Monday, August 2, 2010

Besard - Branle (Baritone)

As I am in the process of completing a fresh batch of baritone ukuleles (see my other blog), I find myself spending more time playing music on baritones than on concert or tenor ukes which are my usual instruments. So, to celebrate those new baritones, I'm providing tabs for this short piece by Jean-Baptiste B├ęsard, for a baritone tuning.
Of course, the exact same tabs may be used on another ukulele with a low G string: it just means switching key (this piece is in D for the baritone, and in G for a low G ukulele) and the corresponding music notation. In other words, if you're playing solo, you may use baritone tabs or low G tabs interchangeably)
Instead of using "high G" and "low G" (sets of strings) when it comes to tabs, it would be more convenient to use some other contrasting pair: "re-entrant" as opposed to... what? Can you help me out and suggest something?
This being said, I am really enjoying playing those baritones. Perhaps the baritone uke suffers from being regarded as a half-breed, and thus with some suspicion by both guitar and ukulele players. As usual, it's better to reserve judgment until one tries something oneself: pleasant surprises may be in store.
One last thing: Jeff, the "humble uker" and wonderful herald of all things ukulele has a new blog dedicated to the baritone at


  1. Well, in architecture, the opposite of "re-entrant" is "salient", which would be a pretty cool word to appropriate.

  2. Thanks, Josh :)

    What do you think of "low-4th tuning"? Ecumenical and limpid enough, isn'it?

  3. Wikipedia does say "high-4th" and "low-4th", and it's probably the best compromise given that not all ukes are tuned in C. And, yeah, there are 6-stringers and tiples and such, but they're still just 4 courses.

  4. Hello Michael - I originally tried the PDF version and couldn't figure out the 8 beats. It turns out that the half notes look identical to quarter notes when there is a note on the 4th string. For example the first beat is a 4x0x and is a quarter note but the line is the exact same length as the 543x which is a half note. The Tab|Edit version shows both 543x's are 1/2 notes. The 5th note in the 4th bar is clearly shown as a 1/2 note in pdf format. In the last bar both of the 4's are also 1/2 notes but indistinquishable. I think this is something that Tab|Edit needs to tweak in their pdf print outs.

  5. The only way I've found to tweak it in TablEdit is to set for fixed-width rather than proportional spacing on the printing options.

  6. Sorry about the Pdf snafu: to convert from TablEdit to Pdf, I use a PDFCreator freeware for the convenience of people who don't want to download the TablEdit Viewer. But I don't use the PDF version myself, so I was not aware of potential difficulties. I'm afraid that problem is beyond my limited computer skills.