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Baritone Tuning

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by drmilktruck, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Friend of Fred

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I'm looking at a Warmoth Baritone conversion neck (28 5/8 inch Scale) - what are the pros and cons of the various baritone tunings A-a, B-b, C-c? Which would work best for that scale length? What gauge strings would be needed?
     
  2. Henry

    Henry Friend of Fred

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I don't have direct experience but I would choose the tuning based on what I plan to achieve or the low range I want on the song. Once you've established the tuning, you'd choose the strings to achieve your desired tension.

    Or you could do it in reverse. Of your want lighter gauge strings, you would tune to what makes sense for that gauge on your desired tension.
     
  3. Synchro

    Synchro Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    That scale should easily handle A-A. I had a Jaguar Custom baritone with that scale length and it was an E-E. The sixth string required caution, but I actually used it as a bass.

    I suspect that B-B is probably easiest to adapt to, A-A is probably more useful.
     
  4. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    C-C or B-B are the most widely used baritone tunings.
    There are baritone string sets available and neck setup depends on the tuning you will be using.
    I have my baritone set at B-B.
    I did go down to C-C but it sounded too flappy for me.
     
    Henry likes this.
  5. wildeman

    wildeman Friend of Fred

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    I like B on a bari, less confusing. I got rid of my bari's though and now have a bass 6, no confusion at all now.
     
    Lizardkinged likes this.
  6. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I have a 27" Bari. The slop I was getting with regular D'addario XL 11s in B(s a test) was ridiculous.
    I've bought some Dunlop Heavy cores 12/54 hi tension strings since. Unfortunately not tried yet, since I need to rethink the electronic department first, which sucks right now!

    IMG_0739.jpg
     
  7. On a standard set of bari strings, sometimes A to A is a little loose. That was on a 62 to 16 set. Sounded neat but lots of buzz. Mine is a inexpensive Alvarez and my friend uses a higher end model. Both have the same scale length, a little over 27. They are also both acoustic. Maybe you can get away with a litghter set on a electric guitar, or sadly go through trial and error with different string gauges until you find one that’s works. A few times I emailed Just Strings, and they recommended what set I could use for certain applications, or what individual string would make a certain scale length tune a certain way. Then you can usually but the, direct from them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  8. Synchro

    Synchro Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    That’s my solution, too.

    I love the VI, it’s a fabulous instrument. I’ve used it as a bass and used it like a guitar.
     
    Lizardkinged likes this.
  9. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Age:
    30
    Oct 5, 2009
    Michigan
    Also a Bass VI user. Plain. Simple. Bass-guitar in the most literal sense of the term.
     
  10. nasonm

    nasonm Gretschie

    246
    Nov 3, 2010
    Bangor, ME
    I have a Dano baritone that I keep tuned A-A but I've also strung it B-B and E-E. The E-E got a little "floppy" but it held up just fine.
     
  11. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Friend of Fred

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Speaking of baritones, I ran across this Glen Campbell version of Galveston, featuring Steve Wariner on Dano Baritone. Very fine solo by Mr. Campbell too!

     
  12. Synchro

    Synchro Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    Campbell was an astounding player. He was a Wrecking Crew member and very highly regarded in that circle for his chops and his imagination.
     
  13. While this s still open, can anyone suggest a string gauge to string my 27.75 bari neck into E to E. Before I sell something to get a squire bass vi, I thought I would let a band mate try my baritone tuned to E. If it’s works with the act, then a bass vi works. If not, I just lost some string money. Not looking for standard gauge strings, want something a little beefy to simulate the low end.
     
  14. Synchro

    Synchro Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    I don't know of anything that will work with that short of a scale.

    If I my ask, what are you looking to do? I've used the Bass VI a bit and was in a duo where we used a Jaguar Baritone Custom, so I might be able to provide some insights.
     
  15. Lately most of my gigs are acoustic, plugged into a sound system. Me on guitar and a second guy on a backing rhythm. We fool around with different set ups, sometimes I play mandolin, or tenor, or the baritone. He suggested trying a bass vi to see if he can do the back up bass lines while adding some small guitar flair, occasional chord or lick. I had a Eastwood bass vi years ago and truly enjoyed it, but the band I used it with Broke up, and I ditched it. We tried using a 4 string bass, and not being a bass player, he found it limiting. He also will not be able to use the baritone and transpose as easily as I would like.
     
  16. Synchro

    Synchro Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    In my experience, that is a perfect job for a VI.

    Ten+ years ago, I was in a duo where I played a Jaguar Baritone Custom and the other guy played rhythm and sang. The Jag' was basically a poor man's Bass VI and performed admirably. To be honest, I regret ever selling it, in some ways I liked it better than my actual VI, but I digress. I used the JBC to play bass parts which were somewhat more melodic than the average bass part. I could go up into the upper register and play a triad now and then or even take a solo that didn't sound like a bass solo.

    I had a Custom Shop VI, but I sold it, with a broken heart. While the instrument itself was alright, my experience with Fender's Custom Shop was disappointing. I had waited 40 years to get a genuine Fender VI Bass Guitar and when I finally got one, it was not at all what I would have specified.

    A few years ago I found a brand new Fender Japan VI in CAR with a matching headstock. It was my dream come true and the price was on the ground. For some reason, FMIC can't reproduce the original bridge from the '60s Bass VI but Fender Japan seems able to. I've only played it in one live situation. The RV parks in the area host jam sessions and one night the house bass player couldn't make it, so I got the call. I decided to take the VI (Is that like taking the 5th?) and used it, mostly, as a bass but to some extent I used to upper register capabilities when the situation called for it. It performed admirably, but the Fender Japan Jaguar pickups are very bright and I had to use all three, plus a tone cut, to get a bass sound. I'll probably drop some Seymours on it, at some point.

    FWIW, in 2013 there were a number of Fender Japan VIs imported by FMIC and these are excellent examples. The Fender Japan pickups are, well, Fender Japan pickups, which is to say very bright, but still useful and controllable. I am a big fan of the VI, as you can probably tell. I think it has been poorly understood over the years, but it's a very valid instrument. IIRC, the VI was the bass used on the Let It Be sessions.
     
    freddyfingers likes this.
  17. Thanks for the insite. Your right. Was looking for the cheap way out for now. If he isn’t really interested, we will pursue the idea.
     
  18. Synchro

    Synchro Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Admin Post
    I've heard good things about the Squier IV. IMO, if you are going to dip into the baritone range you might as well take the extra step and go with an E-E instrument.