I've read that they are tuned an octave lower than a regular guitar.

Doesn't that omit the purpose of a bass guitar?
Quote by r0ckth3d34n
I've read that they are tuned an octave lower than a regular guitar.

Doesn't that omit the purpose of a bass guitar?

Correction, they're tuned a fourth down. So 5 semitones down.
and no. as pwrmax said they are down tuned. so they would not substitute a bass because the it would be tuned differently. unless of course you had a normal guitar tuned down that low. but that would be kind of retarded if you ask me.
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Google is your friend. It's not quite like a bass, it's far more like a downtuned guitar, but it's still a beast of its own.
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You can tune a bass lower and play in the low end. The bass's purpose is not to play in a low tuning, it does much more.
but a bass isn't a low tuned guitar lol, have you ever looked at the strings? you can never acheive that clarity and low sound with a guitar.
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The point of baritone guitars is to allow for lower tunings without loss of string tension. The usual baritone tuning is BEADF#b.
I'm aware of a few electric guitars which are tuned down an octave. These are 6 string guitars, they maintain the same E-A-D-G-B-E tuning as a standard one, but an octave lower. They are really interesting and can be heard on a couple of old records. There is a video on Youtube of Roy Babbington from The Soft Machine playing one for a solo.

The Fender Bass VI, Schecter Diamond Hellcat VI, and the Jerry Jones Long Horn Bass VI are the ones that instantly come to my mind.

But as for a true baritone guitar, no those are not an octave down, they are tuned down typically to B-E-A-D-F#-B. They can be thought of as a halfway point between a guitar and a bass.

By the way, here is the link to the Babbington video: Roy Babbington Bass Solo
There's no right tuning for baritones although typically they are tuned to B standard. It really depends on the scale length. Most standard guitars end at 25.5" before you get into baritone territory at 27" with exceptions of course. It's basically a medium between standard guitar tuning and standard bass tuning.

Of course you can take guitar of normal scale length and with the proper adjustments to the truss rod and intonation you can slap on higher gauge strings to create enough tension for it to sound good.

One use of baritone scale lengths that is a little unusual is what Buckethead does with his oversized Gibson Custom Shop LP's (I've posted this several times around here). He stands about 6' 6" or so and his hands are even quite large for his height. Normal scale guitars (like the Heartfield Talon II he played in the early 90's or the ESP MII Custom he played in the mid 90's) looked like toys in his hands but he was capable of massive stretches. At the same time you could see just how crowded upper frets got for his hands even though his fingers are quite skinny. He had Gibson build him 2 nearly identical Les Pauls with oversized bodies and a 27" scale length (he has now been seen with at least 2 similar LP's). They were originally tuned to Eb with 52-10 gauge strings although he is back playing in standard so who knows what gauge he uses now but I'd assume they would be 9's or maybe even 8's due to the very long scale length.
Thanks everyone.
Especially Marco and Crow.

But I have another question, Crow, the guitars you listed say Bass (except the schecter), those are just 6 string basses, correct?

What about a baritone guitar with a 30" scale length? I found one on musician's friend, but I can't seem to find it when I need it. I'll keep looking for the guitar...

This isn't the guitar I was talking about, but it fits.
Last edited by r0ckth3d34n at Jul 18, 2009,
Quote by r0ckth3d34n
I've read that they are tuned an octave lower than a regular guitar.

Doesn't that omit the purpose of a bass guitar?

I can't imagine the amount of neck adjustments that you'd have to do in order to allow for the strings to be tuned down a full octave. I'm really not sure that would even be possible on a normal guitar. It would play horribly.