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Best Baritone Acoustic Guitars Guide

Best Baritone Acoustic Guitars Guide

Baritone guitars are very special instruments. Standing somewhere in between the register of a regular guitar and a bass, these instruments allow you to tread previously uncharted territory, producing unique sounds, tones, and expressing sensations that aren’t as easy to convey if you limit yourself to the register of a normal guitar. While regular guitars are tuned in E-A-D-G-B-E (standard tuning), baritone guitars are tuned one perfect fourth below, in B standard (B-E-A-D-F#-B).

In this guide to the best baritone acoustic guitars, you will learn what sets these guitars apart from the rest, and why you should think about getting one to expand your collection.

Although electric baritone guitars have been a popular choice among some guitarists since the 50s, acoustic baritones have been around for significantly longer, although it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when they appeared on the scene. The concept is still the same: a longer scale length, thicker strings, a lower tuning and an overall different feel that is easy to fall in love with.

Over the course of this guide, I will also share a few of my favorite examples of baritone guitars being used by professional guitarists that play different music genres to prove just how versatile they can be.

Bottom Line Up Front

Choosing the right acoustic baritone for you can be a tricky task. They aren’t the most commonly found guitars at music stores, which generally leaves you with fewer opportunities to try out a lot of different models. There are different body shapes, scale lengths, tonewood combinations, neck profiles, and much more.

My best advice is to look for a guitar that feels comfortable to play in your hands. Baritones have longer scale lengths (27″ or more), which means that some chord shapes or licks might not be as easy to play, and at first it might take a moment to get used to. For everything else, I’d go with whatever you feel works best in your case: tonewoods, body shape, cutaway or no cutaway, and so on.

One baritone acoustic guitar that I have absolutely no problems in recommending is definitely the Ibanez ACFS380BT. It has lots of qualities that one would generally look for in an acoustic guitar, such as a comfortable body shape, a great combination of a solid spruce top with pau ferro back and sides, a mahogany neck, an ebony fingerboard, and more.

One of my favorite features is the ability to blend the output of its two pickups, allowing you to shape your tone with much more precision when you’re plugged in. It is also sold for less than $1000, which puts it in a more affordable place than a Taylor or a Martin guitar.

Ibanez ACFS380BT Acoustic-Electric Guitar | Sweetwater

The Ibanez Artwood ACFS380BT 6-String Acoustic Guitar features an under-saddle pickup that reduces noise and provides a wide range of natural piezo-style sounds. It also captures palm hits and delivers a bass drum-like response.

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My Top Picks

The list below is a compilation of my favorite baritone acoustic guitars. You will find different shapes, tonewood combinations, exquisite features such as a guitar with 8 strings, as well as a selection that encompasses several budgets to make sure that there is something to fit your needs and tastes.

When I am shopping for any acoustic guitar, regardless of being a baritone or not, I want it to feel comfortable when I am playing standing up or sitting down. If I am planning to play it for extended periods of time, comfort and playability always weigh in on the final decision for me.

In terms of tonewoods, I haven’t got a combination that I significantly prefer over all others, so I tend to try as many different guitars as I can and analyze the sound as a whole. There are many other factors that play a part in a guitar’s tone. With baritones, I am looking for a strong, full sound with defined lows, since these guitars’ register is lower than usual.

If I am planning to play this guitar mostly at home or at the studio, having a preamp/pickup isn’t very important, as I would much rather record an acoustic guitar with a condenser microphone, but think about whether you will want to plug it in or not before you decide which guitar to get. Choosing a cutaway or non-cutaway model is also entirely up to you. You might really want it, or might not care for it at all, depending on your playing style.

Scale length could be something to pay attention to if you want to avoid very large necks with big frets. Most baritone guitars have scale lengths around 27″, but there are guitars that go higher. If you want to have an easy transition from a regular guitar, look for one that has a 27″ scale length.

The following guitar suggestions were chosen with these variables in mind, and I’m sure that all of them have several strong points that many players will appreciate!

Alvarez Artist Series Acoustic-Electric Baritone

Alvarez Artist Series Baritone - Best Baritone Acoustic Guitars

Alvarez has founded in 1965 and it has become one of the world’s leading brands in acoustic guitars, sporting a diverse catalog with something in it for any guitar player. The Artist Series Acoustic-Electric Baritone is part of an award-winning series of guitars that deliver great tone and playability at an affordable price.

This guitar features a hand-picked solid top made of A+ Sitka spruce, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard, and other strong points that culminate in a guitar that anyone would like to have in their collection.

Its innovative bracing design paired with its solid maple bridge ensure that this instrument delivers a powerful and clear sound under any circumstances. It also has a preamp system in case you wish to plug it into an amplifier or PA system.

Main Features

  • Top Wood: Solid A+ Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Scale Length: 27″
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Nut: Bone
  • Saddle: Bone
  • Finish: Natural/Gloss
  • Pickup/EQ: B-Band SYS550
  • Others: Ivory ABS Binding

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Price/Quality Ratio: this guitar packs a lot of interesting features for a price of just under $600. It is an excellent option for anyone who would like to have a baritone acoustic guitar.
  • Pickup System: the B-BAND SYS550 is a reliable pickup that comes with a good EQ section and a chromatic tuner. It uses a less common type of pickup that mitigates some of the undesired sounds and frequencies that players often get when plugging in their acoustic guitars.

Cons

  • Strap Pins: some players reported that the strap pins were not extremely secure, leaving the strap at risk of slipping. Any inexpensive pair of rubber straplocks should be an easy fix to this issue.

Price

The Alvarez Artist Series Acoustic-Electric Baritone can be found for a price of around $560.

Alvarez Artist Series Acoustic-Electric Baritone Guitar | Guitar Center

Tuned from B to B, the ABT60E is pitched between a dreadnought and acoustic bass to give you deep tones with easy playability. Chord shapes and scales are the same as a standard six string but the voicing is lower.

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Guild BT-258E Deluxe Westerly Collection 8-String

Guild BT-258E Baritone Acoustic Guitars

This is one of the most unique guitars on this list because of its 8 strings. Unlike electric 8-string guitars that generally have more bass strings to allow players to hit lower notes, the Guild BT-258E Deluxe Westerly Collection has two octave strings, much like the ones found on 12-string guitars. In this particular instrument, you have two extra 3rd and 4th strings (D and A when tuned to B standard).

Having this kind of configuration is enough to give this guitar a distinct sound that is guaranteed to spice up any context you decide to play this guitar in. Other interesting features include its solid spruce top and a Fishman Sonitone GT-1 preamp system that further increases this guitar’s versatility.

Main Features

  • Top Wood: Solid Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Rosewood
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Pau Ferro
  • Scale Length: 27″
  • Bridge: Pau Ferro
  • Nut: Bone
  • Saddle: Bone
  • Finish: Gloss
  • Pickup/EQ: Fishman Sonitone GT-1
  • Others: Scalloped X Bracing Pattern, 2 octave strings

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Uniqueness: a baritone guitar with an 8-string configuration such as this one is something you don’t see every day. It can bring a lot of originality to your compositions and it is simply an interesting instrument to play and explore.
  • Comfort: despite its unusual string arrangement and large jumbo body, the BT-258E is a joy to play for long periods of time without fatigue or discomfort.

Cons

  • No case: baritone acoustic guitars tend to be large instruments, and for almost $700, a case of any kind would be an appreciated addition.

Price

The Guild BT-258E Deluxe Westerly Collection can generally be found for a price of around $690.

Guild BT-258E Deluxe Westerly Collection 8-String Baritone Jumbo Acoustic | Guitar Center

The BT-258E Deluxe 8-String Baritone from Guild offers a melodic layering of low-end harmony for an enchanting, harp-like sound. The BT-258E boasts a deep, full-frequency Baritone voice complemented by two octave strings for added sparkle.

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Alvarez ABT610E

Alvarez ABT610E

Another great contender for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a baritone acoustic, the ABT610E by Alvarez is an affordable but efficient instrument that easily fits into anyone’s collection. Among its main features, you can find a solid spruce top, forward-shifted scalloped bracing, ivory ABS binding and an undersaddle pickup in case you wish to amplify the guitar.

It does not have a cutaway, but people playing baritones don’t tend to move up the neck a lot and try to make the most out of the guitar’s low register possibilities. There isn’t a case included with this guitar, so plan ahead of that.

Main Features

  • Top Wood: Solid A+ Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Scale Length: 27.7″
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Nut: Bone
  • Saddle: Bone
  • Finish: Gloss Top, Semi-gloss Back & Sides
  • Pickup/EQ: Alvarez Undersaddle Pickup
  • Others: Ivory ABS Binding

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Affordable: the ABT60 is part of an award-winning series and receives great reviews from players everywhere while keeping the price at a fair point.
  • Solid wood: many acoustic guitars that aren’t expensive tend to use laminated wood to cut costs, but the ABT60 features a solid top, something that increases the guitar’s value by a good amount.

Cons

  • No tuner: even though it has a pickup system, the ABT60 does not feature an onboard tuner. However, this is easily solvable with a clip-on tuner such as the Polytune from TC Electronic.

Price

At a price of around $550, the Alvarez ABT610E Baritone is one of the most affordable guitars on this list.

Alvarez ABT610E Baritone Acoustic-Electric Guitar Black | Guitar Center

Tuned from B to B, the ABT60 is pitched between a dreadnought and acoustic bass to give you deep tones with easy playability. Chord shapes and scales are the same as a standard six string but the voicing is lower. This is one of Alvarez’s best selling models and within five minutes of owning one you’ll see why. It's a great guitar to play.

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Taylor BAR-6

Taylor BAR-6

If you’re looking for a premium guitar, my advice is generally to go for a Taylor or a Martin. There are obviously other amazing options (looking at you, Collings!), but Taylors have amassed a wonderful reputation for their solid build quality and beautiful tone. The BAR-6 is a baritone with a Grand Symphony body shape, which is similar to a Grand Auditorium with slightly larger measurements.

The woods picked for this guitar are superb and contribute largely to its deep and full tone. The top is made of Sitka Spruce, and the back/sides are made from Indian Rosewood, which is known for granting acoustic guitars a strong low end and bright, sparkly top end. This makes the BAR-6 excellent for strumming and fingerstyle playing, but also for picking single notes.

Other features worthy of being mentioned include its ebony fingerboard and bridge, and Taylor’s innovative “Taylor Expressive System”, a pickup system that was developed to have a warm, full acoustic sound even when you are plugged into an amplifier or PA.

Main Features

  • Top Wood: Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Indian Rosewood
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Scale Length: 27″
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Nut: Bone
  • Saddle: Bone
  • Finish: Gloss
  • Pickup/EQ: Taylor Expression System
  • Others: Taylor Hardshell Case

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Woods: the wood used by Taylor to build their guitars is carefully selected to ensure that you have the best guitar you could possibly get. Their construction methods and build quality also have high standards and you can expect to have an instrument that will perform beautifully for a very long time.
  • Looks: even though the sound is the most important aspect of a guitar to me, a captivating look is also a valuable trait, and the BAR-6 does not leave anything to be desired. The gloss finish pairs amazingly well with the diamond inlays, the binding and the gold Taylor tuners. It does not look excentric, but it definitely looks as classy as possible.

Cons

  • Price: it isn’t a surprise that this guitar carries a hefty price tag, but guitarists that are looking into buying a high-end Taylor guitar already know what to expect in this regard.

Price

The Taylor BAR-6 is one of the priciest baritone guitars you can get, but if you have $3k burning a hole in your pocket, this could be a marvelous addition to your guitar arsenal!

GuitarCenter – Taylor BAR-6 Baritone Rosewood/Spruce 6-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural

Guild BT-240E

Guild BT-240E

The Guild BT-240E is a Jumbo-shaped baritone acoustic-electric guitar that is inexpensive, but packs a serious punch. You can get a serious amount of volume due to its large body, good choice of woods and quality construction. The resonance and sustain are worth mentioning, surely improved due to the scalloped X-bracing.

Players that want to be able to play with this guitar on stage will be happy to know that it features a Guild/Fishman preamp system that contains volume and tone controls. Aesthetics are also on point with its gorgeous mother-of-pearl inlays, stylish pickguard and Ivory ABS binding.

Main Features

  • Top Wood: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Pau Ferro
  • Scale Length: 27″
  • Bridge: Pau Ferro
  • Nut: Bone
  • Saddle: Bone
  • Finish: Natural
  • Pickup/EQ: Guild/Fishman Sonitone GT-1
  • Others: Ivory ABS Binding, Mother-of-Pearl Dot Inlays

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Discreet Preamp: the controls for volume and tone are mounted in the soundhole, making them almost invisible to anyone else. I like to be able to plug in my acoustic guitars, but I also prefer a clean look, and some preamp systems take a bit from the overall beauty of the instrument’s wood. This one is just perfect as it is.
  • Looks: even though this guitar costs less than $600, it seems like a more expensive guitar, and fortunately it sounds just as good as it looks! My favorite details are the pickguard, mother-of-pearl dot inlays and the binding.

Cons

  • Setup: a few players report that the setup could be better out of the box. Taking this guitar to a good luthier for a setup will improve its playability by a lot.

Price

With a price tag that is usually around the $540 mark, the Guild BT-240 is a very fairly priced baritone acoustic guitar that you can play just about anywhere due to its Guild/Fishman pickup system.

Guild BT-240E Baritone Acoustic-electric Guitar | Sweetwater

Jumbo tone with deep, moody richness, the BT-240E Baritone offers a gorgeous layering of low-end timbre for a unique and mysterious sound.

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Ibanez AE275BT

Ibanez AE275BT

Ibanez is one of the world’s most recognizable guitar brands, and it has been used by superb guitarists for decades (George Benson, Steve Vai, Pat Metheny, among others). The AE275 is one of their most appealing acoustic baritone models in my opinion.

Apart from its solid Sitka spruce top, the other wood choices are a bit less common than the other guitars seen on this list (most use mahogany, rosewood, maple and ebony), but it still sounds big and powerful.

My favorite part of this guitar is its neck due to how smooth and fast it feels. The fret edges are rounded to provide maximum comfort while playing, and the Comfort Grip neck profile will leave you yearning for the same feeling in other acoustic guitars you will play in the future.

Main Features

  • Top Wood: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Okoume
  • Neck: Nyatoh
  • Fingerboard: Katalox
  • Scale Length: 27″
  • Bridge: Scalloped Katalox
  • Nut: Bone
  • Saddle: Bone
  • Finish: Satin Polyurethane
  • Pickup/EQ: Ibanez Custom Electric
  • Others: Wooden Vine Inlay

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Neck Profile: once again, it is my favorite part of the AE275BT. This neck feels great on your hand and I could easily play this guitar for several hours without feeling any fatigue or discomfort.
  • Bridge Pins: the AE275BT features Ibanez Advantage bridge pins, designed to ensure a better tone than regular pins that are used most of the time.

Cons

  • No Case: spending around $700 for a guitar is a significant investment, and at least a medium-quality soft case could be included with it, especially given the baritone’s slightly larger dimensions.

Price

You can usually find the Ibanez AE275BT at music stores for a price of around $700.

Ibanez AE275BT | Sweetwater

The Ibanez AE275BT acoustic-electric guitar takes the guesswork out of finding an affordable, great-sounding acoustic guitar that's easy to play. This guitar is extremely well-constructed, affordable, and has the pristine tonality and playability of much more expensive instruments.

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Martin J-28LSE

Martin J-28LSE

Anyone who is into acoustic guitars knows that Martin has been one of the leading brands in the field for many decades, with their pre-war models being worth thousands of dollars. Their new models are also expensive, but there is no doubt that you are getting one of the finest guitars that money can buy nowadays, apart from all the history associated with Martin.

The J-28LSE baritone is made from premium, hand-picked woods. The top is made of solid Sitka spruce, the back and sides are made of Indian Rosewood, and both the bridge and the fingerboard are made of ebony. This guitar will fill any room with its powerful and lush sound, and you will have no problems playing with any technique, from fingerstyle to strumming.

Main Features

  • Top Wood: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Indian Rosewood
  • Neck: Select Hardwood
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Scale Length: 27.5″
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Nut: Bone
  • Saddle: Bone
  • Finish: Satin
  • Pickup/EQ: D-Tar Wave Length Multi Source
  • Others: Grover Tuners

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Tone: Martin is known for consistently building guitars that sound amazingly well. If you’re looking for an instrument capable of producing stellar recordings, this is a very recommendable choice.
  • Quality Control: all guitars built and sold by Martin undergo a very meticulous inspection and setup process to guarantee that your instrument is easy and pleasurable to play from day one.

Cons

  • Price: not everyone wants to spend around $3000 for an acoustic guitar that might not be adequate in every circumstance, and would rather spend that kind of money on a regular acoustic guitar that covers more ground than a baritone.

Price

As is frequent with Martin acoustic guitars, the J-28LSE Baritone has a hefty price tag around the $3000 mark. However, it is one of the most unique baritone acoustic guitars you can get.

Reverb – Martin J-28LSE Baritone Acoustic Electric Guitar

Ibanez ACFS380BT

Ibanez ACFS380BT

The Ibanez ACFS380BT is easily one of my favorite guitars from this list, mostly because it achieves an amazing balance between its price and everything that it can offer.

This guitar features a Grand Concert body shape with a solid spruce top, pau ferro back and sides, a neck made of mahogany and pau ferro, as well as an ebony fingerboard and bridge. Aside from this exquisite wood combination, you will also notice a gorgeous open pore semi-gloss finish that lets the wood breathe more naturally, allowing for better aging.

In terms of amplification, this guitar is definitely not fooling around. To help you craft a desirable tone when you decide to plug your guitar into an amplifier, the ACFS380BT has an Ibanez T-Bar undersaddle pickup, paired with a block contact pickup and an Ibanez DP1 preamp. You can blend these signals together in the perfect amount to match your taste!

Main Features

  • Top Wood: Solid Engelmann Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Pau Ferro
  • Neck: Mahogany/Pau Ferro
  • Fingerboard: Massacar Ebony
  • Scale Length: 27″
  • Bridge: Massacar Ebony
  • Nut: Bone
  • Saddle: Bone
  • Finish: Open Pore Semi-Gloss Polyurethane
  • Pickup/EQ: Ibanez DP1 Preamp, Ibanez T-Barr Undersaddle Pickup and Block Contact Pickup
  • Others: Included Gig Bag

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Tonal Diversity: the Ibanez ACFS380BT sounds lush when unplugged, but the ability to blend both of its pickups when you plug it in opens up a very wide range of possibilities when dialing in your sound.
  • Finish: The open pore semi-gloss polyurethane finish on this guitar can protect it from normal wear and tear while simultaneously allowing the wood to breathe and age gracefully as years go by.

Cons

  • Gigbag: although it is commendable that Ibanez sells this guitar with a gigbag, players sometimes complain about its design over the fact that removing the instrument can be challenging without slightly scraping it against the zipper.

Price

The Ibanez ACFS380BT is a great deal at around $800. This is definitely one of the best baritone acoustic guitars that you can currently acquire for less than $1000.

Ibanez ACFS380BT Acoustic-Electric Guitar | Sweetwater

The Ibanez Artwood ACFS380BT 6-String Acoustic Guitar features an under-saddle pickup that reduces noise and provides a wide range of natural piezo-style sounds. It also captures palm hits and delivers a bass drum-like response.

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Alvarez ABT60CSDHB Artist 60

Alvarez ABT60CSDHB Artist 60

Alvarez guitars tend to be good choices in terms of their price/quality ratio, and the ABT60CSDHB is no exception.

Among its main characteristics, you will find an A+ Sitka spruce top, an extremely comfortable mahogany neck that features a hybrid soft V to C shape, ensuring that it will feel right regardless of the neck region you are playing.

This particular design is similar to a jumbo body shape, has a cutaway and you can also plug it into an amplifier or PA system by taking advantage of its LR Baggs pickup. Other noteworthy appointments of this Alvarez guitar are its nut and saddle made of premium bone and a stylish mother-of-pearl inlay at the 12th fret.

Main Features

  • Top Wood: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides: African Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Indian Laurel
  • Scale Length: 27.718″
  • Bridge: Indian Laurel
  • Nut: Bone
  • Saddle: Bone
  • Finish: Gloss
  • Pickup/EQ: LR Baggs StagePro EQ with Element Pickup
  • Others: Mother-of-Pearl Inlay Design at the 12th Fret

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Affordability: the Alvarez ABT60CESHB Artist 60 is one of the most affordable baritone acoustic guitars that can also perform efficiently even in recording and live contexts. It is obviously not as good as a Martin, but it also costs several times less than one.
  • Neck Profile: the soft V to C hybrid neck profile is a nice touch to a guitar that already feels comfortable in your lap. A good neck can easily make me prefer one guitar over another, and this is something that increases this guitar’s value significantly for me.

Cons

  • No case: even though this isn’t an extremely expensive guitar, a modest gigbag would still be a pleasant addition.

Price

The Alvarez ABT60CESHB is generally sold for a price of around $570.

Alvarez ABT60CESHB Artist 60 Baritone Acoustic-electric Guitar | Sweetwater

The Alvarez ABT60CE Artist 60 Baritone beefs up standard acoustic guitar sounds with hefty low end that’s tuned B to B. Pitch wise, the ABT60CE sits between a dreadnought guitar and an acoustic bass.

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What is Different About a Baritone Acoustic Guitar?

Baritone guitars sit in between the territory of a normal guitar and a bass, since they are tuned much lower than a guitar in standard tuning.

The most frequent baritone tuning is B standard (B-E-A-D-F#-B), although some can be tuned even lower. If you take a normal guitar and tune the strings down to B standard, you will notice that it will become quite the challenge to play, if not completely unplayable. The string tension is very low, frets will buzz, and you will quickly realize that you can’t go that low.

To counter these inconveniences, baritone acoustic guitars have longer scale lengths. This means that the distance between the nut and the bridge is longer. Because of this, you can maintain a nice string tension even when you tune to B or A standard. The intonation will also be significantly better, as well as tuning stability.

Other key differences found on baritone acoustic guitars to make them more efficient are their stronger bracings, slightly larger and heavier bodies, and they are played with thicker, higher gauge strings to accommodate for the difference in tension.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Baritone Acoustic Guitars

Question: What is a baritone guitar and how is it different from a normal guitar?

Answer: The main difference between a baritone guitar and a regular guitar is that the baritone is tuned significantly lower. It is usually tuned to B standard, one perfect fourth below standard tuning. This means that everything is played the same way, but it sounds lower in pitch. To achieve this kind of instrument and make it playable with such a tuning, baritone acoustic guitars feature longer scale lengths, a stronger internal bracing, higher gauge strings, and a slightly larger body (electric baritone guitar bodies are not necessarily bigger, but they still have a longer scale length).

Question: Do baritone guitars have longer necks than other guitars?

Answer: Yes. Baritone guitars need to have a longer scale length to make sure that they can accommodate thicker strings and a lower tuning while remaining comfortable to play. That is why you usually can’t take a normal guitar and tune it to B standard without the strings feeling too loose. Due to this longer neck, the space between the frets is also slightly larger, so you might take a little time to get adjusted to it.

Question: Which artists play baritone guitars?

Answer: Baritone guitars have been adopted by many guitarists of various genres to compose songs with different kinds of mood, weight and feeling. Check below for a small list of guitarists that you can hear playing baritone guitars.
• Pat Metheny
• Don Ross
• Mark Lettieri (Snarky Puppy, The Fearless Flyers)
• Duane Eddy
• John Petrucci (Dream Theater)
• Warren Ellis (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)
• Andy Mckee
• Buckethead
• Sungha Jhung

Question: What music genres are baritone guitars best suited for?

Answer: Since baritone guitars are tuned pretty low, it would be logical to think that they are frequently found in metal music contexts. That is certainly true, as bands like Dream Theater, Cannibal Corpse have used baritones to play in low tunings that are less comfortable to play on regular guitars. However, these instruments are also found in the hands of jazz, funk, folk, country guitarists, and obviously in spaghetti western movie soundtracks and surf rock!

Question: Which brands make good baritone acoustic guitars?

Answer: Nowadays, you have lots of different baritone acoustic guitars to choose from, made by a variety of brands known for their quality. Here are a few examples of brands you can check out if you’re looking to get one of these instruments:
• Alvarez
• Lakewood
• Ibanez
• Guild
• Martin
• Harley Benton
• Collings
• Taylor
• Walden
• Richwood
• Cort

Question: Are baritone guitars harder to play than normal guitars?

Answer: Since baritone guitars have slightly longer scale lengths, the space between frets is a bit bigger than it is on a regular guitar. This means that if you play licks or chord voicings that have tricky stretches in them, they will be more difficult to play on a baritone guitar. However, it is about the same logic as playing a 12-string guitar, in the sense that it is a little odd to play at first, but you get used to it after a bit of practice. Don’t let this be a reason to put you off getting your first baritone guitar!

Question: Are chord shapes different on baritone guitars?

Answer: Baritone guitars are usually tuned one perfect fourth below standard tuning (B standard tuning). This means that every string’s pitch gets dropped by the same amount of semitones. This gives you a guitar that you can play exactly as you would play any other in standard tuning, but everything sounds significantly lower. Every scale, arpeggio and chord shape remains the same, the only thing that changes is their pitch.

Question: What are some songs that feature baritone guitars?

Answer: There is an immense variety of songs featuring baritone guitars across different music genres. Here is a small list of examples so you can check their sound in context:
• Duane Eddy – Because They’re Young
• Dream Theater – These Walls
• Glen Campbell – Galveston
• Mark Lettieri – Barreleye
• Pat Metheny – One Quiet Night
• Roy Orbison – Working for the Man
• Aretha Franklin – Chain of Fools
• James McMurtry – Levelland
• Brian Setzer – Mistery Train
• The Lovin’ Spoonful – Daydream

Closing Considerations About Baritone Acoustic Guitars

Baritone acoustic guitars have been around for ages, and although you might see their electric counterparts more frequently, an acoustic can be an excellent addition to your guitar arsenal.

Its deep, full and low sound can be the perfect compliment to a singer’s voice, since it can play lower chords without having to tune the guitar down. If you want to play in a higher register, you can always use a capo and play open chords in a different position.

Baritone guitars always have longer scale lengths, but the exact length is variable. If you want to make sure your transition from regular guitar to baritone is as smooth as possible, find one with a scale length of 26.5″ or 27″. In regards to comfort and playability, the rules are the same as with any other acoustic: look for a body shape that feels comfortable when you’re playing sitting down and standing up, and if you’re like me and only want guitars with 2 strap buttons, don’t forget to make sure that your final choice has those.

My solid and final recommendation is the Ibanez ACFS380BT. Featuring an interesting combination of tonewoods that yields premium tones, a unique preamp system that allows you to blend two pickups when plugged in, and a clean but classy look, this guitar will perform efficiently under any circumstances.

Ibanez ACFS380BT Acoustic-Electric Guitar | Sweetwater

The Ibanez Artwood ACFS380BT 6-String Acoustic Guitar features an under-saddle pickup that reduces noise and provides a wide range of natural piezo-style sounds. It also captures palm hits and delivers a bass drum-like response.

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