Intro to Baritone Ukulele – A Starter’s Guide

intro to baritone ukulele

The ukulele is a popular instrument that is easy-to-learn and fun to play!  It can make virtually any song sound great and people love hearing their favorite tunes played on a ukulele.  The small size of ukuleles also means they are very portable — making them the perfect option for taking camping or traveling.

But did you know there are many types of ukuleles?  The largest ukulele is called a baritone ukulele.  It is a great choice for anyone interested in a ukulele with a deeper and richer sound.

If the idea of a baritone ukulele sounds interesting, you have reached the right place. This guide will share all of the information you need to know about baritone ukuleles including where they came from and what materials they use.  We’ll also share some of the best ukuleles on the market.

A (brief) history of the baritone ukulele

The ukulele was first created by instrument makers in Hawaii in the 19th-Century, to emulate the Portuguese machete — a small instrument used by Portuguese immigrants.  “Ukulele” loosely translates to “jumping flea” in Hawaiian, which may be a reference to the quick finger movements of skilled ukulele players.  The ukulele eventually became popular internationally and has been used by some very prominent musicians over the years.

The baritone ukulele was sold commercially sometime around 1950 in the United States.  There are conflicting stories about who was responsible for the design of the baritone ukulele, with both Arthur Godfrey and Herk Favilla developing the instrument at different times.

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Do you need a pick to play ukulele?

This is a common question for beginners and it is a very important one too! The overall sound we produce with our instrument depends on our right hand technique. And amongst other things, our right hand technique depends on whether or not we use the pick.

Do you need a pick to play ukulele? Traditionally, the ukulele is played with the combination of fingers and fingernails. But while you don’t need one, you absolutely may use one! The pick can be useful at times and it is your instrument after all! Let’s explore a little further.

Historically, the first ukulele players did not play with a pick. The traditional technique is to use a combination of fingers and fingernails to pluck individual strings as well as to strum. The traditional Hawaiian rhythms, for example, were always strummed using the thumb or the index finger or a combination of both.

As we’ve mentioned in other articles here, this kind of technique (fingerpicking) allows for specific movements, positions and gestures of the right hand that are not possible otherwise. It also produces a specific sound that would also be different with the pick. These are the main features of what we know as the normal technique and sound of the ukulele.

So if you are a stickler for tradition, you will not need a pick. Continue developing your left hand strength and your right hand’s fingerpicking dexterity and you’re good to go! But if there are issues that make you wonder whether you need a pick or not, read on because you’re probably not wrong.

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How to Strum a Ukulele: Strumming Patterns 101

strum a uke without hurting fingers

If you’ve wondered how to strum a ukulele without hurting your fingers then this article is for you. The more time you spend playing the uke, you will likely come to the point where you finger starts hurting. Let’s dig into that today.

How to strum a ukulele without hurting your fingers? You can avoid hurting your fingers while playing the ukulele by naturally developing calluses over time. As you play ukulele more you will start to develop calluses which builds resistance on your fingers and decreases sensitivity. These calluses will eventually prevent your fingers from hurting since it will have a thicker layer of skin to protect it.

Now is the right time to play more ukulele, getting better at it, and protecting your fingers along the way. It’s now a raging trend with the younger generation, particularly on YouTube.

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14 Health Benefits of Playing a Ukulele

health benefits of playing uke

When you think of doing things to improve your health, what do you think of? You probably think of working out, eating well, and getting a good night’s sleep, right? You probably don’t think of playing the ukulele, do you? Well, you should!

What are health benefits of playing a ukulele? Playing an instrument has many health benefits including increased eye-hand coordination, lower stress levels, improved brain function, focus, and mental clarity. Other benefits include social interaction, a sense of achievement, and improved reading comprehension. Playing a ukulele is beneficial for people of all ages from kids to seniors.

While eating right, exercising, and sleeping are all great ways to stay healthy, it’s important to know there are other things you can do as well. And playing the ukulele is one of them.

What’s so great about playing an ukulele? They can boost both your mental and your physical health.

Read on to learn the top ten benefits of playing an instrument, like the ukulele.

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An In Depth History of the Ukulele

history of the ukulele

The ukulele is a sibling instrument to the guitar. It is played with only four strings. And there are four sizes of ukulele: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.

Its sound is a bit nimble and dainty. Yet, the instrument is an attention catcher.

The ukulele, with its Hawaiian name and Portuguese roots, has a rich history. One that unfortunately doesn’t give us the exact name of its actual inventor.

The story of how this little instrument became one of the world’s most coveted sounds still is an interesting one. Want to know more? Continue reading and we’ll break down the full history of the ukulele.

The Origin and History of the Ukulele

It’s been said often (and incorrectly) that the ukulele was invented in Hawaii. But in all actuality, the instrument originated in Madeira back in the mid-1880’s.

Madeira is a small mountainous island in the Atlantic. Its location is southwest of Portugal and close to the coast of North Africa.

The climate in Madeira is tropical and heavily forested. At a point, it was known for its thriving timber industry. The island also has a rich history of making furniture.

In fact, Madeira means “wood” in Portuguese.

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What Ukulele Accessories Do I Need?

what ukulele accessories do i need

Culling through the different styles and brands of ukuleles, obsessing over minor details and then finally choosing THE ONE is quite a process.

But now that you actually have your perfect uke picked out you’re probably plucking away at those thin strings, wondering what else you’re going to need to get the most out of your new ukulele. Or you might even be thinking about getting some gifts for ukulele players. This list will help you.

First things first: not all ukuleles are the same.

Before looking around for ukulele accessories you should definitely grab a measuring tape or seamstress’ tape and measure the length and width of your instrument.

You’ll also need to make sure you know what type of ukulele you have – soprano, concert, tenor or baritone. With this information you’ll be able to know exactly what kinds of ukulele accessories will work best for your particular uke.

Once you know these things scroll down to our ultimate list of fifteen ukulele accessories that every ukuleleist should own!

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