Sunday, April 23, 2017


If you have a choice photo that you'd like to share please send it to

You may already be in here with Joni Mitchell, Jason Mraz, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Aoife O'Donovan, Katharine Whalen, Steven Strauss, Lil' Rev., Desirae Garcia, and many friends...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fred Sokolov || Fretboard Roadmaps Version for Bari-Uke

Here's a photo of Fred with my "Beater Bari" at one of his classes 
at Mike DaSilva's ukelele laboratory in Berkeley, California

Fred has re-re-created his Fretboard Roadmaps for the baritone ukulele.

Andrew Morse (Shares a Tune) || Blue Shadows on the Trail

Andrew Morse has a second addition to his shared tunes. It is from my son Kyle's favorite childhood movies, The Three Amigos. The arrangement matches the video. See "Andrew Morse's Tunes" page above, or click here.

It is a thrill to have Andrew on-board sharing his music. He's a great player and shares his musical talents on ukulele, bari-uke, and guitar frequently on YouTube. He wanted to learn a music program and used my request as impetus get started. I think you'll find his work extremely clear and fun. He's a great ambassador of music and the baritone ukulele.


Suggested Books for Beginning Baritone Ukulele Players

I started of playing the standard GCEA tuned painted Harmony ukulele that my father bought in the 1960's and gave to my kids where it was ignored for about twenty years. After a few years I found that I liked the low G tuning but when I bought a vintage baritone ukulele I completely switched over to the DGBE tuning.

While some standard GCEA tuned ukulele players are picking up the bari-uke and then tuning them GCEA to avoid switching, this blog almost completely stays with the traditional DoGBonE tuning. It is more traditionally called "Chicago" tuning and is the same tuning as the four high (pitched) strings of the standard tuned guitar.

The four books recommended below all have DGBE tuning. You can see the full list of published baritone ukulele books since 1950 by clicking on the B=O=O=K=S page above.

The first book I recommend is Bruce Emery's Baritone Ukulele from Scratch. Bruce played the baritone in his teens and as an adult he has a near cult following of his self-published Skeptical Guitar Books. Bruce's wit and knowledge make the book very readable. He also goes over several chord families for the most frequently used keys. It is packed with a lot of information that will keep you exploring from beginner to intermediate player. (Tracks may be heard via an online site.)

The second book is written by a friend of mine, Lil Rev. and is called Hal Leonard Baritone Ukulele Method. He's a multi-instrumentalist, storyteller, teacher and writer. He's a fan of old-time music, blues, double-entendres. This book is published by Hal Leonard and they always make high-quality publications. (The book comes with a CD of all of the examples.) It is a great book and all of the material is achievable.

The next book, Baritone Ukulele - Fretboard Roadmaps, will be released May 1, 2017. It is written by another prolific musician and writer named Fred Sokolov. I would not purchase this as my first book but as a secondary book as ones skills are progressing. Fred shares a lifetime of experience and is the wise uncle showing all of the short-cuts. Not that this is easy stuff. But it is the wisdom you will want to have as you continue. If you're new to string instruments this one can wait a few months.

Ukulele Aerobics by Chad Johnson is another book stuffed full of Baritone Ukulele "workouts." There are 40 weeks of 7 lessons per week. Several musical types and techniques to build increased speed, improved dexterity,better accuracy, better coordination, as well as increased melodic and harmonic vocabulary.

The books are all priced at $17 or less and you will surely learn a great deal from any one of them.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Andrew Morse (Shares A Tune) || My Old Friend the Blues

Andrew is one of the many baritone ukulele players that I have enjoyed watching for several years. His skillful play has many followers on YouTube and Ukulele Underground. I noticed that he sometimes posts lyrics and chords with his songs and asked him if he would be interested in sharing. I was very pleased that he has also been a fan of the items shared on Humble Baritonics and agreed to add some music as well.

He asked me if I had any favorites, and I requested "My Old Friend the Blues" by Steve Earle. I first heard Pabrizzer perform the song and it became a favorite. Andrew's version is similar in some way and different in others. He also took the time to learn a music software program in order to make the arrangement as readable as possible.

My Old Friend the Blues

Look for the new page for "Andrew Morse" above. We all hope to see it grow as Andrew finds the inspiration.

Andrew's YT version of MOFtB...

(Pabrizzer has shared the song 3 times and also done a tutorial. Here's a beautiful rendition of MOFtB from 2013 he has a very driven strum and bluesy voice.)