What Is A Baritone Guitar?

If you’ve ever heard the term “Baritone Guitar” and you didn’t know what it meant, you’re in luck. In this article, we’re going to tell you what a baritone guitar is, along with some reasons why you definitely should think about picking up one for yourself. 

ESP LTD BB-600 Baritone Signature Series Ben Burnley Electric Guitar with Case, See Thru Black Sunburst Satin

What Is A Baritone Guitar?

In simplest terms, a baritone guitar is a guitar that’s tuned to a lower pitch. While a standard guitar is tuned E A D G B E, baritone guitars are tuned in two ways. 

They are either tuned a fifth lower than the standard tuning, which brings them to (A D G C E A) or more popularly, they are tuned to a fourth lower than the standard tuning. A fourth lower brings the baritone guitar to a B E A D F# B, tuning. 

Now, we’re sure the question on your mind is “Why can’t I just tune my good old Stratocaster a fourth lower and call it a Baritone guitar”. 

Well, technically, you can. However, what you would find is that the strings won’t have enough tension. So, they won’t be able to produce good enough sound. 

How does the baritone guitar fix this string tension? It has a longer neck and makes use of slightly heavier strings. Or to say it more professionally, it has a longer scale length. Which brings us to the next point. 

Schecter HELLRAISER C-VI Baritone 6-String Electric Guitar, Black Cherry

What Is A Scale Length?

A scale length is basically the distance between the bridge and the nut of your guitar. That is the length of the suspended string on the guitar. Most traditional electric guitars have a scale length between 24 ¾ inches and 25 ½ inches. 

Also, these traditional electric guitars come with a set of 10-46 gauge strings which are tuned to the standard E-E. 

At the opposite end of the spectrum, most bass guitars have a scale length of around 34 inches. They make use of strings between the 45-100 range. 

Baritone guitars sit somewhere in the middle. They usually have a scale length between 27 and 28 inches. Also, they make use of 13-62 strings, which are a tad bit heavier than electric guitar strings, but not as heavy as bass strings. 

If you still don’t understand what we’re talking about, then watch this very quick explanation below:

Why You Should Consider A Baritone Guitar

Danelectro '56 Baritone Electric Guitar Black

Now that we know what a baritone guitar is, the next question we need to answer is “why should we even be bothered?” Well, first of all, there’s no new learning curve. 

The best thing about these guitars is that a good electric guitarist wouldn’t need to learn anything when he first picks this up. The guitar is tuned to the same pattern but is only a fourth lower. So, whatever chord pattern you play would be the same, whether on an electric or a baritone guitar. With the only difference being the key.

Optimism aside, we realize that the baritone guitar is much more a niche guitar, rather than a generally appealing one. So, if you’re a jazz or country player, you definitely want to check out baritone guitars. 

However, even if you’re more of a rock or metal player, you might still enjoy using this guitar, who knows? Watch the video below to find out if these guitars can play metal and if it can, how well it can. 

Conclusion

And that’s about done concerning Baritone guitars. They sound beastly, they sound meaty, and you definitely should try them out. 

If you’re shopping for a Baritone guitar, then we suggest you check out this list of Best Baritone Guitars right now. 

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