What baritone guitar means, history and characteristics.
To understand what baritone guitar means we start by taking a look at its history. The first model was a Danelectro baritone guitar introduced in the 50s. Then it spread in the surf music of the ’60s and especially in the soundtracks of many movies, especially in the so called spaghetti westerns. Nowadays you can hear it in all kinds of music, from folk to rock to metal. The baritone guitar is a particular sound low enough not to be confused with a normal guitar, and high enough not to be confused with the bass. If you want to know more about it continue reading this post where we’ll see:
- Baritone Guitar Advantages.
- Baritone guitar strings.
- Baritone guitar tuning.
- Also check out all our guitar news.
Baritone Guitar Advantages
Among the real advantages of the baritone guitar from which any guitarist can benefit, one of all is that you can play it right away because the tuning is the same as normal guitars, but only lower. This means, for example, that when you play an E chord on a regular guitar, you’ll put your fingers in the same position on a baritone guitar, but it will sound like an open B. So you can play every chord or riff you already know, just the same, but you’ll only notice that the sound will be darker.
Brian Wilson has often used a baritone guitar in arrangements with the Beach boys. Pat Metheny has one among his guitars. Foo Fighters’ Pat Smear used one at the 2009 MTV Awards. At Musicarte you can try a PRS, for example, or even an acoustic baritone guitar like this Alvarez.
Baritone Guitar Strings
For this type of instrument you need special baritone guitar strings. On a normal guitar the strings will be too slow and without enough tension to produce a decent sound. The solution is to have a longer neck and thicker strings. The length of the scale is the distance of the string stretched, between the nut and the bridge. Many Gibson or Fender style electric guitars typically mount a 10-46 string pack on E tunings. An electric bass guitar has a much longer neck and has much thicker strings, like a 45-100.
A baritone sits halfway between a guitar and a bass, having a neck longer than a normal guitar and shorter than a bass. And mounting strings like 16-62, or 13-62, with a B tuning. If you want to mount baritone strings on a normal guitar, do it at your own risk!
At Musicarte you can find all the offers for electric and acoustic guitar.
Baritone Guitar Tuning
To put it simply, the tuning of the baritone guitar is exactly the same as in normal electric guitars but shifted lower. A guitar with a standard tuning, from the shortest to the highest, is E G Re B E. A baritone guitar is usually tuned a fifth below, G D G C E A, or a fourth below, B E D F# Yes. However, all the chord positions are the same as you already know, but simply produce a darker sound. If you have a studio or like to make recordings, a baritone guitar might come in handy. I wouldn’t have to waste time learning how to play it and you’ll have lots of new sounds available.
If you want more information, or if you want to find a used baritone guitar, you can ask Andrea from Musicarte’s guitar department. We hope you’ve clarified your ideas about what baritone guitar means. See you anon!