#1
So I play lots of old Sabbath and that means C# standard tuning. I have previously tried simply using 10-46 and they're too floppy. Then I tried 12s as well as 10-52s, but I don't like the feel.

So my current theory: Get a used baritone Gibson SG and use 10s at C#, and that should give me around the tension of a regular guitar in standard tuning. As far as I know standard tuning with a Gibson baritone is down to B with fat strings, so it stands to reason going up to C# should cancel out the tension loss of using lighter strings.

Make sense?

Assuming this is correct, what are baritone's like? Do they feel weird? Any characteristic tone differences?
Last edited by PB26 at Aug 7, 2015,
#2
Depending on just how "baritone" they are, they don't feel too different from a normal 25.5/24.75 inch scale. IIRC, the SG's have a 27" scale which is where you begin to sort of feel it but it's not drastic. Barre chords are still easily achievable even on the lower frets. Tonally they don't really do much aside from letting you use lighter gauge strings which gives you a less muddled sound once you get to the lower register.

Keep in mind that baritone isn't exactly necessary for that tuning though. Many 7 string guitars are 25.5 inch and can easily handle a low B. Brendon Small used a Gibson explorer at 24.75" in C standard and he's got decent sounds out of it. Slipknot go down to Drop A on 25.5 inch scales and their tones aren't terrible. (whether you like their music or not is irrelevant.)

Essentially, you have two options. Just get fatter strings (maybe even a 7 string set minus the thinnest string), or bump up your scale length. The cheaper option is to try new strings first. See what other artists use and such.
#3
They will feel a bit sloppier due to the longer scale, so you might want to go up to 11s. I play a 30" bari, tuned to open D with 13-56; it feels very tight. The wide fret spacing at the lower frets could be a handicap, depending on your style, but the trade-off for me is that the wider spacing at the high frets makes them easier to play.
#4
Lots of doom bands, SUNN O))) and such used Gibson Les Pauls and such to go super low. I don't know what gauge you'd need, I've got my Paul in C# with 12s and it feels sloppy.

Personally, I just don't like using Gibsons and such to go low. Strange as it sounds, I prefer to down tune using a wood which resonates more higher frequencies such as Ash or Alder. I don't know why it does, but it sounds better to me. Les Pauls sound muddy down tuned. I'd look at picking up a Schechter bari or something, they're plentiful and cheap to be had. If you want the authentic Iommi look though, a 24 fret SG would be cool. I like the look of the alpine white model they put out recently.
#5
Thanks guys. It was actually a used white 2013 SG baritone I was looking at. I'll check out the Schechter.
#6
Just learn to get by with .10s or .11s. It feels weird and it's hard to get used to but once you do bends get a whole lot better. I have a baritone I never use now because I learned to just cope with medium strings on SGs.
#7
Quote by jpnyc
Just learn to get by with .10s or .11s. It feels weird and it's hard to get used to but once you do bends get a whole lot better. I have a baritone I never use now because I learned to just cope with medium strings on SGs.


Hmm, fact you've gone the baritone route and rejected it is instructive!
#8
Quote by PB26
Hmm, fact you've gone the baritone route and rejected it is instructive!


I should add that I have a serious neck/spinal condition that fücked up my arms, so there was some necessity involved. But at this point I wouldn’t bother with a baritone unless I needed to go below A#, which Gibson scale does just fine with .013s or .014s.
#9
Quote by PB26
So I play lots of old Sabbath and that means C# standard tuning. I have previously tried simply using 10-46 and they're too floppy.

Didn't Iommi use .008's?
#10
I play a 24.75 Ibanez with 12-60 on it for C standard, still tight enough for me
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#11
Quote by cwig
Didn't Iommi use .008's?


D# tuning:
.008p, .008p, .011p, .018w, .024w, .032w.

C# tuning:
.009p, .010p, .012p, .020w, .032w, .042w.

#12
Quote by TheStig1214
I play a 24.75 Ibanez with 12-60 on it for C standard, still tight enough for me


+1 i use the same in c# std, no problem
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#13
Quote by PB26
D# tuning:
.008p, .008p, .011p, .018w, .024w, .032w.

C# tuning:
.009p, .010p, .012p, .020w, .032w, .042w.



I doubt he’d use 9s to play in C# if he could use heavier strings and not be in pain. And the action on his guitars is probably slide guitar high to compensate.
#14
I have my ESP KH-202 floyd down tuned to C# with 10-52's.
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#15
I have an RGD2120 (26.5") and I wouldn't say that the scale length is an issue at all. The difference is noticeable for sure, but not in any way that significantly affects my playing. I don't exactly have yeti hands either. Unfortunately, I'm considering selling it because I can't get along with the flat neck. FYI, that guitar came from the factory in D standard, so you're probably on point with string tension OP.
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