A Few New Things!

First off, I don’t normally pitch products on this site (as opposed to people and events, which I pitch all the time — shamelessly), but here’s a shout-out to GHS Strings.

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GHS makes strings for just about any instrument that uses ’em, including ukuleles.  But here’s the cool thing:  Working with various artists GHS is making what would otherwise be “customized” sets available to the general public, among them a special set designed by Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel described as “Bari-Tenor.”  Basically the strings are spec’d so that you can take your 17″ scale tenor ukulele and tune it like a baritone uke (i.e., the highest-pitched four strings of a guitar), except that the D is an octave higher, so it’s basically a baritone with re-entrant tuning.

I put a set of these strings on one of my Fluke tenors, and I’m having a lot of fun with the new tuning.  It’s a bit of a challenge to transpose the fingerings for various chords, but using this tuning adds a whole new voicing for some of my tunes.  I recently performed Lyle Ritz’s great baritone uke arrangement of “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” on my now “bari-tuned” tenor (I usually perform it on a concert-sized uke with standard re-entrant tuning), and it was a hit.  (It may have helped that the wonderful Sandra Dolores joined me on stage for a vocal duet.)

The strings are available directly from Craig and Sarah at www.cheemaisel.com/signature-strings/, or you can find them at good music stores.

In other news, we’re working on a new VerteFée Cabaret show at the Green Valley Theatre, the second weekend in September, so keep an eye on this page, or on the website at www.greenvalleytheatre.com.  And looking way ahead, on Friday night October 30th the Ukulele Rob Trio + 1 returns to The Strum Shop in Roseville for another workshop and concert, this time featuring Sacramento blues vocalist Beth Grigsby (“Red’s Blues”), together with returning band members John Wilusz and Zack Sapunor.  It’ll be a great night.