Baritone Guitar Tuning

The word baritone is usually defined for a male voice in a range between tenor and bass.  Frank Sinatra I guess would be the most popular example.  The word baritone is also applied to musical instruments as well.  The most popular being maybe a baritone trumpet or sax.  These instruments play in a range a little lower than a standard trumpet or tenor sax.

My Tip #1 on this site addresses this issue a little.  Without even realizing what I was doing at the time, age 15 or so, I made my own baritone guitar by lowering the tuning of my guitar from standard tuning E A D G B E to C# F# B E G# C#.  I have a baritone voice and would learn a really cool song only to find out later I couldn't sing it because it was keyed too high.  The major problem was, the intonation of the instrument was thrown off because lowering the tuning of a guitar properly also requires re-adjusting the saddle back a little thus increasing the scale length.  Scale length is the distance between the nut at the top of the neck and the saddle on the bridge.  The scale length for my guitar tuned up to pitch (E A D G B E) is around 25 2/5 inches, a baritone guitar tuned (B thru B) usually uses a scale length of around 26 1/8 to 27 inches.  The gauges of the strings for a baritone guitar are usually a little heavier like maybe ranging from .014 - .068 inches to help prevent string buzzing.  A bass guitar is more like 30 to 36 inches and has even heavier strings.

There are a few guitars manufactured to properly correct for this situation.   Santa Cruz makes a Bob Brozman Baritone guitar with a 27" neck scale designed to be tuned down 2 or 3 half steps.  Although Taylor doesn't market it as such, the Leo Kottke 12 string is designed to be tuned in the baritone range as well.

Bob, Gman ( o )==#

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