27" Baritone tuned to E standard

xzyryabx

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I recently got my first 6 string baritone (custom ordered ESP 27"; NGD thread incoming once I take some pics) and am tuning it to E standard....and I love it!

I usually use 10-46 in E standard on my 25.5" guitars, so the tension with 9-42 seems comparable (actually a bit slinkier based on the tension calculator I used).

Asides from the tone being snappier and tighter (placebo effect?!), what I like about it is where the frets sit in relation to my body (my arms are a bit longer than "standard" for my frame), and the fact that the fret size (not fret wire) is wider up the neck which I find to be less cramped for my fingers.

I'm still in the honeymoon period but this could be one of my favorite sounding and playing guitars! If it had a 45mm nut instead....ufff.

So if anybody is hesitating about playing E standard on a 27" baritone, don't be! It's probably not everybodys' cup of tea, but don't rule it out.
 

Andromalia

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Yeah my ultratone also was tuned to E when I got it, it was surprising. I don't remember what the strings were on it, either.
 

bostjan

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I have a couple of baritones that I keep tuned to standard. they all sound brighter, but in the best way. This is why I wish there were more decent options with longer scale lengths - if you go 28" for standard, it'd make more sense to go 30"+ for whole step down, but the off-the-shelf guitar options over 30" are virtually non-existent.
 

CanserDYI

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I loveeeeee long scales in standard tunings, it always seems to sound so sharp and defined in the attack and the notes seem to ring so true in my experience.

Now play a long scale bass 35 or 36 inches in standard tuning and holy shit THAT plays with authority! I want to convert a 34 inch bass to a 6 string guitar and try that in standard.
 

dspellman

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I recently got my first 6 string baritone (custom ordered ESP 27"; NGD thread incoming once I take some pics) and am tuning it to E standard....and I love it!

So if anybody is hesitating about playing E standard on a 27" baritone, don't be! It's probably not everybodys' cup of tea, but don't rule it out.
A 27" scale guitar tuned standard is not a baritone. It's just a regular old guitar.

Jim Soloway used to produce his "Swan" series (so named because of the longer neck) in 27" scale, but tuned standard, as a jazz guitar. Lots of room for complicated chords and chord changes. I have a 27" scale 7-string tuned to standard (except for the 7th string) and use it much the same way.
 

CanserDYI

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A 27" scale guitar tuned standard is not a baritone. It's just a regular old guitar.

Jim Soloway used to produce his "Swan" series (so named because of the longer neck) in 27" scale, but tuned standard, as a jazz guitar. Lots of room for complicated chords and chord changes. I have a 27" scale 7-string tuned to standard (except for the 7th string) and use it much the same way.
Okay okay okay now, we all seemed to agree a while ago that while yes "baritone" is a tuning, a "baritone guitar" is a guitar that is designed around longer scales than 25.5 inches and designed for tuning down.

Imagine asking some acoustic guitar kid if they want to play your guitar and you handed them your 28.5 inch warmoth necked strat but its tuned to standard. You think they'll be like "oh this is a regular old guitar?" lol

I get what youre saying, but we're past this point of pointing this out, and its perfectly acceptable to say Baritone guitar to mean any guitar with a longer scale than what seems to be an industry standard of 25.5.

In the end, this means Mark Tremonti's 25.5 inch PRS "baritone" is an abomination.
 

Dayn

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Since my RG2228 is in drop E, the first six strings are necessarily in E standard.

It's completely fine, and it's my best-playing guitar, but ultimately I wish it was a 25.5-27" multiscale. That would've made it perfect.
 

wheresthefbomb

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Okay okay okay now, we all seemed to agree a while ago that while yes "baritone" is a tuning, a "baritone guitar" is a guitar that is designed around longer scales than 25.5 inches and designed for tuning down.

Imagine asking some acoustic guitar kid if they want to play your guitar and you handed them your 28.5 inch warmoth necked strat but its tuned to standard. You think they'll be like "oh this is a regular old guitar?" lol

I get what youre saying, but we're past this point of pointing this out, and its perfectly acceptable to say Baritone guitar to mean any guitar with a longer scale than what seems to be an industry standard of 25.5.

In the end, this means Mark Tremonti's 25.5 inch PRS "baritone" is an abomination.

I actually had the experience of handing "some acoustic guitar kid" my bari SG (tuned to B) and it took him about 10 minutes before he started playing the guitar instead of it playing him but he took to it very well. He was part of a duo which I'm sure helped him adjust. I'll never forget his first comment, "wow, everything is so much more consequential on the baritone."

They never sounded better IMO. More singer-songwriters need baritone accompaniment. Some of the most fun I've ever had was twangfiddling along to an emo kid's acoustic coffee shop set.
 

dspellman

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Okay okay okay now, we all seemed to agree a while ago that while yes "baritone" is a tuning, a "baritone guitar" is a guitar that is designed around longer scales than 25.5 inches and designed for tuning down.
Seems fussy to me, and I don't remember "agreeing" with anything like that. Buckethead had Gibson build him a guitar that has a 27" scale and a body that's about 10% larger than standard and it's not a baritone. I'm not sure that you can show me design differences for tuning down at that scale length.

27" is certainly an in-between scale, and 28.5" definitely leans toward a completely different tuning, while 27" does not. My 27" scale 7-string is tuned to E standard in the top 6 strings, with only the lowest string tuned below that.
 

CanserDYI

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Seems fussy to me, and I don't remember "agreeing" with anything like that. Buckethead had Gibson build him a guitar that has a 27" scale and a body that's about 10% larger than standard and it's not a baritone. I'm not sure that you can show me design differences for tuning down at that scale length.

27" is certainly an in-between scale, and 28.5" definitely leans toward a completely different tuning, while 27" does not. My 27" scale 7-string is tuned to E standard in the top 6 strings, with only the lowest string tuned below that.
All I was arguing is that its perfectly acceptable to use the term "baritone guitar" to mean anything with a longer scale than what seems to be the universally accepted "standard" of 25.5. That's about it, and I find it fussy when everyone plays the "actually..." game, when everyone understood what OP meant. Just my two cents.
 

Thesius

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Seems fussy to me, and I don't remember "agreeing" with anything like that. Buckethead had Gibson build him a guitar that has a 27" scale and a body that's about 10% larger than standard and it's not a baritone. I'm not sure that you can show me design differences for tuning down at that scale length.

27" is certainly an in-between scale, and 28.5" definitely leans toward a completely different tuning, while 27" does not. My 27" scale 7-string is tuned to E standard in the top 6 strings, with only the lowest string tuned below that.

Sounds like Buckethead had Gibson build him a baritone to me.
 

bostjan

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Seems fussy to me, and I don't remember "agreeing" with anything like that. Buckethead had Gibson build him a guitar that has a 27" scale and a body that's about 10% larger than standard and it's not a baritone. I'm not sure that you can show me design differences for tuning down at that scale length.

27" is certainly an in-between scale, and 28.5" definitely leans toward a completely different tuning, while 27" does not. My 27" scale 7-string is tuned to E standard in the top 6 strings, with only the lowest string tuned below that.
Mmm. I want to agree with this, but I think language is dictated by how we use it, and not the other way around.

I've been a proponent of calling 27" "extended standard scale" and 28"+ as "baritone scale," but it has not caught on. It's a mouthful of words to describe things no one really cares about. Most beginner or intermediate level guitarists will call it a baritone if it's tuned lower than D, regardless of what the scale length is, and will call the scale length "baritone" if it is longer than whatever the usual scale length is for that particular guitar. For example, a PRS is 25", a 25.5" PRS is obviously a baritone, right (this annoys me, but whatever).

The worst kept secret seems to be that when guitar manufacturers (at least the big ones) build "baritone" guitars, they typically just slap a longer neck on the same body and call it good.
 

dspellman

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Sounds like Buckethead had Gibson build him a baritone to me.
Or just a Les Paul with a longer scale. Most of the time I've seen him he's been in E Standard (sometimes a Drop D) with 9's as his chosen string gauge. I understand that beginners will call a 27" scale a baritone, but rarely so if it isn't tuned there. I'm good with 28" and longer as a true baritone and you'll usually find it tuned down.
 

Thesius

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Or just a Les Paul with a longer scale. Most of the time I've seen him he's been in E Standard (sometimes a Drop D) with 9's as his chosen string gauge. I understand that beginners will call a 27" scale a baritone, but rarely so if it isn't tuned there. I'm good with 28" and longer as a true baritone and you'll usually find it tuned down.
Ah yeah my 69" scale Les Paul isn't a baritone either it's just a longer scale my bad
 

CanserDYI

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Wouldn't you feel pretty silly if I told you I had a baritone guitar in E1 and you get to my house and it's a Les Paul with .090's on it?
 

luca9583

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To add to the OP's post, there are a few benefits to tuning a baritone scale guitar in E standard. Intonation might actually be better and the wider frets might suit some players who want standard tuning, but wider frets. Other players might like the more piano like sound of a 30" baritone tuned to E standard for example, or some players might want more tension and use the same gauges they would have used at 25.5" scale, but with the same tuning (or the opposite, you might want the brighter tone of lighter strings but with the benefit of the strings being less floppy at a longer scale length).

I find the best way of looking at whether any instrument is a baritone (or bass) or not is to look at it like a singer's voice type. If a singer is a baritone, it means their timbre is that of a baritone but they can still sing in tenor range.

It follows that a 25.5" scale guitar and a 27" scale guitar and a 30" scale guitar each have their own timbre, but are all capable of being set up in the same tunings to some extent, albeit with different string gauges (eg a high A isn't going to work on a 30" scale, just like F#0 wouldn't sound too good at 24.75" scale with a huge string).

A 25.5" scale guitar tuned to B standard isn't a baritone even it's set up to be in what is considered to be a baritone tuning, because it doesn't have the timbre of a longer baritone scale length, just like a tenor has shorter vocal chords than a baritone.

A 34" scale bass tuned up to E standard (guitar octave) is still a bass because the 34" scale length, like every scale length, has it's own timbre and sounds different to a Les Paul in E standard. The bass scale length will have less midrange and will sound brighter when tuned to standard guitar pitch. Yes, it won't sound like a bass with flatwounds in standard bass tuning, instead, it will simply have the sound of a bass scale length being tuned to standard guitar pitch.

It's true that in practice, the tuning is the important thing, but i think "baritone" definitely means timbre and not tuning.

Where it gets more interesting and different to singers, is if we look at each fret on the fretboard as the starting point for a scale length. So within the 30" scale, capo at 1st fret is 28.6" scale, capo at 2nd fret is 27" scale, and capo at 3rd fret is 25.5" scale as we all know. So a .052 string tuned to E2 on a 25.5" scale will sound very similar to the third fret of a 30" scale with the same .052 string tuned to C#2.
 

luca9583

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I have a couple of baritones that I keep tuned to standard. they all sound brighter, but in the best way. This is why I wish there were more decent options with longer scale lengths - if you go 28" for standard, it'd make more sense to go 30"+ for whole step down, but the off-the-shelf guitar options over 30" are virtually non-existent.

Totally. It's funny to think that Agile were the boldest in that respect and were putting out a much wider range of scale lengths for ERGs way before the bigger brands started doing it. I'd love to see some 31", 32" and 34" scale instruments with guitar string spacing.
 

tom schelfaut

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Sounds like it'd have way too much tension to be playable... does it really sound that good?
 

CanserDYI

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Sounds like it'd have way too much tension to be playable... does it really sound that good?
Using the same strings as a normal guitar you'd only average 2 pounds heavier per string. No different than bumping up to a .048 or .50 on a 25.5er.
 


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