In 2008, Taylor Guitars celebrated their 35th Anniversary in true Taylor style by releasing a 35th Anniversary collection of guitars. Among that collection was a Baritone guitar that was met with such enthusiasm that it quickly became a standard production model.
The Baritone differs from a standard guitar in being tuned to B (BEADF#B) a 4th down from standard tuning creating a unique sound that opens up possibilities for new chord voicings. You can still use all the same chord shapes you use in standard tuning, the only difference being they will sound a 4th lower. And given the 27 inch scale length it’s just as playable as any other standard 6 string guitar.
To put this into context, if you were to play an open E chord shape on a Baritone guitar, it would sound a B chord. Or, if you were to play with a standard guitar, you would need to place a capo at the 5th fret to sound chords at the same pitch as a standard guitar playing in open position.
The deep tones come from the Indian Rosewood back and sides combined with a Sitka Spruce top and are amplified using Taylor’s proprietary onboard expression system that works to simply amplify the natural sound of the guitar.
The freboard is made from hard wearing Ebony and the shape of the guitar is that of Taylor’s GS (Grand Symphony); a guitar design known for its deep bass tones, gutsy midrange and thicker upper range.
It comes in two models; the 6 string and the 8 string. The 8 string having an extra octave string on the 3rd and 4th strings creating the chime or twang of a 12 string and allows the high end to remain pure while kicking out a strong low end.
With this added tonality, playing with a standard tuned guitar will open up sonic options. You will need to keep in mind the difference of a 4th and transpose on the fly, but a lot of fun will be had.
To hear just how rich and full the Taylor Baritone sounds, check out this video featuring Co-Founder of Taylor guitars – Bob Taylor and hear a little more about how the Baritone came about.
Learn more about Dan Orr on his Google profile.