the baritone guitar

The baritone guitar

Limited information about Baritone Guitars on the World Wide Web means this page is one of's most visited. Welcome!


The Baritone is tuned lower than the guitar, but with the same relative tuning. Music is read as if it were tuned normally - read more in our transposition FAQ.

The baritone is usually steel strung (principally electric, but sometimes acoustic). That's not to say that there aren't proponents of the rarer classical baritone guitar.

Classical Baritone

The baritone isn't part of the Niibori set up - it's almost always lower in pitch than the Niibori Bass and Baritones aren't allowed to do that !

Steel-strung Baritone

There are a number of baritone guitars on sale, but the market is small and the prices high.

There's no general concensus on how a steel-strung baritone should be tuned...

Scale length

Although different pitches can be achieved on an ordinary guitar simply by changing the gauge and/or tension of the string, the lower tunings really require a longer scale length so that the string is not too slack or too thick.

There's more on our String FAQ page

Commercially available baritone guitars tend to have a scale length between 680 and 760mm.

For a 700mm scale, the top string of a baritone is approximately the same gauge as the second string of a normal guitar with the same string type (ie nylon, acoustic or electric).


Where the baritone fits in the guitar family | Playing tips for the baritone

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