Sunday, December 4, 2011

Roger Ruthen shares his "String Theory II" (Re-entrant Tuning)

Hello Bari-Uke players. Here's a topic for serious consideration...

Hi Jeff,

I would like to share with your readers another piece of "String Theory".

I have several Baritone Ukuleles, and I enjoy both re-entrant and non re-entrant tuning. For those of you that would like to try the standard ukulele tuning of a high re-entrant 4th string. There is no need to buy a special set of strings, just use a second 'E' (1st) string as the 4th string and tune it down 1 tone to 'D'. This will give you the same pitch ratios between strings to allow you to use standard re-entrant uke tabs.

The reason I enjoy this re-entrant tuning is that I find that it is simply fun to play. It is very hard to explain to people the difference, so I suggest that you try it, and maybe play some of my standard ukulele tabs on my 'PDF-Minstrel' site. I am sure you will enjoy the difference too. Of course, you will still be able to play all the chord shapes that you learned with standard Baritone Uke tuning, they will just sound more ukulele like.

As I said previously, I have several Baritone ukuleles and I would never discard the standard non re-entrant tuning. For solo work, the low D gives you a greater scale range and more variation for chord shapes, but by occasionally changing your tuning to re-entrant you can access the many more standard solo ukulele tabs that are available on the net. Of course having two Baritone ukes, one with the non re-entrant tuning, and one with re-entrant tuning, is the ideal situation. 

Many thanks for your time,

Roger Ruthen

I had just purchased a second Favilla baritone and have been thinking about tuning it to re-entrant tuning. It has been sitting in a nicely padded case with some worn old strings waiting for it's reincarnation. Another advantage of having a second bari with this tuning is the plethura of ukulele music that takes great advantage of  the dual high strings. 

PDF-Minstrel's Standard (High G) Ukulele PDF's Play them as they stand in High D. Opening up to HIGH-tuning allows one to play a wider selection of arrangements from those sounding more towards guitar to sounding more like a ukulele.

I recently e-mailed Daddy Stovepipe about his blues books and they are set-up for re-entrant tuning and sound great. 

What's this "Mama Don't 'Low" on PDF-Minstrel? Oh Yeah! (it's High G.)

Humble Uker, Jeff


  1. i keep my baritone tuned regular and my tenors as the re-entrant
    the way they were originally tuned. it's the best of both worlds.

  2. have you tried reading this chit in yellow on flourescent green? i now have a headache.

    1. Yes, I recently updated the blog format. Sorry for the bad color combos. I have corrected some now. Thanks for reminding me. Jeff