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Baritone Guitar Questions

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Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7
Topic starter  

Does anyone here have any experience with baritone guitars? I've been thinking about buying one lately, though I admittedly know very little about them, and there doesn't seem to be very much information available online.

For example, what kind of tunings do they usually use, are there any things that are easier/more difficult to play on them (all those nice 6th string solos, for example, would probably be out of the question), do they offer a different kind of sound than I could get from a 7 string's low B, etc...

I'm interested because a bari is something different, but they don't seem to be very popular, so maybe for all their difference they aren't especially innovative? Thanks!

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171

Just a historical curiousity question ...

Why are they called Baratone guitars?

The guitar IS a baratone instrument!

I realize they couldn't really call it a bass, since that name is taken . . .

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1162

I've never played a baritone guitar but in all the music i've heard, they're usaully in normal guitar tunings. As well, they're mostly commonly used in metal and hard rock so I would assume power chords and riffs on the lower strings would sound good. ESP (guitar company) has a website that displays a couple of their baritone guitars, so it might be a good idea to check that. I believe it's .


Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2849

I know nothing about baritone guitars other then the scale length is longer and they are tuned differently. On the LTD site they quote

All Baritones are tuned B-E-A-D-F#-B with string gauges 56-46-36-26W-17-13

Which leads me to believe that it is just a deeper tone and has more frets.

I know, no help but I am just thinking out loud and can't figure out why they aren't popular.

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5108

I don't know much about them either. Dave Matthews often uses one though.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon

Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 170

all i know is that they are "generally" used for hard hard rock and metal. the longer scale length would easy drop tunings as there would be more tension and the strings wouldn't flop around. i think that is the big selling point. easier drop tunings. however you will also have to deal with heavier strings and more of a reach due to the longer scale length

"I got a woman, stay drunk all the time!"

-Led Zeppelin-

Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 39

Baritone guitars are not necessarily tuned down to a B, as mentioned above. A is common, as is G. Depends on the artist.

Don Ross is an amazing acoustic player who frequently plays a baritone. Pat Metheney plays one in Nashville Tuning on a recent solo album, the name of which escapes me.

Two wonderful (Canadian) luthiers who make magnificent baritone instruments are Linda Manzer (Metheney plays a Manzer) and Marc Bennateau. Very, very expensive; multi-year waiting lists; but stupendous guitars, if acoustic is your thing.