The best baritone guitars are a rather uncommon instrument in comparison to other guitars, but if you find the correct one, it may add a new element of enjoyment to your playing. So, what exactly is a baritone guitar, and which brands should you look for? A baritone guitar has a longer neck and scale length, and is tuned down to B E A D G B (typically by a fifth). They’re available from some of the most well-known guitar brands, such as Gretsch, PRS, and ESP. The best baritone guitars provide a unique but familiar playing experience, and can radically change the way you think about riffs, chord progressions, leads, and solos. We’ll show you some of the best electric and acoustic baritone guitars available right now in our round-up.
PRS SE 277 Baritone Electric Guitar with Gig Bag
- Top wood: Maple; back wood: mahogany
- Neck wood: Maple
- Fretboard wood: rosewood
The PRS SE 277 is a great example of a metal-friendly baritone electric, following in the footsteps of Mike Mushok’s SE model. However, it’s equally at home in more relaxed circumstances, where you may pick through jazz chords or simply add new range to your creations while wearing your slippers and turning down the gain.
The 277’s semi-hollow body is actually a chambered top, which you can see via the beautiful soundhole above the bridge pickup. The neck is 27.7 inches in length, which is right on the baritone scale. Other characteristics include the Soapbar pickups, a string-through bridge, and “bird” fret inlays, all of which are famous PRS SE stat lines.
This electric baritone guitar is entirely up to you. The PRS SE 277 is tuned to B and has a 27.7” scale (thus the name). Its slab mahogany and maple veneer shoulder will lean into the brutal riff-work you need it to. The push/pull coil split also allows you to expand the melodic possibilities of the superb PRS 85/15 S humbuckers. Yes, down-tuned chug comes with a side of spaghetti western or old-time rock ‘n’ roll twang.
The Maple top and Mahogany body are a classic tonewood combination that provides the guitar’s EQ a wonderful balance of highs and lows. The same tonewood combination is used in several of the more expensive PRS Core models, such as the “Floyd” Custom 24. (thought perhaps with better wood grades). It will also generate a punchier tone, which is perfect for thicker power chords and more aggressive rhythm playing.
The PRS SE 277 is one of the Best Baritone Guitars on the market, thanks to its exquisite build and finish, ideal balance, classy look, and affordable pricing.
Gretsch G5260 Electromatic Jet Baritone Guitar
- Solidbody Electric Baritone Guitar with Mahogany Body
- 2 Humbucking Pickups - London Grey
- Laurel Fingerboard
The G5260 Electromatic Jet Baritone Guitar, like all Gretsch guitars, provides a welcome break from modern life. It features a classic Jet silhouette, G-Arrow chrome controls, and a V stop-tail or licenced Bigsby vibrato option. Yet, because there is so much guitar, this is Gretsch for playing shows in the uncanny valley.
For some, the Gretsch G5260’s over 30-inch scale length and slab mahogany construction make it a big chunk of wood to wrap your arms around, but the neck profile is incredibly comfortable. The G5260 is a lot of fun if you get used to all the extra fretboard runway (it’s like a short-scale bass).
You’ll be riding the waves of deep surf tone in no time if you play it through a small Fender tube combo and generously coat it with spring reverb. When you dial in slapback, you’ll get a booming rock ‘n’ roll voice that’s so badass that your only concern is that it’ll be confiscated by an authority person. The best baritone guitar for surf rockers, without a doubt.
The Gretsch G5260 is a fantastic option if the low-end mayhem of baritone guitar-fueled metal doesn’t appeal to you but you still want to enjoy those B Standard characteristics. You may assume that a guitar with a massive scale length – a hair’s breadth under 30” – is unmanageable, but the (relatively) smaller body makes this a perfectly easy guitar to control.
If you’re looking for saturated metal tones, the Gretsch G5260 Electromatic Jet Baritone Guitar’s pickups will fall short, but for clean and minimally overdriven styles, they have a piano-like feel. As a result, we believe this Gretsch G5260 is the Best Baritone Guitar for indie rock and ambient music.
ESP LTD Stephen Carpenter SC-607
- Designed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of innovative guitarist Stephen Carpenter's first ESP Signature guitar
- Handles extremely low tunings, while still maintaining string tension expressive playing and excellent tones
- Offers a comfortable alder body and a three-piece maple neck, with an unadorned ebony fingerboard
Stephen Carpenter of the Deftones was the most likely choice for a signature model because he is one of the most notable users of baritone guitars. Stef, it turns out, has quite a few. One of them, the ESP LTD SC-607 Baritone, is a seven-string wolf in sheep’s clothing, befitting its status as a true heavyweight in the genre. Because your riffs are heavy metal music – or metal-adjacent – and you want to encamp them right there in the bass guitar’s register for maximum destruction, use this Stef Carpenter 7-string. That is undeniably possible with the ESP LTD Stef Carpenter SC-607.
The long-running cooperation between the Deftones guitarist and ESP has resulted in some of the best state-of-the-art guitars for low-end riffing, but the SC-607 might just take the cake. With its seven-in-line headstock and strongly contoured double-cutaway body, it features an old-school 1980s look, as well as a slender U-profile neck that blends blazing speed and night-long comfort.
The electronics are cutting-edge, including push/pull active passive modes and push/pull active modes. These let you to choose between Modern Active for when you want to make a crater in the ground while playing and Modern Passive for a more classic humbucker response, which is great for cleaning things up.
The build quality of the ESP LTD Stephen Carpenter SC-607 is superb, and the specification is well-thought out. Despite the fact that this is a hallmark guitar, there are no over-the-top designs or flourishes to deter those who want to make it their own. This is the baritone guitar for you if you want to melt faces with colossal-sounding riffs. One of the advantages of the ESP LTD SC-607 is that it is incredibly playable; you could argue that a guitar being playable is the basic minimum you should expect, but we think it’s worth emphasising.
The design, polish, and overall attention to detail combine to make this one of the easiest baritone guitars we’ve ever picked up. This is a silk glove of a baritone, and one of the nicest signature guitars around today, for an instrument created with heavy music in mind. This is the best Baritone Guitar for Metal.
Danelectro ’56 Baritone Electric Guitar Red
- Single cut body shape
- "Dolphin" headstock
- 29.75" short-scale neck
The baritone electric guitar’s beginnings can be traced back to the 1950s, when Danelectro rode the popular music of the day by releasing the first mass-market baritone. It immediately became popular in surf music and movie soundtracks, where its deep, enigmatic tone added a new dimension to everything else at the time.
Now, more than a decade later, the Danelectro Baritone is still going strong. From the classic body form to the Lipstick single coil pickups, everything about this beauty screams vintage. This is an excellent studio guitar in our opinion; you won’t use it every time you perform, but for those occasions when you need something a little different, this Dano will provide.
The Danelectro ’56 electric baritone guitar is a good value for money. The Danelectro ’56 is a cheap electric guitar with a top and body made of Masonite, poplar, and pine. It’s perfect for individuals who want alternative deeper tones to their electric music. The Danelectro ’56 has a scale length of 29.75”, which is excellent for a baritone guitar. While some rival electric baritone guitars have lengths of more than 32”, this length is ideal for maximising the deeper sounds of the strings.
You’ll notice the difference between a standard electric guitar with a lower scale length and a more expensive standard electric guitar with a longer scale length. There are 24 frets on the Danelectro ’56, as well as an adjustable saddle bridge. This unique feature gives players a lot of flexibility and allows them to customise the guitar to their liking. This is a very useful function for such a low-cost baritone. A 3-way pickup selection on the Danelectro ’56 adds to the versatility by giving players a wider tonal range. The Danelectro ’56’s wider tonal range allows it to be used in jazz, rock, and heavy metal styles.
The Danelectro ’56’s low price is due to the lower-cost materials employed in its construction. The guitar may be less robust than premium competitors, and the lack of a wood body may compromise sound quality. The Danelectro ’56 is an excellent choice for a cheap electric baritone guitar that is best suited to beginners and those who are trying out a baritone for the first time.
Alvarez ABT60ESHB Artist Baritone Acoustic Guitar
For acoustic performers, the Alvarez ABT60ESHB is a cheap acoustic baritone guitar that produces deep, bright tones. The Alvarez ABT60ESHB has the appearance of a traditional acoustic guitar, thanks to its mahogany body and solid Sitka A+ spruce top. This, along with the C-shaped neck, gives the guitar a rustic vibe that will appeal to acoustic guitarists wishing to explore deeper tones. The scale length of the Alvarez ABT60ESHB may be customised online and ranges from 27′′ to 32′′.
There’s a lot to like about Alvarez, especially the company’s ability to put together stage-ready, high-quality strummers in the mid-priced range. This electro-acoustic baritone guitar is no exception, but it is unlike any other Alvarez electro-acoustic guitar.
We have an expanded scale on the Alvarez ABT60ESHB Artist Series, measuring a hair over 27” and a nut width of 1.75”, putting it in the comfort zone for fingerstyle players without alienating flatpickers. The proportions may dwarf some players with a lower bout that measures almost 17” at its widest point, but this helps project the extra bass from being tuned down to B.
The Alvarez ABT60ESHB adds a lot of depth to a mix, and it’s a great contrast to an acoustic in conventional E A D G B E tuning, and we suppose it’s even better with a 12-string because there’s so more harmonic possibilities. At this price, the LR Baggs StagePro Element is a wonderful feature, with a 3-band EQ, notch, and phase control that makes dialling in a live mix a breeze.
Models with a longer scale length should be favoured for a successful baritone sound, since they better provide the low-frequency sound required for a baritone. The Alvarez ABT60ESHB features a rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets. Rosewood is a popular fretboard wood because it provides a smooth surface for fingers to touch against. When players are making chords or plucking riffs, the D’Addario EXP16 strings also aid with the smooth feel.
The Alvarez ABT60ESHB comes with a two-year guarantee that is only valid from the date of purchase. This adds an added layer of security for those who aren’t convinced about the benefits of a baritone guitar in their musical arrangement. The Alvarez ABT60ESHB is an excellent alternative for a cheap acoustic baritone guitar. To acquire the best baritone sound, it’s sometimes necessary to invest in good body, neck, and baritone string materials.
Schecter HELLRAISER C-VI Baritone 6-String Electric Guitar
- Double Reinforcement Rods in neck
- 30" Baritone Scale
- Mahogany Body
The Schecter HELLRAISER C-VI is one of the best six-string baritone guitars for heavy metal music, with a lengthy 30″ scale length. This baritone guitar, which features a mahogany body and a quilted maple top, is in the medium price bracket for baritones now available for purchase online. The extra scale length for this C-VI is essential for producing such a forceful and deep note articulation, especially in lower tunings, which can be difficult to achieve on a regular guitar.
The adaptability of the C-tuning VI’s is its best feature. While it was designed for normal E-E tuning, it may simply be modified to accommodate baritone guitars’ B-B standard tune. This effectively turns the guitar into two instruments in one, offering players a wide range of options between conventional notes and a deeper baritone character. These distinct noises are great for heavy metal lovers to respond to. The addition of EMG pickups enhances the C-excellent VI’s sound quality.
The C-VI offers everything an electric baritone guitarist needs to create a really strong and effective sound, including highly sturdy hardware and fitted tuners that operate smoothly and reliably. The existence of a lifetime warranty agreement that comes with the purchase of the C-VI is another wonderful feature. For those who are unclear how to include a baritone guitar into their musical arrangements, having a warranty agreement can be extremely beneficial in terms of providing excellent consumer protection.
ESP LTD Viper-201B Baritone Electric Guitar
- A killer 27” scale baritone guitar that’s ready to rock while still being affordable
- The classic offset double-cutaway design is made with set-neck construction for incredible tone and strength
- Includes a pair of ESP-designed humbucker pickups along with a TOM bridge and tailpiece
ESP has been producing excellent guitars for decades. In terms of features and aesthetics, their cheap LTD series is comparable to the luxury ESP guitars. At first glance, you’ll see a Gibson SG guitar. You’ll notice what makes this one-of-a-kind after taking a closer look. The inlays are really well done for a guitar in this price range. You’ll receive a high-end look for a reasonable price. What person wouldn’t desire that?
Do you want to play a wide range of music? Two humbuckers will cover almost all of your tone requirements. This instrument can be clean and chimey or filthy and unpleasant. On some guitars, the body wood can make a significant impact. The mahogany body on this guitar gives it a richer tone, similar to that of SG guitars. This complements the dual humbuckers perfectly.
The maple structure of the neck ensures strength and stability. The jatoba fretboard has a pleasant feel, a pleasing appearance, and a smooth surface that won’t obstruct your playing. Ebony has a tone that is midway between rosewood and maple, making it a good compromise between the two.
The Viper-400B’s set mahogany neck, mahogany body, and somewhat shorter scale all contribute to a deeper tone, making it an excellent choice for gloom or sludge. There are still 24 frets available for a wide range of lead playing, and the pickups’ high output gives you lots of tone-shaping options.
If you want a warmer tone, the SG appearance, and basic styling at a reasonable price, this ESP LTD Viper is the guitar for you. On a side note, SG type guitars are among the most user-friendly guitars available.
Ibanez RGIB6 Iron Label RG Baritone Series Electric Guitar
- Body Body Type | Not Specified Cutaway | Not Specified Top Wood | Not Specified Body Wood Back and Sides | Not Specified Body Bracing Pattern | Not...
- Meet Ibanez' made-for-metal guitar series, Iron Label
- Working from the chassis of their famous RG, Ibanez luthiers modded and tweaked with the heaviest of metal in mind
The Ibanez RGIB6 is a well-performing baritone guitar that is well-suited to rock music, with basswood for both the top and body wood. The RGIB6 is longer than other conventional electric guitars built for rock music, with a scale length of 28”. It has outstanding intonation as well as great tonal clarity. The RGIB6 is great for bands who prefer deep-lying riffs to be at the forefront of their sound.
The guitar’s six strings make it excellent for players transferring from regular guitars, as the chord fingerings stay the same, but the tuning and scale length are different, allowing the RGIB6 to handle lower frequency notes. The EMG active pickup in the RGIB6 translates a robust sounding electrical signal. Because the product only comes with a single jack lead, there is little room for experimenting.
The use of jumbo frets on the fretboard allows musicians to transition between chords more smoothly. While this may be great for players with little hands, typical players will detect a difference in chord transition. Because there are so few high frets, players may easily hit high notes that are normally out of reach on ordinary guitars. The bound jatoba fretboard, which is recognised for its unusual smooth surface, also helps with smooth chord transitions.
The Ibanez RGIB6 is a mid-priced baritone guitar with all of the qualities needed to be the best Baritone guitar for Rock.
Squier Paranormal Baritone Cabronita Telecaster Electric Guitar
- Poplar body in gloss polyurethane finish
- Maple neck with slim "C"-shaped profile and matching painted headstock; 12" fingerboard radius; jumbo frets
- Dual chrome-covered ceramic humbucking pickups
The Telecaster has always been a great choice for the six-string rebel, but this Squier Paranormal Series Cabronita, with its 27″ baritone scale, black finish, and over-sized soapbar single-coil pickups, takes it to the next level.
Its appeal stems from the fact that it takes the Telecaster’s simplicity and enduring appeal – which is rarely matched, never beaten – and turns it into a smart variation on a subject. And, while the Cabronita baritone guitar is achingly cool, everything else here is built for practicality. Examine the string-through-body bridge, which features independently adjustable saddles for fine-tuning intonation. The pickups are Fender designs, and they do a good job of articulating the low end without mushing it out.
You can use this for downtuned punk and grunge, but through a clean amp with a little spring reverb and slapback echo, this is the greatest baritone guitar if you want a rock ‘n’ roll machine with an almost oceanic depth to its voice like a best acoustic baritone guitar.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are baritone guitars used for?
In the 1950s and 1960s, baritones became popular. Their low tuning allowed them to match the harmonics of a double bass, but their bright, ‘twangy’ character suited country and surf music. Their ability to ring out low, menacing melody lines with single-coil twang came in handy for soundtracking Spaghetti Western flicks as well.
Everyone from Phoebe Bridgers to Emma Ruth Rundle to Hozier has embraced baritones for this textured approach, and their incredible ability to play both a bass and a conventional electric guitar has seen them adopted. Metal guitarists who were tuning standard-scale guitars to C, B, or lower have also taken to them. A longer scale allows for tight, rapid playing at high gain without sacrificing low-end power.
Why is a baritone guitar different to a normal one?
Baritone guitars are a unique kind of instrument. Consider a conventional guitar with the neck elongated and the entire instrument tuned to B. A baritone guitar is essentially the same as a bass guitar in that it may be played in the same way, but it will sound more deeper, warmer, richer, and – if desired – heavier. Much, much heavier.
To account for the extra scale length, the greatest baritone guitars often have a somewhat larger body and neck than standard six-string guitars, yet they are by no means difficult to play. While modern baritone guitars are most strongly linked with rock and metal music, they can be used by performers in a variety of genres.