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Baritone Guitar Scale Length | 6 Types and When to Use Them

Length is important, at least when it comes to baritone guitars. Every different scale length offers a variety of baritone tunings that work perfectly with it, and that could not work with a different scale length. We’ve brought to you today a list of different scale lengths to help you out decide which one matches you.

List of The Most Common Baritone Guitar Scale Lengths

Unlike standard guitars, baritone guitars have a broader variety of scale lengths, starting from 26.5 inches going all the way to 30 inches. On this list, we will show you some of the scale lengths that are commonly used in the rock and heavy metal scene. 

Scale Length 26.5 Inches

Starting with the lowest scale length on the list, the 26.5-inch scale electric guitars are the closest to what a regular guitar offers. The Ibanez RGDIX6PB is a good example of a 26.5-inch scale guitar, and it has 24 frets, but this number may vary depending on the brand and model. Some tunings that sound great with this kind of guitar go from A standard to drop B. 

It’s still debated whether this scale length could be considered as a baritone guitar or not, since it can also play some of the regular guitar tunings, such as E standard. In theory, the 26.5-inch scale guitar is a baritone guitar, because the string tension while playing on regular guitar tunings is very high and could mess up your jam session.

Scale Length 27 Inches

The 27-inch scale guitars are not uncommon but very few baritone guitarists play this kind of instrument since it doesn’t offer as many low tunings as the ones with bigger scale lengths. Most 27-inch scale guitars usually have 24 frets, but this number may vary depending on the brand and model. Some good examples of 27-inch baritone guitars are the Regius Core 7 and the S1.6PB-27 Baritone. These guitars can play excellently from B standard to drop G, but the hardcore players would say that the best tuning for this kind of guitar is drop C. 

Scale Length 27.5 Inches

This scale length has the broadest tunings, going from A standard to drop G. It’s a very reliable scale length, and recommended for everyone who would want to experience a baritone guitar at its fullest. The string gauge for this scale length has to be a little bit higher than the previous baritone scale lengths so you can have a good string tension. The number of frets can go from 22 to 24, but 24 is the most common number of frets that you can find. The Eastwood Sidejack, and the PRS SE 277. 

Scale Length 28 Inches

The 28-inch scale baritone guitars are the favorites among avid baritone guitarists. They can play amazingly from G standard to drop F, we’re talking about very low tunings that sound heavy and full of sound. The Chapman ML-1 Modern Baritone and the Ibanez RGIB6, both with 24 jumbo frets, are some great examples of great 28-inch scale baritone guitars. 

Scale Length 29. 75 Inches

If you want to go low, get yourself some high string gauge, and a Danelectro 56 guitar, just like Duane Eddy! This scale length does amazingly well from F standard tuning to drop E. Baritone electric guitars with this scale length usually have 21 frets, but again, the number of frets can vary from brand and model

Scale Length 30 Inches

The 30-inch scale length guitars are the lowest you can get before a bass VI, and in some instances, you could even use it as a bass VI! These kinds of guitars are made to sound very heavy, therefore they are perfect to play E standard, but not the same as in your regular guitar, this E standard is lowered an entire octave, which is a very low tuning! Some guitars that have this scale length are the Schecter Ultra VI and the Fender Squier Baritone Jazzmaster.

To play on this unique scale length, you would need to use strings with a very high gauge, such as the Ernie Ball Hellcat VI Custom Strings. Since the sound of the original strings is very similar to a bass guitar, you could replace the original strings with a set of lighter gauge strings to create more tension. 

Bariton guitar Scale Length FAQs

Are There More Scale Lengths?

For baritone guitars, 26.5 is the shortest you can get, and 30-inches is the longest you can go. But you may find guitars that have a 27.7-inch scale, or even 28.3, but these scale lengths are almost identical in sound and range with the ones covered here.

Which String Gauge Should I Use?

That depends on the kind of scale length you have and the tension you want to create. The only way to find out which string gauge is best for you is by trying different guitar strings! Some YouTubers such as The Bunn cover this topic in more detail. 

Can I Tune my 7 String Guitar As A Baritone Guitar?

If you want to imitate the sound of an electric baritone guitar with a 26.5-inch scale length, then yes. If you want to play a lower tuning such as G standard, then no. A heavier string gauge than the one your guitar is used to could damage it, It’s better to get a baritone guitar that creates the tension that you need

What Other Brands Make Baritone Guitars?

Some of the brands not mentioned above that make baritone guitars are Les Paul, Fender, ESP, Gibson, and many more smaller brands. 

With Which Baritone Tuning Should I Start With?

The answer is very simple, you should start with the one that sounds best for you! This will also depend on which song you want to learn, we would recommend you learn Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell. 

Could I Replace The “Low E” String With a Bass String?

It depends, if you’re using a 30-inch scale guitar you could do that. The string tension is very similar to the bass VI’s. 

Author

  • Baritone Guitar Scale Length

    My "day job" used to be teaching but I decided to give that up to play music full time. I have gigged all over the world playing in bands or as a solo act since then. I still have a passion for teaching others anything related to music. Writing content for InciteMusic.com gives me an opportunity to combine my love of music and education.

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