The baritone ukulele uses chord shapes that are identical to GCEA uke. They are also very similar to guitar, just missing the two top strings.
ʻUkulele Chord Shapes: Baritone Edition
One of my flagship resources is my ʻUkulele Chord Shapes series of books. These references take a traditional uke chord book and turn it inside out, removing the fluff that isn’t useful and adding a whole lot of information that you don’t usually get.
By thinking of chords as moveable shapes, you’re able to maximize your chord absorption and understanding of the fretboard.
This book features:
- 38 chord types
- 189 shapes
- Easy theory walk-throughs
- Detailed explanations of slash and altered dominant chords
- How to transpose every shape into 12 keys, which equals 2,268 chords!)
If you are studying baritone on its own you’ll have a much easier time learning these shapes than if you also play standard ukulele chords. I find that having the same shapes in both tunings is incredibly confusing.
However, if you’re able to transpose the key of the song in your mind and think of your I IV V shapes instead of the actual chord names, you’ll probably have an easier time.
GCEA chords are a perfect 4th higher than baritone chords. This means that a baritone C major is an F major on GCEA uke. Here’s a reference chart:
Baritone to Standard
C -> F C#/D# -> F#/Gb D -> G D#/Eb -> G#/Ab E -> A F -> A#/Bb F#/Gb -> B G -> C G#/Ab -> C#/Db A -> D A#/Bb -> D#/Eb B -> E
If all you have are GCEA uke chords for reference, you can also convert backwards and move up a 5th or down a 4th:
Standard GCEA to Baritone
C -> G C#/D# -> G#/Ab D -> A D#/Eb -> A#/Bb E -> B F -> C F#/Gb -> C#/Db G -> D G#/Ab -> D#/Eb A -> E A#/Bb -> F B -> F#/Gb