How to Play the Baritone Ukulele

Written by mitchell holt
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The baritone ukulele is nine inches longer than the standard 21-inch ukulele, according to, and typically has four strings. More expensive than other ukuleles, the baritone uke has a fuller and deeper sound than its siblings in the ukulele family and uses the same tuning as the top four strings on a guitar. If you already play guitar, the baritone ukulele is easy to learn, but it's also very accessible to non-guitar players. The chords are simple, the technique is relatively easy and with diligence you'll be playing in no time.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Baritone ukulele
  • Ukulele pick
  • Beginner's book or chord chart

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  1. 1

    Tune your baritone ukulele. This four-stringed instrument can be tuned to a piano or guitar, with strings from low to high tuned D-G-B-E. Other tunings are sometimes used, but this standard tuning is the most common and best for beginners.

  2. 2

    Practice strumming techniques with a ukulele pick, which looks like a thin guitar pick. When strumming your ukulele, always keep your hand moving---jerky hand motions will make songs sound choppy and sloppy. Even if you don't know any chords, practice strumming the open strings.

  3. 3

    Place your middle finger on the top (highest-pitched, or E) string at the third fret. Press down firmly but gently and strum to play a G chord. Experiment or check a chord dictionary to learn more chords.

  4. 4

    Play your baritone ukulele with other musicians. Find musicians who consistently get together to play and whose skill level matches yours or is a little more advanced. Foster an encouraging, educational and positive atmosphere in the group.

  5. 5

    Play along with songs. Find some good ukulele music, download it and play along with it. Playing with a recording will improve your rhythm, timing and technique. This is a great way to prepare for your group sessions.

Tips and warnings

  • Buy a beginner's book. Books can provide important insight to a beginner that you might not learn on your own. If you can read a chord chart, you can play any song on the baritone ukulele. A chord chart shows the formation of your fingers on the frets of the instrument in a way that is easy to understand.

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