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7/8 String & Baritone

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7-string guitars, 8-string guitars and baritone guitars are a surefire way to achieve a thick, weighty and authoritative guitar tone.

Here at GAK, we offer a wide selection of baritone guitars and 7/8-string guitars that are primed for huge, low-down riffs. A baritone guitar and a 7/8-string will have access to lower notes than a traditional guitar that’s in standard tuning. For some genres of Metal, such as Djent, Progressive Metal and Nu Metal, the sounds of the 7-string guitar, 8-string guitar and baritone guitar tightly are woven into their fabric.

Typically, a baritone guitar and a 7/8-string guitar will have a larger body and longer scale length than a traditional six-string guitar. Baritones and extended range guitars use longer, thicker strings so the larger bodies and longer necks ensure a tight, well-intonated sound. Baritone guitars reside between a bass guitar and a traditional guitar when it comes to size and tuning.

We have a huge range of 7/8-string and baritone guitars in-stock and ready to ship UK-wide with next-day delivery. Popular guitar brands that build extended-range and baritone electric guitars include Squier, Gretsch, Epiphone, PRS SE, Danelectro, Schecter, Jackson, Ibanez, ESP and Sterling by Music Man.

Can’t decide between a guitar with 7-strings or 8-strings? Can’t choose between a Gretsch baritone or a Danelectro baritone guitar? Head down to our Brighton store, where our resident guitar experts and ready to set you up with any model you’d like to try. Alternatively, you can contact us online, over the phone and via email at your convenience.

If you’re a bassist that wants to explore the depths of extended-range instruments, take a look at our range of 5-string bass guitars. We also offer a range of high-gain effects pedals, guitar amplifiers, heavy strings and thick plectrums that are geared towards Rock & Metal as well as guitar stands, gigbags and guitar cases to keep your instrument safe.

Who should buy a baritone guitar?

Any guitarist who wants to break out of the box and explore a new sonic range will find a baritone guitar inspiring. If your collection mainly consists of “normal” electric guitars and acoustic guitars, a baritone will present a new range of sounds whilst feeling very familiar.

If you’re a Rock or Metal player, you’ll need a baritone guitar to authentically execute certain genres that rely on that distinctive tone. A baritone with single-coil pickups is more suited to surfy Beach Boy and twangy Duane Eddie-style tones, whilst modern humbucker-equipped baritones are perfect for heavy riffing.

What’s the difference between a baritone guitar and a traditional guitar?

Compared to a traditional six-string acoustic guitar and electric guitar, 7/8-string and baritone guitars usually have larger bodies and longer necks (or scale lengths). The increased scale length is necessary for the thicker strings to stay taut and intonate properly (how in-tune notes are across the neck).

What’s the difference between baritone guitars and extended-range guitars?

A baritone guitar can be thought of as a “standard” guitar with a longer scale length and a slightly larger body to accommodate the lower tuning. A 7-string electric guitar is essentially a traditional one with a Low B string added to increase its range. With a 7-string, you have access to the same notes as both a baritone guitar and a common 6-string guitar.

An 8-string guitar has two additional strings - a Low B and a Low F#. The lowest string on an 8-string guitar is two notes higher than a 4-string bass guitar’s lowest note - so you’re getting into extremely deep territory!

Are baritone guitars and 7/8-string guitars only good for Metal?

Whilst they’re commonly associated with Metal guitarists, the 7/8-string guitar and baritone guitar are used in other genres. For example, Classical and Jazz guitarists have exploited the additional range and lower notes offered by the 7-string guitar.

The baritone electric guitar was introduced by the beloved guitar company Danelectro back in the late 1950s. As a result, the baritone guitar would become a key part of Rockabilly and Surf music. If you’re familiar with Spaghetti Westerns and the iconic soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, you’ll recognise the baritone guitar’s sound instantly.

The history of extended-range guitars stretches back over two centuries. The Russian guitar was a seven-string acoustic guitar tuned to open G that was developed towards the end of the 18th century.

What is a baritone guitar?

A baritone guitar is a guitar that typically has a larger body, longer scale length and heavier internal bracing, allowing it to be tuned to a lower pitch than that of a standard guitar.

Baritone guitars are usually tuned a fourth (B E A D F# B) or a fifth lower (A D G C E A) than standard guitar tuning. If you tried to tune a guitar set up for standard tuning and common 9, 10 or 11 gauge strings down to B or A, the strings would be extremely loose. A guitar like this would be nigh-on unplayable.

Are baritone guitars hard to play?

Whilst there is a slight learning curve to playing a baritone guitar, you can get used to one fairly quickly if you have some experience playing a regular guitar. Baritone guitars use thicker strings, which require more fretting hand strength to press down on.

Although it can be a potential challenge for beginners or players with smaller hands, it can be overcome with practice. The rich, full sound of a baritone guitar is well worth the effort.

What does a baritone guitar sound like?

A baritone guitar is tuned lower and is strung with thicker strings than a traditional guitar. As a result, a baritone guitar will have a deeper, weightier and chunkier tone. Whilst you can string a Fender-style 25.5" or Gibson-style 24.75" scale guitar with a heavier gauge and tune it down, a baritone guitar will have improved intonation and a clearer, more defined sound in those lower tunings. Plus, it’ll feel closer to a standard-tuned guitar when it comes to playability.

Who plays a baritone guitar?

There are many famous baritone guitar players, across a variety of genres. Notable Metal guitarists who have used a baritone guitar include John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Stephen Carpenter (Deftones), Brian Welch (Korn) and Devin Townsend. With artists as diverse as Pat Metheney, Duane Eddie, Brian Setzer, Pat Smear and Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) using it to great effect, it’s clear that it a baritone guitar can be used for more than Metal.

Who plays extended-range guitars?

Extended-range guitars are often played by musicians who want to expand the range of notes they can play on a single instrument. These guitars typically have more strings and/or a different tuning than traditional six-string guitars, allowing for lower notes or higher notes that are out of range of a typical guitar.

Some well-known musicians who play extended-range guitars include Mark Holcomb, who plays an 8-string PRS guitar, and Steve Vai, who has used a variety of extended-range guitars throughout his career, such as his Ibanez Universe signature model. Multi-scale guitars are also becoming increasingly popular among musicians who play extended-range guitars, as the varying scale lengths can help improve intonation and playability.

In short, musicians who want to explore a wider range of musical possibilities and push the boundaries of traditional guitar playing are often drawn to extended-range guitars, including those who play in genres such as Metal, Prog Rock, and Jazz.