Did you know that Ukulele can be translated as jumping flea? Are you considering to get a ukulele? A baritone ukulele can hook you up for hours with its soothing melody. We are here to help you out to find the best baritone ukulele there is in the market.
THE ONLY BARITONE UKULELE REVIEW YOU’LL EVER NEED
Choosing an instrument is never an easy task and there are so many things to be considered. Ukuleles come in four different kinds and it takes a lot of thought to figure out the right kind for you. There are different shapes, sizes, woods and colors available in the market so you need to give it a piece of your mind to say voila! This is the one!
Soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. These are the four main sizes in ukuleles. This article is your savior to help you find the Best Baritone ukulele.
Baritone ukuleles are the biggest compared to the other ones. They also have a deeper sound. It is tuned differently from the rest. It has d-g-b-e tuning, it’s tuned like the top four strings of a guitar! So, if you’re a guitarist then it’s a plus for you.
On most ukuleles, the lowest sounding string is the usually the third string, but in baritone, the strings go from lowest to highest. This feature of the baritone makes its sound unique and deeper, therefore it would be an ideal choice for fingerpicking songs.
If you’re already familiar with guitar and you’re skeptical which ukulele to choose baritone is your guy. If you’re willing to switch to another instrument, it will help you a great deal for your transition. Even if you’re a Banjo player then you’re in for a treat too! All you need to do is to tune the first string to a “D”, open G fingering can be used just like you do in your banjo.
There are several other factors to be considered for choosing a baritone ukulele. In most baritone ukuleles the strings are nylon made. You might take a bit time to get used to it if you have played other instruments already where strings are usually made with metals. The nylon strings take a bit time initially to stretch. You might have to frequently tune the ukulele. But don’t worry with time the strings will stretch and you won’t have to tune it less frequently. You’ll be able to play the instrument for a longer period without having to tune it over and over again.
Top Ten Picks:
1. Kala MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele
This one is a great option for those who want to join the ukulele team but are skeptical about which one to buy. A great option for those in a budget. Along with the awesome price tag, the instrument comes with great functions which ensure satisfaction. It’s lightweight and delivers a rich mellow tone. This amazingly beautiful instrument is made with a dark-colored wood called agathis. The bridge and fingerboard are rosewood color. There is 18 brass fret on the fingerboard and you’d find the pitch control to be pitch perfect! It has a satin finish that enhances its beauty even more. The cherry on the top is that the geared tuner provides great tuning stability.
This is a great value for money but sadly it doesn’t come with a case or a bag. You need to get that separately. The strings that come with the uke is moderate. But, a better set of strings can be bought to resolve this problem.
- Most affordable baritone ukulele currently in the market
- Comes with geared tuners
- Aesthetically pleasing agathis body
- Rich mellow sound
- Cheap strings that need to be replaced
- Case or bag is not given with it
2.Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele
This is one of Kala’s Satin Mahogany series. This is also moderately affordable but it provides a lot more than the beginner level ukes at this price tag. When it comes about the looks it is on the plainer side. There are more attractive models available in the market. It’s still quite beautiful though with its non-cutaway baritone body. The entire body is mahogany laminated since it is a part of Kala’s Mahogany series. It’s a very comfortable instrument to play and, it’s a great choice for the people shifting from the guitar world to the land of ukes. It’s an acoustic uke with a very soothing deep and mellow sound. For the price, it offers a pretty good sustain as well.
- Works great for any style of music
- Lovely sound considering the price
- Few users complained it having sharp end of the frets
- Plain looks
3. Oscar Schmidt OU53S Baritone Ukulele
This ukulele is an absolute stunner. It has rosewood side and back and selected spruce top which makes it durable also provides superb tonal quality. The fingerboard and the bridges are also rosewood. It has a smooth neck and the frets do not have any bumps or scratches. Moreover, it holds the tuning well and provides a very vibrant sound. After all, it is a great choice for both the newbies and the professionals. The strings provide along with are quite decent. A great value for money. On top of that, the manufacturers provide a lifetime warranty on this Oscar Schmidt OU53S baritone ukuleles.
- Stunning looks
- Great intonation
- Lifetime warranty
- Fret marks are plastic
- Generate low volume sound
4. Caramel CB103 30 Inch High Gloss Zebra Wood Baritone Acoustic-Electric Ukulele
This instrument is a great choice for the beginners due to its affordability and superb quality. It has a height of 76 cm and a width of 8 cm. It’s made of beautiful zebra wood as the name implies and the fretboards are of rosewood. Even though it’s a budget uke, it comes with Aquila string and buffalo bone nut and saddle. The sound it creates is different and unique from other ukes. The tone is very clear and sustains for an extended period. The construction of the instrument is admirable for the price as it comes with a good set of strings and tuners.
For the electric part, this gem comes with 3 band equalizer for controlling bass, treble, and middle. It has an LCD color display, a chromatic tuner and an indicator for low battery. It uses a 3V power supply that doesn’t come with it and needs to be purchased separately.
- Unique deep and smooth sound
- Attractive zebra wood design
- Suitable for both professionals and beginners
- Stays in tune
- The end is noticeably low
- Additional gears are not provided
- The electric-acoustic variant is more expensive
5. Cordoba 20BM Baritone Ukulele
Cordoba 20BM has a very deep and resonant sound. If you are longing for a baritone uke that has unique sound quality and doesn’t break the bank then this is the one for you.
The top is made with pure mahogany so is the back, side, and the neck. The fingerboard and bridges are of rosewood. There are noticeable pearl inlays on the fingerboard. The saddle and nut are of composite. It has a natural satin finish that will make you fall in love with it at first sight. It comes with Aquila Nylgut strings which is a top-notch that help you create some ethereal sound.
- Very well made instrument
- Handy for professionals and beginners
- Gives a premium feel
- Top quality strings
- Bag or case is not included
6. Cordoba 22B Baritone Ukulele
This beautiful 22 series was made to bring the popular Indian rosewood and spruce combination to the uke world. This magnificent baritone ukulele has a solid spruce top with Indian rosewood on back and sides. Different wood produces a different sound and this spruce-rosewood combination would give you a deep warm melodious experience. It has mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard and bridge. On top of that, it’s an acoustic cum electric uke so you can always plug and play. It comes with silver geared tuners with black buttons.
The volume sustain ratio is quite excellent and the fretboard is very straight which makes it easier to get your grip on. Due to the high gloss finish durability is guaranteed as it’ll protect the wood from external damages. Also, the shine is quite an eye-catcher.
- Excellent craftsmanship
- Great sound
- Total of 19 fret which gives superb pitch control
- Aquila 23U strings
- A bit slippery
7. Oscar Schmidt OU57 Spalted Mango Baritone Ukulele
This handcrafted piece of art is one of the best baritones you can get your hands on. The manufacturer goes through a thorough inspection to ensure the quality. It’s a bit pricey compared to all the others we have reviewed yet, but it’ll be worth every penny.
As the name implies the top, back and sides all are made of spalted mango. The nut and saddle are of synthetic bone. It has deluxe quality Grover Chrome tuners with ebonite buttons that provide celestial musical experience. They also have a limited lifetime warranty to ensure the customer satisfaction.
The premium look of the baritone is one of its major pluses. The beautiful honey blonde color will give that antique look which will surely make it a family heirloom. Along with that look, it has great sound too. It’s the best of worlds.
- Rich and vibrant ukulele sound and tune stays in for a long time
- Stunning looks
- Easy to play
- Sharp fret edges that might need sanding
8. Luna Vintage Mahogany Baritone Uke- Red Satin
Mahogany is one of the most wanted wood choices for the ukulele lovers these days. This gorgeous Luna Vintage baritone has a full mahogany body. This is Luna’s first complete mahogany made a baritone sized ukulele. It has a traditional baritone body of gorgeous red color and walnut bridge and fretboard. This dark beauty comes with a set of tuners and a beginner guide. It’s a great buy for those who have little or no experience with musical instruments beforehand.
The sharp pearl inlays look great but the red mahogany wood is not a professional grade but works fine for the beginners. For initial setup and intonation professional help can be taken.
If you’re looking for a mid-range ukulele with top-notch ukulele then this might be your guy. This is more suitable for the beginner who is on the learning stage. If you’re a professional who wants a uke for regular use, beach parties, camps, road trips then this is a perfect fit. Keeping the price point in mind this creates rich mellow tone.
- Amazing quality despite being affordable
- The thick wooden body helps create a rich tone
- Comes with tuner and beginners guide
- Needs proper setup by professionals at the beginning
- Needs repetitive tuning
- Not very ideal for professionals
9. Alvarez RU22B Regent Series Baritone Ukulele
This is from the regent series of Alvarez Guitars. It’s an excellent choice for the players who need something budget friendly with good quality. It’s made especially for the students and keeping that in mind the price is kept at an affordable range. It has a mesmerizing sound that is a treat for your ears.
It has a satin mahogany finish with rosewood bridge and fingerboard. The nut and saddle are made with real bone which is an awesome find at this price tag. It has a closed chrome made tuner with black buttons. It comes with top graded Aquila Nylgut strings that provide beautiful mellow tone and has good action. The sound might not be as rich as other baritone ukuleles we have reviewed before but for the price, there are no complaints. The mahogany wood keeps the tone warm and deep.
- The sound is clear, have a nice resonance
- Come with chrome tuner
- Great set of Aquila strings
- Not very attractive looking
- Not suitable for professional use
10. Hilo 2655 Baritone Ukulele
Hilo is quite a well-known brand in the ukulele scene as they have been in business since 1926. The Hilo 2655 Baritone Ukulele is another budget-friendly uke designed for students. This is a great fit if you’re just joining the ukulele world.
Considering the specification it’s a mid-range uke. It has a mahogany finished body with wood fingerboards that have 18 frets and 4 geared tuners with plastic heads. It is 30.4 inches long which is quite standard baritone ukulele size. Despite the size, the resonance is well balanced. These are handcrafted ukes made in Hawaii with skilled craftsmen. It comes with a guidebook too that will help the people at the introductory phase.
As this is a baritone the sound is not very high pitched. The fret edges are a bit sharp but this can be solved by sanding. It needs to be retuned now and then though. The D’Addario Nyltech strings that it comes with is of standard quality but investing on a good set of strings will bring out better results.
- Pure mahogany finish
- Comes with a bag
- Sharp fret edges
- Strings need to be replaced
- Frequent tuning required
The baritone is a unique instrument compared to the other variants of ukuleles. It’s bigger in size and tuned in a slightly different manner. If you’re already accustomed with guitar, then your journey to uke highway has already been paved.
What makes a good instrument?
When you opt for buying an instrument several factors should be taken into consideration.
You should keep in mind that in most cases you get what you pay for. We suggest you to save up and invest in a good instrument that you can use in the long run. But, if that’s not possible then there are plenty of good instruments in the market which will give you a great experience as well. The beginners or those with little or no experience should not invest a huge amount initially. They should instead go for a mid-range ukulele. Those who are in need of a professional instrument should opt for a higher end one.
Experience of the player
Experience plays a vital part in what baritone ukulele will suit you the most. People who have prior experience with a guitar will find it easier to cope up with a baritone since it’s tuned like the upper four strings of a guitar. Those who are familiar with other ukuleles such as soprano, tenor or concert will find it a bit different since it’s tuned differently than that of those. However, tuning of the baritone can be changed.
Just because you have no prior experience doesn’t mean you’ll stop playing. You can always learn though, right? Just go and grab the one that meets your budget, liking, and needs. Get ready to rock the world!
This is, in fact, a very subjective matter. You should opt for the one that sounds good to your ears. One thing that should be checked while buying a ukulele that there’s no buzzing sound of the strings. If you’re a newbie to the uke world then you can always take help from a professional or a friend who has knowledge of this.
To be honest, in general, the more you pay the better you get when it comes about ukulele. If you compare the sound of a high-end ukulele such as Oscar Schmidt OU57 with a budget-friendly Hilo 2655 baritone then you’ll recognize the difference. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any good difference at affordable range. We have reviewed some that have excellent sound and it won’t make a dent on your wallet, too!
The material of the ukulele
Different woods tend to produce a different kind of sound. Koa is the native Hawaiian wood that’s the traditional choice for ukuleles. It’s popular for its wide range of colors, mesmerizing patterns, and beautiful tonal quality.
Mahogany is one of the popular wood choices for the ukulele body as it creates a warm tone. It’s also widely available around the world.
With the rising popularity of ukulele, many manufacturers are now making ukes with Spruce which is used for guitars. Spruce wood’s denseness gives an oomph to the sound produced.
Rosewoods are mainly used to make ukulele frets but nowadays they are being used to make the body as well. Rosewood helps to produce a beautiful mellow tone that is enough to make you fall in love with it.
It is important that you’re comfortable with the instrument you’re going to play. The instrument needs to be lightweight and comfy. It might take some time to get accustomed with though. If you’re a beginner then try to avoid the hybrid instruments such as a ukulele cum banjo. Start with a simple acoustic instrument. Once you’re confident and skilled enough then migrate to other instruments of your choice.
It’s not the quality of the ukulele that’s important. You need to do some work too in order to keep it awesome! No matter what kind of a ukulele you use, maintaining the ukulele is a very crucial factor. To ensure it has a proper tone you must take care of your instrument. There are several written guidelines and videos that will help you out but here are some tips and tricks that will help you along the road:
1) Ukuleles need to be in a standard room temperature. Never keep them out under scorching sunlight or just throw them out into the snow.
2) Never use furniture polish or any other wax on ukulele. Go for Dunlop 65 which is a ukulele cleaner or use a very lightly dampened rag. But make sure it is not too dampened.
3) The strings need to be changed at least once a year, sometimes twice or more depending on the usage. It doesn’t matter whether the strings are broke or not. They need to be changed as they’ll wear out and have an inconsistent radius. It will cause intonation, the accuracy of the pitch will be disrupted.
4) It is essential that your ukulele is stored properly. It doesn’t matter whether you always keep it indoors or not, dust particles will always be there. It’s mandatory that you invest in getting a bag or a case. It doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as it gives protection from dust and light dings, you uke is in good hands.
5) If you use a high-end ukulele it is important that you maintain the right humidity. Woods soak up moisture from the atmosphere, they react to their surroundings. So, you have to be extra cautious if you live in a very dry or a very high humidity area.
Aesthetics plays an important role when you opt for an instrument. When you choose your baritone ukulele you should find the one that attracts you in terms of looks as well. It is important that you find the right kind that you’d love to hold, look at and most importantly something that you will cherish for a lifetime. Most buyers prefer wood finishes which gives a more premium look but Hey! You’re the judge and you get to decide what you prefer.
Budget plays a pivotal role in every purchase decision. Considering the material used, the maker, the brand prices seem to vary. It is important that you go for the instrument that matches your finances and affordability. Jimi Hendrix’s first guitar was only five bucks but that did not stop him from being the musical God. So if you’re a musical prodigy, the price of the instrument is not big of a deal. It’s you who do the magic! Baritone ukuleles are a bit on the pricier side compared to the other variants and wood gives a more premium vibe hence comes at a higher price than the rest.
Quality of Sound
The quality of the sound and the tone of a baritone ukulele varies depending on the material used. Baritone ukuleles are great for playing ballads as the tone is much deeper and mellower. It creates an amazing vibe when combined with singing and simple classical and fingerstyles go great with it just as well. Baritone ukuleles have a warmth to their tones and if you play other ukuleles you’ll see that there are some chords which are easier to play on a baritone than the others.
If you’re a musician who travels frequently then this bad boy is for you. It takes a lot less space than a guitar and you can use it as a bass too.
Baritone ukuleles are getting more popular these days but the options available in the market are less compared to others like soprano, concert, and tenors. So, without further ado let’s jump into the review.
Why Learn Playing Baritone Ukulele?
Alright, before we finish this article, we should tell you a few reasons to actually end up learning baritone ukulele. Actually, we got more than one good reasons for learning baritone ukulele and I am sure, you are going to like a few of these.
What are some of the top reasons?
Super Easy to Learn
Baritone ukulele is the easiest to learn amongst all. If you think about it then Ukulele is actually a lot easier to learn compared to a regular guitar or another instrument. Amongst all ukuleles, baritone would be the easiest one to learn. When you learn a music instrument, all you need is quick result because you want to impress your friends.
An ukulele would be an ideal instrument to make that happen.
The best part about an ukulele is the portability. It is very portable and that makes a world of a difference. Think about it for a second. Yes, you can carry a guitar around if you wish but that is not possible all the time. A guitar is heavier and a guitar is also tougher to manage.
On the other hand, an ukulele can be carried around all the time. You can carry ukulele on your backpack if you wish which is not possible with a guitar. Of course, it is not possible to carry a keyboard or a drum around and ukulele is the perfect fit in this situation.
Have you ever heard about the concept of a baritone voice? In case if you didn’t, you should know that a baritone voice is a voice that keeps on humming in your brain even after finishing listening to the tone.
A baritone music is way better than a baritone voice and that is exactly what a baritone ukulele will offer you. It is something that you will not find anywhere else and that matters a lot.
Easily Adaptable Songs
What is the main difference between a standalone music equipment and a ukulele or a guitar? Well, let me ask you the same question with a twist. Why do you think people go for guitar? The answer is very simple.
A guitar is a music equipment which will allow you to sing songs on your own. You don’t need another music instrument and you can play and sing all your favorite songs on your own. This is not possible with a lot of equipment. Think about it. You cannot start playing your favorite song with a drum or even with a bass guitar.
An ukulele is exactly similar to the advantages of a guitar. It will allow you to play almost all your favorite songs with a few exceptions here and there. This makes ukulele an ideal solution for every solo music lover.
You do not only want to play songs and hum with them but you also want to create your own music from time to time. Fortunately, an ukulele will have that option for you. Yes, it is true that almost all 12 musical note based items will have that enabled but it is not easy to make that happen with everything.
We will be honest with you with the fact that a piano or a keyboard is still a better choice of music creation than a ukulele but they are costly. If you want a quick starter that doesn’t cost a lot and is very easy to learn, a ukulele would be an ideal option.
What is a baritone ukulele?
Ans: A baritone ukulele is one of the four types available in the ukulele family. This is biggest in size usually around 30” inches long. It produces more of a deeper tone than the other variants.
Are baritone chords different than other ukulele chords?
Ans: Yes, baritone ukuleles are tuned differently than others. They are tuned as D G B E, more like the top four strings of a guitar.
Can you tune baritone ukuleles like the others?
Ans: Yes, you can. By placing a capo on the 5th fret of a baritone the open strings will change to G C E A, making it similar to the tuning of a soprano, tenor or a concert ukulele.
Which is the best baritone ukulele in the market?
Ans: There are many high-quality baritone ukuleles available in the market. Here are our top 10 picks:
1) Kala MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele
2) Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele
3) Oscar Schmidt OU53S Baritone Ukulele
4) Caramel CB103 30 Inch High Gloss Zebra Wood Baritone Acoustic-Electric Ukulele
5) Cordoba 20BM Baritone Ukulele
6) Cordoba 22B Baritone Ukulele
7) Oscar Schmidt OU57 Spalted Mango Baritone Ukulele
8) Luna Vintage Mahogany Baritone Uke- Red Satin
9) Alvarez RU22B Regent Series Baritone Ukulele
10) Hilo 2655 Baritone Ukulele
How much does a baritone ukulele cost?
Ans: There are many options available in the market from low range to high range.
What sort of string does a baritone ukulele have?
Ans: Baritone ukuleles have nylon strings like the other kinds of ukuleles.
What are the materials used for the body of a baritone ukulele?
Ans: The body is made of wood such as mahogany, rosewood, mango wood, spruce etc.
How to Play a Baritone Ukulele
Before we end this article, we thought we should inform you with at least a few tips on how to play baritone ukulele. Now, if you are reading this then I assume, you already know about how to play. However, there’s a big percentage of people who start with the product research and then go for playing.
Also, you will require a ukulele to eventually learn playing the device anyways and therefore, there’s no harm to have a quick guide on how to play a baritone ukulele before we dig deep.
The good news is that it is not as hard as you would have imagined. Here’re some of the quickest ways you can start learning the art:
Get a Teacher
There are ukulele instructors available in each city that you can ask to come to your home to teach you the art. Yes, it will cost you a bit more than the regular coaching if they are coming to your home but it is well worth it. We have seen in all cases that people who learn the art at their home perform way faster than those who go for coaching. The reason being, unwillingness to go to a dedicated place to learn something every other week, following a strict timetable and not being able to learn alone.
Now, though getting teacher is definitely the best way to go about it, you can also attend coaching in your local area to learn ukulele. The benefit of coaching is definitely the cost associated with it. Getting a teacher only for yourself will cost a fortune which will not be the case if you go for a coaching.
On the other hand, you will have students who are in similar shoes like yours and that helps to improve your learning too.
The bad news, however, would be that you wouldn’t get enough time directly with the instructor that you would have received if it was only you in a home.
Coaching is definitely the most popular method of learning ukulele all over the world.
On Your Own Using YouTube
It is 2018 and the way our world learns have changed quite a lot in last decade. Where you could have never imagined someone learning a musical instrument over internet back in the days, it is possible now and you can do it from the comfort of your home.
The biggest advantage of doing a digital coaching or YouTube is the cost. If you are using free tutorials then it would not cost you anything and even if you are purchasing a digital coaching, it would cost you way less than the traditional ways.
Another great benefit is the time issue. You can give as much or as little time you want to a particular session that you couldn’t do in a coaching as you would have to maintain with other students and their timelines. A video can be watched again and again so you will obviously not be missing anything.
At the end, it is fun and it will keep your awkwardness to only yourself. Musicians do not generally like to be around a lot of people when they are learning something and if you are the same, going for a digital learning system might be a good idea.
Deciding on which instrument to get is a tough choice. There are so many things to consider, it’s even harder if you’re a beginner so it’s better to seek for professional help at the start.
All the instruments that we have reviewed here will make an excellent companion for you whether you’re a pro or a beginner. Try to figure out which kind is best suitable for your ears and fingers. In the end, you’re the one to decide what works best for you.
The Hawaiian beach vibe of the baritone ukulele will surely make your life better. This versatile, unique instrument will bring great joy and it’s something that you’ll definitely love keeping as a part of your life.
So, go grab that uke and rock the world!