Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jonathan Mann || The Baritone Ukulele Tee-Shirt & CD's

Click Photo to Enlarge

It appears to me that Jonathan Mann has a couple of really cool tee shirts on his site store. One shows JM playing a BARITONE UKULELE in several different positions and the other is quite a bold and cool design. Check all of them out on his site and click the store link.

Jonathan often uses his baritone ukulele to start off his musical creations. He has a few albums for sale which are also on the link above. I am going to get his album, Song A Day: The Album.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jonathan Mann || (Oh Well Sometimes his Inspiration is ODD)

Here's a high quality, clear picture, nice setting video. Lyrics are a little rough but, you get a fine view of the extra sound hole, purple shirt, green grass, and burnt-orange bari-uke. When your goal is to produce a song a day there can be some rough days.

Alyssa & Mia || Europa (Duet)

Very nice...

Dana Carly Andrews || Dead Deer (Evening Hymns cover)

Judging by the amount of twitter hits from Canada, I'm guessing Dana is Canadian and has a lot of friends. I hope to hear more of her on her baritone ukulele.

Rhan Wilson || All In Good Time, THE BLOG!


When I started off blogging as Humble Uker this pair, Bosky & Honey, were definitely an early inspiration.  The beginning of this video exemplifies what my buddy Rhan discusses in his video above.

Folkahead || Wild Thing (Noah & the Whale cover)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Savage Henry || Koloa Baritone Ukulele Sound Sample

Uker 10,001 || Andantino Matteo Carcassi

Andrew the Ukelectic || Sam Hall

"Sam Hall" is an old English folk song about a bitterly unrepentant criminal condemned to death.Prior to the mid 19th century it was called "Jack Hall", after an infamous English thief, who was hanged in 1707 at Tyburn. Jack Hall's parents sold him as a climbing boy for one guinea, which is why most versions of the song identify Sam or Jack Hall as a chimney sweep.

Miss Ukukulelele || Mildred

This girl can jam...

Lew Dite || Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (Bob Dylan cover on a Baritone Ukulele

Lew had the flu, but I like the song and the fingerpicking style...

Emma || Mononoke Hime

Emma is 14 years old and has been playing the baritone ukulele for about 7 months. Sounds like she's off to some great musical beginnings.

Emma & Laura doing an Eddie Vedder Song...

Emma& Laura Growing Old with You (Adam Sandler cover)

Finian Pye Vogel || Nowt Else Matters

And here's a homemade film to song...

The Haunted Windchimes || Union Avenue Pueblo, Colorado

Just strollin' along singin' a song...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Barefoot Boogie Guitars || Ashton Baritone Ukulele

Carmen Borgia || It's Love, Boys

Mature themes, nice animated art and a baritone ukulele. Bravo Carmen!

Kroffe75 || Baritone Banjola

Here's a unique instrument, seems to be a blend of lute and banjo. It is made to a baritone scale and uses the common DoGBonE D-G-B-E tuning except that it also has a high g drone string. I haven't come across Kristoffer's videos or instruments or videos before but quickly recognized the Swedish accent. I think that the Ash wood he uses is common to Scandinavia.

This banjola is a gift for his brother. So I do hope that he makes another to share some more videos with us. Tack så mycket Kristoffer.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Paul Pennyfeather || Sketch of a Baritone Ukulele Player by Artist John Sanchez

Here 'tis... sketch of man and Clearwater roundback baritone uke by Miami artist John Sanchez.

Artist John Sanchez's Web site

Paul Pennyfeather, a.k.a. Scott Miller

Paul has a new album "Suburban Sketches" that features eight songs on the baritone and two on nylon-strung guitar, for a listen click here...

Nancy Paras || It Don't Mean a Thing...

I was wondering, "What am I doing at my computer on Christmas morning?" Well Nancy's voice, style and playing are quite a treat...

Nancy Paras || Toxic (DJ Skevop Remix)


Kiss me

Lindsey Homan || We Found Love (Rihanna cover)

Kissing88 || My Heart Will Go On (Ocarina, Uke, Bari-Uke, Bass)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dalys09 || Squealing Pigs (Admiral Fallow cover on Baritone Ukulele)

Hazy (cover)

Kimo Hussey || Island Ukes, Baritone, Tea for Two

Awful Static... (but worth it anyway)

Anita || Requiem for O.M.M.2

Anita & Gabe

Jonathan Mann || Mother Natures Magic Marker

He plays the bari into oblivion. This baritone ukulele gets a lot of work working for the Song-A-Day Man. Jonathon uses a brick stairwell for some great acoustics.



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ChristyLynn42 || Santa Baby

ChristyLynn42 || True Colors

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Michelle Blades || Like Wildflowers

I always love to hear Michelle's creations... Unique & Wild

eHow || How to Play a Baritone Ukulele

Got it?

Humble Baritonics wasn't even mentioned as a source of everything Bari.

Michael McDonald || This Christmas

Well is this a Bari or a Tenor?

Very Interesting for Vintage Instrument Geeks...

Cheryl Rockettedog || Turpentine

Tory Elena || Nameless Blind

Tory writes: This song is part of a collaboration project on :

Lyrics by Vedder
Arranged by Tory Elena

Yipee! Christmas Time is Here! (Thanks Vince Guaraldi)

Another BIG thanks to the Master of the Ukulele Blogosphere, Alistair Wood and his UKULELE HUNT for posting a favorite Christmas time tune of mine. What's with all of these minor chords for Christmas? Well, I think the character Charlie Brown was a minor chord type of guy.

Here's the link to Al's post with an Al cameo video. So does it work on the Bari? YES, I have tested it out on my Favilla Bari and it does play quite smoothly. I only changed one thing and that is to make the last strum down towards your feet instead of up to your nose (if you're playing a LOW tuned instrument.) The song's pace is slow which makes grabbing some of those jazzy chords a bit smoother. Way to go Al!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Beach Comber JP || Fly Me to the Moon

Tuggers || When She Loved Me

Was there a critter somewhere creating a distraction?


Ajr6406002 by Fintano
Ajr6406002, a photo by Fintano on Flickr.
"I still have some of those books. And those shelves are still in the basement in Toronto. I have mastered the A7 chord!"

Brooke w/ baritone ukulele

Brooke w/ baritone ukulele  by Nusi1
Brooke w/ baritone ukulele , a photo by Nusi1 on Flickr.

Bari uke

Bari uke by Mr Shiv
Bari uke, a photo by Mr Shiv on Flickr.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lew Dite || A Christmas Celebration Original on Baritone Ukulele

Let's hear some cheers for "Lew Dite" and his heartwarming Christmas tune. Today there are 1329 YouTube video uploads by this man. What a labor of love from an inspirational man. Here's his YT Channel Link. Additional to these are the karaoke-style versions of his videos, here.

Todd Baio || My Early Inspiration

I was trying to think back about why, how, when did I get interested in the baritone ukulele. I am not really sure but Todd's videos were surely inspirational at that time. He did a BARITONE UKULELE WEEK just over 2 years ago. In his first video he added these comments...

The ukulele and cowboy/folk songs go great together. Anyway, today kicks off my 'baritone ukulele' week for you all. Currently, my favorite ukes are polar opposites. The soprano and the baritone, but I want to 'focus' on the baritone this week because I know that some of my YT friends have considered crossing the threshold and getting one for themselves. I'll help anyway i can ;)

Ahhh the baritone...
  • Added bass tones to help fill out your sound...especially with vocals
  • It's a little bit uke and a little bit guitar...who could ask for more?
  • But todd, it doesn't have that re-entrant sound!' no worries brothers and sisters....they make string sets for that if you so desire...or just grab an extra first string and put it in the fourth position.
  • For finger picking, cotten picking, and chicken picking...the baritone is my favorite
  • More 'hide space' if your metabolism has slowed a bit (now that you're in your mid-thirties or older) and you want a little extra coverage ;)
  • More 'plunk' than 'plink' calls for that sometime....
(I did edit this a bit to fit a little nicer on the page.)

Here's Todd's Week of Videos

#3 Thoughts & Layman's Review (plus a Banjo Bari-Tuned)

That's all for now from Todd's Baritone Ukulele Week but he has many more videos, explore... and I'll be back for another Todd (Doogey9) compilation soon. For now if you want to see more check out The Baried DoGBonE post for Doogey9.

Adie || I Just Wanted to Hear Adie Play the Blues (Blog Reprise)

Martin D287 || Dance Tonight (Paul McCartney cover on Harmony Baritone Ukulele)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Jay Lichty || SambaPa Ti (Carlos Santana cover)

It's a beauty... See the Lichty Baritone Ukulele Here

I often think of the baritone ukulele as a humble "blue collar" instrument but you can see here that this instrument was made with the professional in mind.

Armelle || Two Originals on her Pono Baritone Ukulele

Armelle's blog "Ukulele & Languages" is one of the top ukulele blogs in the world. She focuses in on ukulele videos sung in native languages from around the world. I have always admired her inspiration since I've studied Swedish, Spanish & Brazilian Portuguese. Here she shares her original compositions.


Swirling Clouds

Music Learning Workshop || Creating Musical Motifs

Motif = Riff man...
"Many students struggle with the very concept of improvising and believe you need to be able to create a motif on the fly. That is, create some melody or pattern instantly. It’s this idea, that its instant, which becomes a road block to improvising..."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Daman Höffman || Your Insignificant Other [Disturbances in Peace, No. 1]

Somewhere in Arkansas...

The first video in a series of cinéma vérité style performances titled "Disturbances in Peace" by ukulele troubadour Daman Höffman. The original version of this song is available on the EP "Six Ways To Sunday" at bandcamp.

K Tommy Cary || Guabi Guabi on Custom Baritone Ukulele (African Tune)

Harry Kapuni & His Royal Polynesians || Lua Leigh (Ukulele Hawaii)

The ukuleles in this video sound quite a bit deeper. I am taking a stab that there's a baritone ukulele in here. Whadaya think?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Jonathon Mann || Song #1047 Sopa and PIPA must DIE

I love Jonathon Mann. He is the Song-a-Day man and he plays a baritone ukulele with a big ugly nasty ripped out hole in it. He plays that beat up thing like a guitar. He's crazy, witty, thoughtful and sometimes worn out -- but he constantly creates music to themes we find in the world today.

That's Just the Woz (No Bari)

Lil' Rev. Interview Ken Middleton about Old-Timey and Fiddle Tunes

Here's a link to a Fountain of Uke article from our friend Lil' Rev. where he writes about using the ukulele to discover our musical heritage. Be sure to watch and listen to the video discussion between Ken and Rev. I have yet to string my second Favilla up High D Baritone Campenella style and dive into some of Ken's TABs.

BTW, I posted a link to Ken Middleton's Blackberry Blossom, as one of my very first posts July 25, 2009.

Here's a link to Ken's Site and his TABs

Benji Flaming || O' Come All Ye Faithful

You can get a copy of Benji's CD here. $15. I used PayPal.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jen Miller || Can't Do It All (Original)

Very nice...

Wooooo-Whooooo Lil' Rev || Bonaparte's Retreat

Multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire...

Here's Lil' Rev, the Revmeister, showing off some of his skills. He gives workshops and concerts all around the country. He's showing off that bright and beautiful Tony Graziano bari-uke that I posted just a few posts ago. LR has inspired me to "play around" more with my music. He loves the old-time and double entendre. He's gonna be studying blogmeistering 1.0 avec moi come 2012.

Thanks for the video Rev. Such a serious face!

Jeff / Humble Uker

James Curtis Timelapse Photography of the Making of a Baritone Ukulele for Sara Bari Tone

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

BlueGrassUkuleles || The Star Spangled Banner (Cigar Box Baritone Ukulele)

Wow what an amazingly rich sound!

Just E Rose || Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show cover on Baritone Ukulele)

This song has been popular with a few bari players. Me too...

This is not bari, but I like these sisters (?) playing and singin'...

Ian Tyson || Four Strong Winds (Cover)

Here's a beautiful song, skillfully played...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lil' Rev & Tony Graziano || Rev gets the Graziano Bari-Uke

Here are two good men that I consider friends. Tony has been making some beautiful blond wood baritone ukuleles. I saw & played them at the Northern California Ukulele Festival in May 2011. I have been trying to get Tony to show them off in some photos -- because they were unusual woods but he's been busy building and they sold. Isn't this bari spectacular!

Roger Ruthen || Fun Christmas Music Fingerstyle

Have some fun with Roger's Christmas arrangements. I have played: Angels We Have Heard on High, Silent Night, and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and found them simply beautiful. Jeff / HU

Alison Self (Beauty of Silence) || Lord, I Wish I was a SIngle Girl Again

Alison is a kindred spirit...

Rio en Medio || Le petit prince et le renard

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Today is the Best Day Ever to be a Baritone Ukulele Player

Yes it is. Why is it? Well the ukulele is more popular than ever and many of us that started off with a standard GCEA tuned ukulele have moved beyond the novelty of just playing a few songs with friends to people that have a growing love of music and getting together and playing with friends. People I know are exploring the Kala bass, mandolins, harmonicas, concertinas, lap steels, etc. Some of us now play both the GCEA ukulele and the DGBE baritone ukulele. 

Okay but why is it the best time ever for the bari-uke player? I have been doing research on this blog for over two years and I have seen quite a bit of growth. Here's what I'm seeing:
  • The Internet allows us access to more music than was ever possible before.
  • YouTube allows us to see so many players and a wide variety of genres.
  • Bruce Emery's Baritone Ukulele From Scratch is a highly detailed and a fantastic tool for beginner to intermediate players. I highly recommend this book because Bruce's book is jam-packed with information and he moves you along into a better understanding of: simple songs, chord families, essential theory, chord melody, finger-picking, Travis picking, and single note playing. I am finding the book a great value.
  • is a website that has an ENORMOUS library of rock music. The site allows you to have chords shown for "baritone" and you can change the scale to suit your voice.
  • Roger Ruthen has many tabs for songs made specifically for the baritone ukulele, including: Baritone Ukulele TABS, Flatpicking on the Bari-Uke TABS, and Tri-TAB Universal TABS. Roger has a large selection of Classical and now he's working on some Flatpicking Bluegrass and Christmas TABS
  • Lil Rev has been writing books for the ukulele. I think that 101 Ukulele Licks should be in a baritone ukulele player's library. (I have a book that I have 'adjusted' to show the appropriate chords for a baritone ukulele since it was written for GCEA tuning.) Lil' Rev also has another Lil Rev Baritone Ukulele Method Book upcoming. (Updated 3-11-2014)
  • Jumpin' Jim songbook called the The Bari Best. He has also put together The Daily Ukulele (Baritone Uke Version). (Updated 3-11-2014)
  • Glen Rose has made an on-line book and has made it available for purchase. Glen has been doing some great work for people that are interested in Jazz. He has Jazzy Ukulele for the Baritone Ukulele and Jazzy Ukulele Up and Down the Baritone Ukulele Neck.
  • Doctor Uke has a website that has many of the old tunes and has them prepared with bari-uke chord boxes. The doctor has a prescription for some challenging chords.
  • So you want to build your knowledge of chord variations. I have two books: Fretted Friends - The Baritone Ukulele Chord Bible (2,160 Chords) (To Order) and Hal Leonard's - Baritone Ukulele Chord Finder (Amazon info). But there are some on-line chord finders that can also give you many variations that are impossible to finger, check out The Ukulele Helper and look for the DGBE tuning at the top left hand corner. Play with this a bit. Try turning off a string. Some chords cannot possibly be held by a human hand but I use the tool regularly.
  • I have also really enjoyed getting issues of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. The magazines are for the guitar player but there are portions that work very well for the baritone ukulele as well. The magazine has a large number of contributors.
  • I have a second blog for the bari-uke called, The Baried DoGBonE. This blog is used to keep information on a band or player within a single blog post for easier referral. I update this irregularly and have some new finds to add.
  • (12-12-2011) I have another site that I'd like to make you aware of. Canadian Michael Parmenter has a site called Classical Tabs for the Ukulele. Michael has been posting his arrangements for a couple of years and many are noted as good for low 4th string.
  • (12-13-2011) Jen, who shares what she calls "Tutorials for Amateurs" on YouTube also has a blog and has posted some charts as "Gil's Corner Baritone Ukulele Arrangements". Scroll down the page a little below the GCEA chart list. I got the chance to meet Jen at the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz and she also plays the Native American flute.
  • (12-14-2011) Another reason why TODAY is the best day to be learning the Baritone Ukulele, and perhaps I should have made this first on my list is because of Alistair Wood and his preeminent blog Ukulele Hunt which is always a source of cleverness and inspiration, i.e. today's posting Chuck Berry Run, Run, Rudolph. Now give that a try on your Bari! [NOTE: Al's site is focused on standard high G GCEA tuning.]  If you don't subscribe to Ukulele Hunt as a daily feed you'll be missing the best. Or else be sure to check thru his song charts and tablatures. Al also has made some terrific  How to Play Ukulele e-books with sound files. (I own 5 of these.) He's also the author of Ukuleles for Dummies.
  • (12-24-2011) There is another cool ukulele song focused website that has a unique twist. The Ukulele Play Along site based in the Netherlands has an eclectic selection of songs. They have a red tuner in the upper left hand corner and you can click "Baritone" to get the DoGBonE tuning, yup D-G-B-E. You get to see a video and a moving bar of chords as they come up. What an excellent idea! Merry Christmas!
Do you have anything that you'd like to add to the mix?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Jen & Mama-Susie-Ukey || White Christmas

Jen says, "Precious moments with Mom - here we are practicing White Christmas together. Mom's on her Koaloha Soprano ukulele, and I'm on my Samick Baritone. My ukulele arrangement for this song is available on my blog at..."

Minor Swing - Jim 'Django' Gritt (Gypsy Jazz Ukulele)

This video includes Nipper on Baritone Ukulele doing some scat vocals...

Benji Flaming || Monthly Musical Sketch (April 2011)

Bari-uke tuned GDAE. Sweet sounds...

Benji Flaming || Music to Christmas Images

Benji Flaming || Joy to the World (Baritone Ukulele in Octave Mandolin Tuning)

Here's a holiday treat...

Benji notes, "the ukulele in my videos is a baritone ukulele in 'octave mandolin' tuning - the same pitches as a violin/mandolin (GDAE), but one octave lower."

Well, Benji -- how does one purchase a CD?


This post was generously written by Roger Ruthen. Roger has been a proponent of the Baritone Ukulele long before Humble Baritonics was started. He has an extensive musical background and is continually adding music written specifically for baritone ukulele players. His site PDF-Minstrel has been mentioned many times here and I feel honored that Roger has been sharing articles with Humble Baritonics intended for our musical growth.

In this short treatise Roger first explains a method for finding the right key for your vocal range. This is something that I have pondered for some time. Clearly some songs feel easier and some feel unnatural. Roger gives a very practical method for determining your personal key or vocal range. Secondly, Roger takes the next step and goes through a process of explaining how to use popular internet sites and adjust their keys to make creating song sheets that match your desired key.

Lastly, I would appreciate your leaving a comment at the bottom of this post. I'd like to let Roger know that we all appreciate that he's sharing his musical insights. Now over to Roger...


Hi Folks,

This is a short guide to changing song keys to suit your voice.

How many of us 'Bari' players go to web sites, print tabs, and just play the song in whatever key it is already in, even if the key does not suit our vocal range. This article will give you a few tips on how to make life a bit easier on your vocal chords.

In my opinion, one of the best sites for Baritone Ukulele players to take tabs from is 'Chordie'. However not many of us use this site to its full advantage.

Firstly, lets find out what key suits our vocal range the best. Go to 'Chordie' and choose a song that you know well for example the Beatles 'Yesterday'. This is a good song because it will test your vocal range. Then print out the first page twelve times in the twelve different keys. It may seem a lot of work, but believe me you will be forever grateful that you did so, and so will your vocal chords.

How do you do this?:
Go to the box that says 'Transpose Chords' and chose each of the 12 semitone changes (12 including 'None'), printing out each key.

Before printing the song in each key don't forget to choose 'Baritone Ukulele' in the 'Tuning Box' to give you the 'Bari' chord diagrams

Sing the song in all twelve keys and see which one you feel most comfortable with, i.e. the one that has the least strain on your vocal chords.

So once we have the printout with the key that you feel most comfortable with, how do we tell the key that the song is in? Well, I don't want to go into music theory with you, so a rough rule of thumb which works, probably 90% of the time is look for the last word sung and see what chord is above it or just before it i.e. the last chord for the words and this is most likely to be the key that the whole song is in. I say the last chord over the words because some songs have an 'outro' which does not always finish on the chord that the rest of the song was in. Please note that sometimes the same song is repeated in a different key, so look at the lyrics and if they repeat at the end of the song with different chords attached to them, the key has changed. Just keep to the first set of lyrics and the first set of chords.


So far so good, but how do we change the chords of a song to suit our key.

Lets look at another well known, simple, traditional song: 'Down In The Valley'

The last chord of this song is a 'D' so with only a few chords it is a safe bet to assume the song is in the key of 'D'. I don't like the key of 'D' it does not suit my vocal range, my comfort zone is in the key of 'A', so I need to change it from the key of 'D' to the key of 'A'. I now know where to change it (in the box marked 'Transpose Chords' but how many semi tones do I change to get to the key of 'A'? The following chart may help you it represent the number of semitones between keys.

A | Ab | G | Gb | F | E | Eb | D | Db | C | B | Bb | A | Ab | G | Gb | F | E | Eb | D | Db | C

So, if I am in the key of 'D' I start at 'D' on the chart and If I want to change it to 'A' I can either go up or down on the chart. On the Chordie Transpose utility you can go up -5 semitones of down +6 semitone *(these cover all 12 keys with the none position).

So let us count how many semitones A is away from D down is minus '-' up is plus '+' If I go down D is -5 semitones to A, if I go up D +7 semitones to A. So, as the 'Chordie Transpose' utility only goes to +6, I better choose the -5 line. This done, the last chord on the song is now an 'A' and the song is in the key of A.

As I say this method works 90% of the time especially with Traditional songs.

Chordie is great for modern songs and a few traditional songs, but what about the old standards? Well the best place for us 'Bari' players to get song sheets for the older style songs is at Doctor Uke's at:

Most of his songs have a Baritone Ukulele chord sheet as well as the standard ukulele chords. Now the problem here is that Doctor Uke does not provide the ability to print out song sheets in various keys. So what do we do here. Well, this takes a bit more extra work to change the chord symbols to the key we can sing best in.

On my site "PDF-Minstrel" I have a chord conversion chart at:

To use this chart simply find the key that the song is already in, as described above, using the chart, put your finger on the line of the first column that begins with that key, then move your other finger to the line of the first column that starts with the key you wish to convert to. Now move your first finger along the line to the first chord you wish to convert, then move the finger down to the line (key) that you wish to convert to and where the lines intersect is the new chord name in the key you wish to convert to.

So, in the previous example "Down In The Valley" we found out that the key was in 'D' so we put our first finger on the 'D' in the first column, and the second finger goes on the 'A' in the first column. Now we already know that all 'D' chords will become 'A' but what about the other chord in the song 'A7'. Well the 7 stays the same, but by moving the first finger across the 'D' line of the chart to 'A', Then moving the finger down the column until it lines up with the line beginning with 'A' i.e. the key we wish to convert to the two lines intersect at the box marked 'E'. so all 'A's' in the Doctor Uke key of D become 'E's' in the new key of 'A' (which happens to be my most comfortable key to sing in).

For another example if the song sheet is in the key of 'C' and we wish to convert the key to 'G' and the first chord in the song to be converted is a 'E'. Put your first finger in the C in the first column, put your other finger on the G in the first column. Move your first finger across the line until it reaches the 'E' then move it down the column until it lines up with your second finger. The box it stops on contains the letter 'B' so the chord 'E' is converted to a 'B' which is it's equivalent chord in the new key of 'G'.

Now for the hard work. I suggest that on the Doctor Uke song sheets you write in Red the new key chords that you wish to sing in. Of course the chord diagrams will no longer be valid and you will have to learn the chord shapes by heart, but the positive side is that you will no longer have to struggle to sing your favourite songs in keys that are not suitable to your vocal range.

I hope that this brief introduction to changing key/chords on song sheets to suit your voice range has been of help to you.

Thank you for your time.

Roger Ruthen

Christmas FoOP || Silent Night

This music is found every Saturday morning in Berkeley at the Nabolom Bakery just a block away from where my Daughter works at a WF bank. I have only been to the bakery once and I took my granddaughter, Maya, to listen to Steven Strauss on ukulele. Billy Wilson is playing an electric baritone ukulele. What a tasty treat...
"Friends of Old Puppy play Silent Night. The "Silent Night" (a.k.a. "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht") melody was composed around about 1817 by Franz Xaver Gruber. Lyrics are not used in this performance. The Friends of Old Puppy features Steven Strauss on electric soprano ukulele, Billy Wilson on electric baritone ukulele, Kurt Stevenson on guitar, Ed Johnson on wash-tub bass ("gutbucket"), and Cynthia Wilson on the drums. This music was recorded on December 3, 2011. Videographed, sound engineered (such as it is), and edited by Pip R. Lagenta. Additional digital artwork by Pip R. Lagenta. Friends of Old Puppy play at the Nabolom Bakery in Berkeley, every Saturday morning (starting at 10 a.m.)."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rhan Wilson || An Altared Christmas Preview w/ Pipa & Patti Maxine

Talent exudes from this trio. I have not seen many people "feel" the song as deeply as Pipa, she turned it into an ecstatic experience. My mentor and talented buddy Rhan is playing an old Kent baritone ukulele that he found in some music store ridiculously cheap. Then there's really the indescribable quintessential musician Patti Maxine. Her lap steel work is famous and always a treat.

It is amazing how many superbly talented musicians mix in between Joe and Jane Doe ukers (like myself) at the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz open mic. nights. Here there may be great disparities in musical proficiency but the appreciation and the applause for all players is amazing. This ukulele community has a heart of gold. I should also mention that Sandor filmed the entire evenings performances and made summary videos #1 & #2 that give a great taste of the evening.

An Altared Christmas show was reviewed in the 2009 Santa Cruz Sentinel and information can be found on this years 12-10-2011 performance at the Altared website. I'll be there!

Dr. Bekken || A Workin' Man Will Always be a Slave

Can this Norwegian sing & pick the blues?!?! Oh Yeah! Tak så mycket Doc.

Humble Uker || Garota de Ipanema (The Girl From Ipanema)

This is one of my favorite songs. I have learned to sing it in both English and Brasilian Portugues'. My brother Steven's wife, Luciana, is a Brasileira from Goiânia, near the Capitol Brasilia. I have some Pimsleur Language Program tapes that I've studied and find the language so beautiful.

If you've seen my two videos and heard my naturally twangy voice you may ask yourself, "Is this guy crazy?" Perhaps so, but I have a few months before the next open mic at the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz and I'm going to give it my best to be ready to perform. [Should I have a plan "B" ready?]

As I was studying, I also listened to some music to get a better feel for the sound of the language. I became quite fond of Caetano Veloso's slower singing pace and his clear enunciation of words. Here is Caetano with the beloved Tom Jobim.

Here's an excellent CifraClub.TV video of the song on GUITAR but it goes over various aspects of the song including rhythm. Unfortunately, it is in Brasilian Portugues' -- ah, but you can get some of the flavor of the language.

Family of Instruments

Customer feedback by guitar-tech
Customer feedback, a photo by guitar-tech on Flickr.


UkeintheChair by Jscalfano
UkeintheChair, a photo by Jscalfano on Flickr.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Myrna Ukulele || Down to my Last Cigarette (Billy Walker cover)

Hello Myrna! I just received an e-mail saying that she has a new 1950's vintage Favilla baritone ukulele. I like the Favilla so much that I have two. Here's her first song with her new treasure...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bari Saturday Night Live || Victoria Jackson & Willie Nelson

The Deep, Deep Research King RON HALE finds another gem to treasure!!!

Those Darlins (i)

Those Darlins (i) by mxtthxw2
Those Darlins (i), a photo by mxtthxw2 on Flickr.

Nikki Darlin of Those Darlins

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

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Jack Johnson Stories

Part 1
Part 2 (Lesson)

The Haunted Windchimes || Find the Door

The Haunted Windchimes || Wanderin' Heart

The Haunted Windchimes || Lordy, Lordy

There's been quite a lot of talented bari-uke players in groups over the last few day's postings.

Jon Braman @ Paul Colby's "The Bitter End"

Hip-Hop Bari-Uke Master, Jon Braman...





Katharine Whalen and her Fascinators || Madly Love

Ron Hale master researcher strikes again! Here's a Jewel.

Be sure to check this out ==> Brian Risk Demos

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lew Dite || No Time for Roses

His Song for Occupiers of Wall Street, "No time for Roses" was originally written in 1996. Lew is a folk man.

Ariel Rubin & Duey || born to be a Cowgirl

"From the lookout in Central Park, NY, Ariel and Duey serenade a crowd of onlookers with their Walk The Line/Fullsome Prison mash up - it's a "hey what's up" to Mr. Johnny Cash. Another double uke special for this week's Roadside Session!"

Cheryl Rockettedog || Cee Lo Green (She's Earned the Right to Sing This One)

I am not a fan of swearing... and usually avoid posting it. But Cheryl has earned the right to say "Fuck You" to Cancer after Brain Surgery. Nice video effects Cheryl and a speedy recovery wish to you too.

Robert Armstrong || Mood Indigo

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Flatpicking Guitar Magazine || November Free Lesson

Ragtime Annie is the November 11, 2011 Free Lesson. I looked it over and it is almost entirely in eighth-notes. Essentially Flatpicking is played with downward picks on the 1, 2, 3, 4's and upward picks on the "ands." There is also an mp3 file at

I really like the FGM for being a great magazine to learn a wide variety about music and enhancing arrangements. You can get the top notch quality from your favorite stringed instrument music store, mail, or even e-mail downloads. I recommend check out atleast one copy.

Bob Armstrong || St. Louis Blues on the Baritone Ukulele