Frail 12/7/2010

Ok, so yes you do see a banjo. Patrick here is demonstrating the basic Banjo Frail. I like his simple style and his cheerful energy for his craft. I think that his offerings here on strumming, regular practice, working on technique are applicable to a Bari.

Montecore505 || La Colegiala on Baritone Ukulele

GrumpyCoyoteTunes || Insomnia Blues on a Mainland Baritone Ukulele

This one appears to be hot off the presses. I needed a good bit of blues to raise my spirits!

Jonathon Mann || The Rock Cookie Bottom || Baritone Ukulele Selection

Jonathon has made it a challenge to write a song a day. I think he's got over 700 and I have enjoyed several and plan to listen to a whole lot more. He asks people to offer outrageous requests. You never know what to expect -- except you can expect a quality effort and production. In this collection there are a few songs played on the Baritone Ukulele, so here are the Bari ones. For Jon's YT Channel, click here.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I Spent Some Time Looking at Diddley Bows...

... how they sound and how they are constructed. I like the Red Rooster one and thought about constructing one for my oldest son Jason. Several of the DB's were constructed on 2x4's and used beer bottles. This video has been out there for quite some time and I'm surprised to have missed it. It reminded me of that amplified & slide sound of the Diddley Bow.

DoctorPorkButt presents...

Michelle Blades et Les Mandevales (Bari, Cello & Upright Bass)

La Vérité

Like Wildflowers

eBay || Rare Vintage 1964 Gibson Baritone Ukulele

See the eBay Listing

Ebay || Vintage-Martin-Style-51-Baritone-Ukulele + BOW?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Krasnogorsk || Violin & Bari

A portrait of the Halifax duo, Krasnogorsk (Jacques Mindreau and Corey Hinchey). Film made by Nisha Platzer in collaboration with the NFB and the 2010 Doxa film festival in Vancouver, B.C. Violin and Baritone Ukulele.

Dirk (MagumbisMonkey) || Nachtzug (Original Ukulele Song)

WEEK FOCUS #3 || Songster Lew Dite

“Songster” Lew Dite is from Montreal, Canada and is a multi-instrumentalist that has become a one-man-Smithsonian of old-timey music. He brings to life these old tunes with amazing enthusiasm and has created a YouTube shrine to celebrate the music, playing Guitar, Banjo, Erhu, Strumstick, Ukulele and Baritone Ukulele. To appreciate the breadth of his offerings just check out his two YouTube Channels…

LewDite 1,086 Videos.

Lew Dite Songscreen (Karaoke Style)

Lew often has a title of “Songs _____ ______ Taught Me to Love.” Perhaps someday someone else will post “Songs Lew Dite Taught Me to Love” due to his musical generosity.

This week's focus is on Lew's Baritone Ukulele Videos:

1) I Only Want a Buddy Not a Sweetheart

2) Pay Me My Money Down

3) Blue-Tail Fly

4) Memphis Yodel

5) Kentucky Waltz

6) Bottle of Wine

7) Kisses Sweeter than Wine

8) Two Brothers

9) Riding in My Car

10) Grandfather’s Rights


Humble Uker Playlist Compilation (Listen while you work.)

"Back in the 1940's as a young boy I was introduced to the world of self-made music by my father (1903-1983) who sang and played the banjo uke and tenor banjo. There was no pretense here, just simple straight out stuff, much of it Tin Pan Alley. It was this simplicity of delivery that attracted me as a teenager in the 1950's to British skiffle music in general and Lonnie Donegan in particular. Exploring the origins of British skiffle led me to Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Big Bill Broonzy, the Carter Family, and all the old-timey music from the 20's, 30's and 40's..." (read more on Lew's YouTube Channel)

Lew also has a Sing-along Songs CD,. It is very reasonably priced. Mine is in the mail now. I am looking forward to enjoying the songs Lew Dite taught me to love.

Friday, December 3, 2010

JakeLoewMusic || Original Song

Shazam, Shazaam, Shazaaaam, Nice fingerpicking jaaam!

(Remember what Gomer Pyle used to say to the sergeant?)

wininboy || Plays on the Beach at Waikiki on a Martin Baritone Ukulele

Wininboy is known for his fast ukin' hands on Martin Sopranos. Here's a treat where he's loaded up a Martin Baritone Ukulele with Aquila strings and let it rip on a classic Hapa Haole tune. Bravo!

Sam || Playing Baritone Ukulele by Ear

I am sure that I've come across Sam before. He also plays the ocarina magnificently. Sams bio says that he's originally from Korea and now lives in Australia.

Bari with Ocarina

Pete Krebs Playing a "Big Bottom Myrtle" (Steel String Baritone)

Steel string baritone ukulele built by Mark Roberts Guitars & Ukuleles...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tiki King || Notes on the History of the Baritone Ukulele

Tiki King (right) Comtemplates with Otto (left)
mini jen's Flickr
I had a conversation during the November 2010 Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz meeting with Tiki King. I told him about this blog and how much I was finding on the Baritone Ukulele. He told me that he had done some research on the history of the Baritone Ukulele but never obtained enough information to come to a definitive solution. Below is a copy of his (preliminary & unfinished) research that he agreed to share with us...
I would also like to note that Tiki King has been active in the ukulele community. He is a performer, luthier, and artist. I believe he is the creator of all of the Flea and Fluke designs for Jim Beloff of Flea Market Music. I have two of his CD's, a couple of Tiki necklaces that I purchased from past Northern California Ukulele Festivals in Hayward, California. Now, he has a new brick & mortar-type store in Felton, California, called: Ukuleles of Felton.
The Tiki King occupies a very high place in the Top 50 Ukulele Sites, at number 18, and you can visit his site here, Tiki King. Here is the article he had started on the Baritone...
“Proof is simply finding enough people who agree with you” Anonymous
Things are being invented all the time. Some will go on to fame and popularity, some will not. Some will be patented, trademarked and copywriten, and, some will not. But one thing is certain. At some point someone will say, “you know, (insert name here) was the one who really invented that” And so it goes. With very few exceptions we can never really know who “invented” anything, only who was the first to document it, and even then the debate will rage. So it is with the Baritone Ukulele. We have, for the most part accepted that the “Ukulele” was born in Hawaii following the arrival of the Ravenscraig in 1879. “but wait” some my say, ”there are photographs of people holding Ukuleles that predate the Ravenscraig.” Well, that depends on how you look at it. There are indeed photographs of people holding small four string instruments, such as braginas or machetes, which are similar, but what we call the Ukulele was a modification to these instruments.
So in my opinion, it was not a Ukulele until it became the Ukulele, and that was some time after 1879. Once again it comes down to documentation. If there is no recorded mention of the Ukulele before 1879, then we must assume it did not exist.
I have endeavored to find documentation of the the birth of the Baritone Ukulele, and it has been a difficult task. By all accounts I can find no mention of the Baritone that predates 1948. There have been several documents, letters, etc, from the early fifties that mention the introduction of the baritone “some years ago” or “some years back.” I found one hand invoice for a baritone that was dated 1964 and said “fifteen years old.” I have found many mentions of a “Guitar-Uke” as well as a “Uke-I-Tar.” Such as in the book “EZ Method for Ukulele and Ukulele Banjo: Self Instruction and Teachers Use: Ukulele: Tiple, Uke-I-Tar, Guitar-Uke, and Taropatch” which was Published by Wm J Smith Music Co., Inc. New York c. 1924.
So does this mean that there was a baritone type instrument as far back as the mid 20’s? Possibly, but I doubt it. I think it was more a case of capitalizing on the popularity of the Ukulele by adding the “Uke” prefix to a tenor or parlor guitar.
There are generally two camps when it comes to the who invented the Baritone. Those who believe that it was Herk Favilla, and those who believe it was Arthur Godfrey. Both can be traced back to the same period, but certainly one was indeed first. So, how do we prove who was the father of the Baritone? What it boils down to is Documentation. I have always assumed that the Favillas rightfully held claim to the title, but to be honest, never sought any proof. I have had correspondence with Tom Favilla, who was the last to build the Favilla instruments, and his story seemed to make sense. According to Tom, 'The idea of the Baritone uke was my fathers for his young guitar students, and was first built as custom models by his father (my grandfather John in the late 1940's).' It first appeared in a Favilla price list as a regular part of the Favilla line in 1948 or 1949... Herk Favilla wrote 'the Baritone ukulele method' in 1949 (published 1950), Second printing 1951. This information is backed up by the library of congress." So, if he wrote a book in 1949 it would seem to place the Baritone in Favilla’s hands at least then.
On to Arthur Godfrey. Arthur Godfrey was an avid musician, and star of Radio and Television in the late 40’s 50’s. and 60’s. He had several shows, such as “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent scouts”, (1948 to 1958) “Arthur Godfrey and his friends” which ran from 1949 to 1957 There was also a short lived show called “Arthur Godfrey and his Ukulele” which was only on the air from April to June of 1950
Eddie Connors, credited by some as the original designer of the baritone ukulele. There was also the Vega line. such as the "Classic Lute" and "Solo Lute" made for Godfrey around 1961. Interesting note. On the soundhole lable on a vega deluxe "classic lute" baritone, I found the patent numbers 2,460,443 and 2,468,374. 2,460,443 is the patent number for a photographic enlarger, and 2,468,374 is for a hollow body arch-top electric guitar patented by vega in 1949.
I did find an ad for a Vega baritone which read: Vega baritone uke, 1950, EXF, formerly owned by Eddie Connors, the original designer of the baritone ukulele, #1 handwritten on label, comes with 1950 newspaper clip of Connors with this uke. This would seem to mean that the first baritone built by Vega was in 1950.
Thanks Tiki King!

Andellzov || Baby Mine

Kym Campbell || Edinburgh Castle 2010

Is this a Bari or Tenor? If it's a tenor, oh well, I like the song.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

guitarleemk || I'm Yours Over the Rainbow

A little ukulele levity... Well done.

magictee33 || Garota de Ipanema [Baritone Ukulele]

Olha que coisa mais linda, Mais cheia de graça...

Howie (Mudgie069) || Fast Car (Tracy Chapman Cover)

Howie has posted another tutorial bringing the total up to 37 videos. You can check out Howie's YT Channel at Mudgie069 or look in the TUTOR tab up above for all of his tutorials in alphabetical order.