BARITONE - TUNING RANGE OR SCALE LENGTH? • BO/006

A longer scale length does not mean baritone. BUT - More scale length can GREATLY improve baritone tuning, especially when tuning below B Standard or Drop A.  

There are 3 popular ways people have come to solve this:  

SO WHAT IS BARITONE EXACTLY? 
Baritone is a range of pitch. The 5 basic ranges are; soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass.  

There is always debate on the specifics, but the baritone range is generally thought to be somewhere between C Standard (a major 3rd down) and F Standard (a major 7th down). A whole octave down (E standard) takes us into the bass range.  

SO WHAT ABOUT SCALE LENGTH? 
Adding scale length as the pitch goes down helps us with string tension, tuning and action. If we look at the average Bass guitar, the most common scale length is 34”. That’s 8.5” additional scale length, and as well, the strings near double in gauge to perform well, that whole octave down.  

For example - if we pitch a standard 25.5 inch scale guitar down to B Standard (4th lower), we officially have a baritone guitar. In order for it to perform better, we have to increase the string gauge. If we want to tune even lower, we may want to consider more scale length.  

Depending on the kind of music you are playing, tension, tuning and action challenges generally start to become very apparent when tuning a 25.5” scale guitar to Drop A and lower to G and F.  

So - Baritone is a tuning range, not a scale length. However, just like a bass guitar, a longer scale length helps immensely in the guitar’s tension, tuning and action as the pitch lowers. Especially evident wen you start to tune below Drop A.  

The focus here is to hopefully help other creators of heavier music who tune below A Standard.  

The things I focus on are:  
1 • Baritones over 27.5" in scale.  
2 • Production models not custom builds.  
3 • Usually a humbucker pickup in the bridge position (low noise for gainy tones).  
4 • Is available in a solid black finish, that will be in fashion forever.  
5 • For use in heavier music.  

Some of the music I use baritones for:  
Foreigns • METROPOLITAN EP 
Foreigns • PARTIES 
Venns • RED CARPET EP 
Venns • SERVE (demos) 

Cheers! 
The Bunn

Leave a comment

Please or register to post.

Add comment