There are different types of electric guitars but one of the fascinating ones is the baritone guitar.

Baritone guitars allow us players to create unique sounding guitar riffs and they can be used in many different styles of playing.

If you are interested in baritone guitars and want to know how it’s different from regular or extended range guitars, here is the guide for you.

What Is A Baritone Guitar?

A baritone guitar is a typical electric or acoustic guitar with one exception – it has a longer scale. And this small difference helps it to have a unique sound that stands out from other guitar sounds.

A baritone guitar can be electric or acoustic and you may think it’s a standard guitar when you see one. But once you play it you will hear the difference.

Although you can use baritone guitars in any style you want their main use is in metal music because it allows you to tune low and have a good and controlled low end.

Baritone Guitar Features

Now you know a little about baritone guitars and it’s time to dive deep and see other specific features of this type of guitar.

As I already told you a baritone guitar could be electric or acoustic and the only thing that differentiates it from a standard guitar is the scale length.

And because if that it has other features you should know if you decide to buy one. If you are interested in buying one, you can check my list of the best baritone guitars.

Baritone Guitar Scale

Baritone Guitar Scale

First of all, you should know about the scale length of baritone guitars. There are different guitar scale lengths but baritone style guitar is much longer.

Standard guitar scale length ranges from 24″ to 25.5″ with some exceptions but the baritone guitar has a longer scale length. Usually, 27″ is the most popular.

This means a longer guitar neck, thicker strings, and different tuning than a standard electric or acoustic guitar needs.

And the longer scale length makes baritone guitars a great guitar for metal music because of the ability to deliver the heavy low-end.

The length of the scale allows you to use thicker strings and tune your guitar in low tunings which is very common in modern metal.

Baritone Guitar Necks

Because baritone guitars have a longer scale length than standard guitars. So, playing it the first time might be a little awkward experience. But you will get used to playing it quickly.

Other than the scale length neck of a baritone guitar is not different from a standard six-string guitar. But most baritone guitar necks have 24 frets and a little wider gap between frets.

Like in other guitars baritone neck can have a different radius, fret size, nut width, and so on. The main difference is in scale length.

Baritone Guitar Strings

Baritone Guitar Strings

When it comes to guitar strings for baritone guitars, guitar players have vast options to choose from. Many different guitar string brands offer specific strings for baritone guitars.

For example, Ernie Ball and D’addario have baritone guitar strings in different gauges. They are designed for baritone guitars and are a little different than standard electric guitar strings.

Baritone guitar strings feel a little different when you play and they have a different tension too. That’s because of the longer scale length.

Also, you can get baritone guitar strings in different gauges but in general thicker strings are preferred. For example, 0.013 and 0.014 are the most common string gauges for baritone guitars.

And some strings have wounded third string which I’m not a big fan of but sometimes it might come in handy.

Baritone Guitar Tuning

As you know baritone guitars have longer scale lengths and use heavy gauge guitar strings which allows you to use lower guitar tunings. And that’s one of the reasons why baritone guitars became popular in metal music.

The most common guitar tuning for baritone guitars is standard B which is referred to as baritone tuning. But you can tune it in standard A which is a tone lower. These tuning options make baritone guitars one of the best guitars for metal.

Of course, you can use drop tunings too and use drop A or even drop G which is very low tuning for a guitar. But low tuning means heavier low-end and guitar tone.

Here are options for baritone guitar tunings:

Standard BB-E-A-D-F#-B
Standard AA-D-G-C-E-A
Drop AA-E-A-D-F#-B
Drop GG-D-G-C-E-A

Are Baritone Guitars Good For Recording?

Now, let’s talk about how good or bad baritone guitars are for recording. We know that it has a longer scale, uses heavy gauge guitar strings, and low tunings, and is a great guitar for metal.

But what about recording? Are baritone guitars usable in recording? Is it an essential home studio gear? These are questions I will answer based on my experience.

First of all, let me tell you that baritone guitars are amazing for recording and you can create awesome guitar tones with them. Especially in metal music.

I have recorded dozens of metal tracks with baritone guitars and they sound great. Despite very low tuning, the sound is very tight and has controlled low frequencies. Acoustic baritone guitars work the same way and produce great low and dark sounds.

And because of this, I think every home recording studio should have at least one baritone. If you mostly record metal music then you should get an electric baritone guitar.

The great thing about having it is that you can use it in different songs as an additional instrument for low-end. It will help you to add power to your songs no matter what the genre is.

Conclusion

Baritone guitars are one of my favorite types of guitar and I use them all the time. They have a very distinct sound, you can create very heavy tones, work great in the recording environment, and are one of the best guitars for metal. I hope this guide will help you to better understand what a baritone guitar is and how it works.

Baritone guitars can be used in any genre of music but my personal favorite use of them is in metal music because it allows me to use very low tunings.

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