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Baritone Ukulele:

An Introduction to the Instrument’s History, Features, and How to Play It

The Baritone ukulele is a musical instrument that has been growing in popularity in recent years. This type of ukulele is larger than other types of ukuleles and has a lower tuning, giving it a unique sound. If you’re interested in learning more about the “Big Uke”, (as it is sometimes called), this article will give you an introduction to the instrument’s history, features, and how to play it.


The ukulele originated in Hawaii in the 19th century and quickly became popular around the world. The baritone ukulele was first introduced in the 1940s as a larger alternative to the smaller ukuleles. It quickly became popular among musicians who wanted a deeper, more resonant sound from their instruments.

Features of the Baritone Ukulele

The “Big Uke” is larger than other types of ukuleles, measuring around 30 inches in length. It is tuned lower than other ukuleles, usually to DGBE, which is the same as the highest four strings of a guitar. The larger size and lower tuning give the “Big Uke” a deeper, richer sound than the other types of ukuleles.

Watch this before learning the Em7 Baritone Ukulele Chord

How to Play

Playing the “Big Uke” requires the same basic techniques as playing other types of ukuleles. You hold the instrument with your left hand and use your right hand to strum or pluck the strings. Some of the basic chords to learn include the G, C, D, and E chords. With these chords, you can play a variety of songs and start to develop your playing skills.

For more Baritone Ukulele chords, download our FREE printable chart
containing 21 of the most used baritone ukulele chords!

Choosing a Baritone Ukulele

When selecting a baritone ukulele, there are a few things to consider. First, make sure to choose a high-quality instrument made from durable materials. The type of wood used in making the ukulele can affect the sound and feel, so you may want to try out a few different types of wood to find the sound you prefer. Mahogany and koa wood are popular choices for baritone ukuleles.

Maintaining a Baritone Ukulele

Proper care and maintenance are essential for keeping your “Big Uke” in good condition. You should clean the instrument regularly and store it in a safe place when not in use. You should also avoid exposing the instrument to extreme temperatures or humidity, as this can damage the wood and affect the sound.


Playing the baritone ukulele can be a fun and rewarding experience. With its unique size and tuning, this instrument offers a distinct sound that is different from other types of ukuleles. By selecting a high-quality instrument, learning the basic chords, and taking proper care of the ukulele, you can start to explore the world of music and develop your skills as a player.

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Learning to play the baritone ukulele involves much more than just knowing a list of chords. There are also strumming patterns, finger positions, holding the ukulele correctly, etc. Having someone show you how to play can be a game-changer. Having a knowledgeable mentor or instructor is the fastest way to improve your skills and boost your confidence. Self-taught musicians tend to form bad habits and techniques that prove difficult to break or can actually impede their growth as a musician.

Online lessons can be a fun and cost-effective alternative to taking in-person lessons at your local music store. My local music store charges $15 for half an hour of lessons. One lesson a week would add up to $60 a month! Most online courses are much more affordable.

The online “Beginning Baritone Ukulele Bootcamp” provides everything you need to get started or improve your playing ability.

Start Today! Learn to Play the Baritone Ukulele

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