A Great Composition from a True Baritone Virtuoso
As guitarists and musicians, most of us are always on the lookout for ways to push the limits of our creativity and playing. Thankfully, the internet has made it easy to find lessons from master level musical mentors. In this post, we've dug up one such youtube session with solo instrumentalist and baritone artist Andy McKee.
Andy knows a few things about creativity and technique. In the following live video performance, Andy offers an excellent rendition of "Ebon Coast," a track that showcases his unique style on baritone guitar. The video concludes with Andy taking time to explain his playing technique as well as some of the composition practices he uses when writing.
Read on to watch Andy Mckee's performance of "Ebon Coast" and his short lesson on playing techniques and songwriting. After the video, we will highlight three takeaways for every baritone player.
A One-of-a-Kind Alabama-born, Texas-Raised Baritone
When you run the world's greatest baritone guitar web page, every now and then people contact you with interesting stories, inquiries, and ideas for potential posts.
Earlier this month, Paul Cooper, a guitarist, fiddle player, bouzouki player, and balalaika player from Houston contacted me with a story about a one-of-a-kind 1964 custom-modified Martin D-12-20 baritone. After Paul provided audio and picks, I felt like I had to help tell the story of this unique baritone guitar. If you are a fan of rare guitars, music gear stories, and baritones, then read on to dive into the short-but-fascinating tale of the 64 Martin Modified Baritone.
The Fender Jaguar Baritone Custom made a splash during its short two-year production run from 2005 to 2007. During that period, the manufactured-in-Japan Jaguar Baritone was billed as a shorter-scale alternative to other baritone-bass hybrids, mixing standard guitar playability with traditional fender tone and earth shattering low end.
The Jaguar Baritone originally listed for $699. Today, you can expect to pay between $800 and $1000 on the used market. Is the Jaguar Baritone worth that kind of coin? Should you consider a more affordable in-production model? Does it live up to its original billing as the playable baritone-bass hybrid? We’ve got three things you need to know before you plunk down the nearly one grand required to add the Jaguar Baritone to your arsenal.
But first, let’s talk about the specs and features.
Have you ever wanted...
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, than you are in the right place. The baritone guitar could be the musical key to unlocking your full potential and we've lined up five reasons for you to get your hands on a baritone guitar.
In part one of our complete guide to alternative tuning for baritone guitar, we explored B and A standard tunings (perfect fourth and perfect fifth standard), multiple open major chord tunings, and Pat Metheny’s, “Half Nashville” baritone tuning.
Well, I hope your tuning pegs are rested, because we’re back with another tour de force of peg-twisting alternative tunings for your baritone. If you are ready to spark your creativity, expand your sonic horizons, and get out of that musical rut, let’s dive into our first tuning.
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If you put the hammer of Thor and a Gibson ES-335 into a blender and then produced the resulting guitar overseas to keep the sticker price reasonable, you would have the Hagstrom Viking Baritone. The folks Hagstrom boldly assert that the Viking will “shatter all of your baritone stereotypes.” Does the Viking live up to Hagstrom’s claims? Read our review to find out three reasons you owe it to yourself to check out this Swedish machine.
Note: This review has been edited based on feedback from Hagstrom Viking users. Buyers should be aware that fret and electronic issues may represent long-term problems for the Viking (read on for details). If I were to change the title this article with this information in mind, I'd call it "two reasons to check out the Viking and one reason to think twice."
Share your Baritone Tone Techniques!
We are working on an article and we need you! The topic? Crafting great baritone tone. We want to hear from real baritone players all over the world. Our goal is to craft the ultimate guide to optimizing your baritone signal chain/sound - and we want you and your knowledge in our article!
Interested? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or head over to our FaceBook page and leave your tone tricks and tips under the post entitled "Baritone Tone Tricks and Tips Needed." Try to stick to the following guidelines:
Looking for a great deal on a used baritone guitar? Look no further! We've compiled a solid list of quality used acoustic and electric baritone guitars for January 2017. Have a used baritone guitar that you want to sell? List it here in the comments section.
Ibanez introduced the RG series in 1987. The RG has since become arguably the brand's most recognizable line, known for simplicity, speed, and durability. The RGIB6 Baritone is part of the "iron label" collection of RG guitars, a sub species touted as being optimized for metal players.
Ibanez bills the RGIB6 as the ultimate baritone electric for metal and rock enthusiasts and as a top notch working musician’s instrument. Does the RGIB6 live up to its manufacturer's claims? Is it the electric baritone baritone for you? We’ve got five reasons that the answer to both questions should be yes.
Oh, and reason five contains one of the boldest claims we’ve ever placed in an electric baritone review.
Paul Reed Smith (PRS) guitars has just unveiled their newest baritone: the Tremonti Baritone. The folks at RPS reached out to us on the Tremonti's official release date and were gracious enough to provide us with with the details on this new axe. If you are in the market for a truly premium electric baritone experience or simply have an eye for fine guitars, you'll want to get your hands on the PRS Tremonti Baritone. Check out the official scoop provided by the PRS staff as well as our BaritoneGuitar.org take on the Tremonti Baritone.
A Unique Axe, Fifty Years in the Making
The Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI is the modernized reincarnation of the Fender Bass VI, which first appeared in 1961. Tuned a full octave below a standard guitar and owing its good looks to the Jazzmaster and Jaguar models, the Bass VI occupied a sonic estuary between the traditional bass and the baritone guitar. The original Bass VI was discontinued in 1975, but not before enjoying a small cult following which included Joe Perry of Aerosmith, who used the Bass VI on the 1976 track, Back in the Saddle.
Are you looking to expand your sonic horizons? Would you like to meet one of the most interesting axes you've never played? Then check our five reasons the Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI should be on your list of instruments to play and own.
The commercially available baritone guitar has woven its way through nearly seven decades of music, adding resonance and low-end to a lot of great tracks over the years. Here is part one of our BaritoneGuitar.org list of essential baritone tracks.
Songs listed are not considered essential because they represent the high water mark for a particular genre or generation of baritone players. Songs have been selected because they typify a particular genre or common use of the baritone guitar.
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In the Spring of 1999, I stumbled across an issue of of Guitar Player Magazine. The cover feature was entitled "15 Days to Better Chops" and the article guaranteed "dramatic improvement in playing" in 15 days with just 15 minutes of practice a day. I plunked down about $4.95 for the magazine. The article lived up to the guarantee and I have considered it to be some of the best money I ever spent.
Baritones: the Magic is in the Tuning.
When you get right down to it, a lot of the magic of the baritone guitar is in the tuning. The reason one creates music on a baritone is because of the deep and rich tones created by playing in a lower register.
Sadly, the average baritone player never ventures beyond standard tuning and thus never experiences the instrument's full potential.
However, if you're reading this article, you are not the average baritone player.
So, check the batteries in your chromatic tuner. Its time to twist some pegs and adjust some strings. Here is part one our complete (or, nearly complete) guide to traditional and alternative baritone tuning.
Welcome to the first of what will become a semi-regular series of posts on used baritone gems: baritone guitars which, if you stumble across one, are worth adding to your arsenal or, at the very least, represent a good reason to linger in the pawn shop a little longer.
Our first used gem is the Tacoma Thurderhawk acoustic baritone. Continue reading to see our full review including a video, specs, and more.
Check out the BaritoneGuitar.Org review of the Ovation Elite TX D-Scale
Shop for the Ovation Elite TX D-Scale at Guitar Center
Thomas Leeb is a great artist who has incorporated baritone guitar into his work. Check out the following article for some thoughts on playing and recording with a baritone acoustic. I have also included a great (but slightly dizzying) video of Thomas playing a baritone cover of comfortably numb. Check it out below...
Got a baritone you want to sell? Looking for a great deal on a used baritone or a hard to find extended-scale jem? Look no further. Private sellers are welcome to post links to a listing for their used baritone. You can also post a full description/add in the comments section if you like.
Nashville tuning may not be something you typically associate with the baritone guitar. However, in this video, virtuoso Pat Metheny beautifully demonstrates what his half Nashville alternative tuning can offer to baritone players.
You could spend a lifetime trying to copy Pat's musical stylings. Fortunately, emulating this tuning takes minutes.
Ever felt stuck in a songwriting rut? You should consider the baritone guitar. Ever felt that something was lacking from your six-string sound? You should consider the baritone guitar. Ever wanted a new technical challenge to increase your chops? You should consider picking up the baritone guitar.
Those who play baritone know: the baritone guitar is a wonderful instrument that will expand your horizons as a guitarist, as a songwriter, and as an overall musician.
BaritoneGuitar.org is dedicated to advancing the baritone guitar by providing buyers guides, reviews, and baritone-related news and information.
I hope you enjoy your time with this blog and with BaritoneGuitar.org. Please feel free to commit or contact us with questions, requests for instrument reviews, links to music you created on baritone guitar, or information on your favorite baritone guitar artists.