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I had a question about the Baritone guitar, and I thought, "What better place to post this question than here?"  If I don't know, maybe some others don't as well...

Anyway, the Baritone guitar is tuned 5 steps lower than standard - instead of E A D G B E, the strings are tuned to B E A D F# B.  So, if one were to get one of these (not likely in the near future for me, but I want to understand how it works), how does one play it?  For example, obviously for a ukulele or tenor guitar (4 strings), one uses different chord forms than for a six string.  And, if one is using "open E tuning" (or any open tuning), one varies the chord played by moving the index finger barre up and down the fretboard.

But, with a Baritone, what does one do, especially if playing with someone who is playing a "normal" guitar? 

Are these statements accurate?

In a "normal" guitar, the open strings are in the key of "C".  So, on a Baritone, are the open strings in the key of "G"?

Is it true, for example, that when you fret a "normal" G chord form on a Baritone, you're playing a D?  And, if you fret a "normal" D, it would be an A on a Baritone?  If so, then, if one has a Baritone guitar, one just uses the normal chord forms, realizing that you have to play a shape 5 steps lower on a Baritone than your friend is playing on a "normal" guitar in order to be playing the same chord?  Is this how it works?  Or am I confused?

This is how it would work out (with my possibly confused understanding):

If "normal" guitarist plays:                    Baritone guitarist plays:

A   chord form                                       E    chord form

B   chord form                                       F#  chord form

C   chord form                                       G   chord form

D   chord form                                       A   chord form

E   chord form                                       B   chord form

F   chord form                                       C   chord form

G   chord form                                       D   chord form


Can anyone tell me if this is correct, or, if wrong, how it does work?  Thanks!


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Replies to This Discussion

I don't know if what you propose is true, but I am sure interested to find out!  I will check back in soon!  Thanks for asking about this as it has puzzled me too!  Edward


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