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Top: Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides: Mahogany
Bridge & Fingerboard: Rosewood
I heard about baritone guitars around summer 2012 while researching variations on the 6-string acoustic guitar. In listening to samples, I really liked the powerful bass and mellower highs present in the baritone. While they aren’t that much different than a regular 6-string as far as feel, the lower tones can get very muddy and so it prefers to play notes instead of chords.
Its normal tuning is B to B, which puts it right in between a guitar and a bass. While I was just beginning to work with it, I was listening to some Pat Metheny recordings and was intrigued by the sound he got. After a bit of research I discovered that he tunes his baritone from A to A, but then replaces the 3rd and 4th strings with lighter gauges tuned up an octave, making a semi-Nashville tuning. I have tried this tuning and it’s like a completely different instrument. I like the Metheny tuning because it helps reduce the muddiness of standard baritone tuning. The contrast between the low and high notes also sounds a bit like the harp guitar, which has helped smooth out the learning curve.