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Baritone guitar as a bass

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Is that ever done? I'm not talking about a Bass VI but a regular baritone. A baritone tuned A to A would take in a fair amount of bass territory. There's a used baritone partscaster on the local (St. Louis) CraigsList and I'm intrigued with the idea of being able to switch between "bass" and guitar with one instrument. Worth investigating?

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Is that ever done? I'm not talking about a Bass VI but a regular baritone. A baritone tuned A to A would take in a fair amount of bass territory. There's a used baritone partscaster on the local (St. Louis) CraigsList and I'm intrigued with the idea of being able to switch between "bass" and guitar with one instrument. Worth investigating?

 

I don't know of anyone doing it, but I don't see any particular reason not to. It wouldn't have the same tone as a dedicated bass guitar, but different basses have different tones, anyway. Wouldn't go as low, either, but a cello doesn't go as low as a double bass, and it seems to serve as the bass voice in a lot of music with no problems. I'd think that it would be a matter of how well it fit the music and the band in which it was being used.

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worth investigating? If it has piqued your curiosity, then yes.

 

I have seen one or two bands recently where the second guitarist used a baritone while the bassist played keyboards or sang lead, but to be honest, I have never personally felt the need to venture into the land of baritone. Then again, I have worked with some phenomenal bassists, and I prefer the sound of an upright, or a 5 string [low B] bass to anything a baritone can bring to the table.

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I don't know of anyone doing it' date=' but I don't see any particular reason not to. It wouldn't have the same tone as a dedicated bass guitar, but different basses have different tones, anyway. Wouldn't go as low, either, but a cello doesn't go as low as a double bass, and it seems to serve as the bass voice in a lot of music with no problems. I'd think that it would be a matter of how well it fit the music and the band in which it was being used.[/quote']

That was kinda my thinking as well, with regard to the cello. Yesterday I played bass on a couple of songs in Bb. The Bb on even a 5-string bass in Standard is the same note as the Bb on a baritone tuned A to A. At the moment the curious, experimental part of me is warring with the cheapskate part of me, and I suspect the cheapskate is going to win. :( I already own a bass, and I have access to a Mexi J-Bass so I don't really need one more instrument.

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I have a bari, and for me, it has always been more about using it as a distinctive tonal voice of its own rather than trying to treat it like an overgrown guitar or an undersized bass. Not that you can’t use it for those things in some situations, it’s just I prefer viewing it as it’s own thing.

 

My views may have been influenced in part by my sax playing background... I used to play bari sax in a jazz band, which often doesn’t follow what the rest of the sax section is doing, but does its own thing... sometimes working as the low end for the saxes, sometimes working with or off of the trombones, other times doing riffs and counterpoint that plays off of, interacts with, or highlights what the bass is doing, and even dropping the occasional lead or melodic line.

 

There is no reason you can’t experiment and try to do something new, but you’ll be dealing with range limitations on the baritone guitar that you won’t have with something like a Bass VI. I have a Bass VI too, and FWIW, I don’t really consider that to be a substitute for the bari either, even though it can cover the same note range and can deliver some similar sounds. The Bass VI feels more like a short scale bass to me, while my Danelectro Baritone is... well, a bari. :)

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ive been playing a friends acoustic bari, and no, not a bass, but in a solo or duo, it fills the lower register nicely... definitely a distinctive flavor for your sonic palette... enjoy!

 

until i get the nerve to pull the trigger on the harp guitar, the baritone is keeping me occupied...

Edited by Voltan

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. . . There is no reason you can’t experiment and try to do something new' date=' but you’ll be dealing with range limitations on the baritone guitar that you won’t have with something like a Bass VI. I have a Bass VI too, and FWIW, I don’t really consider that to be a substitute for the bari either, even though it can cover the same note range and can deliver some similar sounds. The Bass VI feels more like a short scale bass to me, while my Danelectro Baritone is... well, a bari. :)[/quote']

FWIW, I don't think of a Bass VI as a baritone either. ;) I was thinking along the lines of Isaac's comment about a cello filling the bass end at times. I immediately thought of the Sons of Serendip, who get a very full sound from keys, harp and cello. The specific baritone I mentioned is described as having an approximately 28.5" scale, which wouldn't lend itself to extremely low tuning anyway. A to A might actually be a stretch, possibly B to B would be more feasible. FWIW, I'd be playing along with a piano and drums and possibly an acoustic guitar in Standard. In any event, as I said, my cheapskate side is winning out so it's probably not going to happen.

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so I don't really need one more instrument.
good lord, man, are you kidding?

WE ALL WILL ALWAYS NEED ONE MORE! ;)

 

 

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good lord, man, are you kidding?

WE ALL WILL ALWAYS NEED ONE MORE! ;)

True but Mrs. DeepEnd might disagree. ;)

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That's what SigOths are for...to disagree when you think you know what you want to spend your money on, right? :wave:

 

like I tell people...I married my current wife because I knew she was Ms. Right...I didn't realize she was Ms. Always Right... :facepalm:

 

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When Nathan Daniels introduced his original 30" 6-string bass he thought it would sell like hot-cakes because players were getting 2 extra strings for free. They didn't catch on and many got tuned A to A or B to B creating the original baritone, so from the beginning Bass VI and baritones have been interchangeable.

I got to hang around with Paul Chandler at a NAMM show and he introduced me to his baritone offerings. I had ordered a Danelectro double-neck and was considering doing something special with it so at the end of the show I bought a Danelectro baritone neck from Allparts when they were packing up.

My double changed from a 12/6 to a 12/baritone and stayed that way for a while. Then I got the urge to change it up again and got a set of Jerry Jones Bass VI strings made for the 30" Dano type instruments and it's remained that way since.

Dano-In-ATA-Case.jpg

Double-Dano.gif

Edited by Verne Andru

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The early danos and Fender 6-string basses were often used in Nashville to 'double' basslines played on upright.

As for using a baritone for bass, (I have both), I'd miss the true bottom end - that low e-string... even the tone of the an 'A' note on the first string, fifth fret is gonna be different than the open a-string on a baritone.

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On 12/15/2019 at 10:29 PM, daddymack said:

gotta ask...how much does that weight?

I have a dano doubleneck that's a regular six string, and a six-string baritone.  Because it's still the old 'masonite over pine frame hollow construction' like the originals, it's not nearly as heavy as the Gibson/Epiphone doublenecks...  I use a wide strap, but it's not 10 lbs... probably closer to 8.5

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1 hour ago, Verne Andru said:

Around 11 lbs - less than an Les Paul.

Unless you are playing a Custom from the late 70's early 80's, there are few Paul's that heavy today. Most are chambered or weight relief. My 07 Faded Studio weighs in a super comfy 8.3lbs

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17 hours ago, badpenguin said:

Unless you are playing a Custom from the late 70's early 80's, there are few Paul's that heavy today. Most are chambered or weight relief. My 07 Faded Studio weighs in a super comfy 8.3lbs

It was meant as a joke...

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