Warmoth baritone necks (and tuning, in general)



I was wondering a couple of things:

1. How are baritone guitars tuned? I keep seeing B-to-B referenced all over the place, but is that carved-in-stone? Is A-to-A possible? Is it a matter of string gauge or neck/scale length?

I know Pete Anderson played an A-to-A baritone on some Dwight Yoakam stuff ("Little Ways") and I've heard him talk about it (I think he's even got a Tom Anderson baritone guitar, tuned to C).

2. The baritone Tele necks that Warmoth sells...what do these allow for? Pretty much whatever you want, depending on string gauge?

Any people here with Warmoth baritones NOT tuned to B? What are you tuned to, and what strings are you using (brand and gauge)?

Am I making any sense? Can you tune it to whatever you want (even six-string "tic tac" low E-to-E), depending on the strings you choose?



Active member
Well, if you think about it, the same exact mechanics are being used and adjusted, just on a larger scale.  Simply put, vary the string guage and the amount of slack and you can do whatever you want.  Want to go lower without the strings feeling to slinky?  Go up a guage or two and don't give too much slack.

nathan a

Senior member
Warmoth baritone necks are 28.5" scale. Totally long enough for A-A tuning. If you wanted to do that, I'd recommend the La Bella 15-80 gauge set.

Think about it, you can take a standard guitar and do alternative tunings. So you can do the same with baritones. Want to tune to open G, with the 6 string actually down to G instead of D? Awesome.


That's good to know. Thanks for the info. I'm actually thinking about putting one of these together first, just because it seems more straightforward and more forgiving in some aspects (and I know someone who would totally put it to use, and probably buy it from me eventually).

My idea (anyone detecting a theme here?)   :icon_biggrin:

What can I say...I likes my sparkles, pearloid and chickenhead knobs! And as much as I love Teles, I wanted to do something a bit different, and not use that body style for this.


My main inspiration for this is that neat little Squier '51 guitar. Again, I'm a sucker for those large, 50's P-Bass pickguards and Tele headstocks (even on a double-cutaway guitar...that Fender T90 Thinline does a similar thing, even though its horns aren't horizontally offset).

Anyway, the above is modeled after the Squier '51 (Strat body, large pickguard, 50's P-Bass control plate, Tele headstock, etc.). But I wanted to do the following:

- I love how the lone Tele bridge pickup on those Tom Anderson "T" guitars look...they're not built into a Tele style bridge, they're just out there by themselves, sitting in the Tele bridge pickup cavity and there's a more Strat-like bridge (hardtail or tremolo) used instead. Click here for pic!. I just think it's a neat look.

- Warmoth is currently showing those "recessed Tune-O-Matic and string-through body routes" on their home page, and I also love that look as well.

So that's what is going on with the above.

Oh, and the body will be hollow and that's a faux F-hole (which conforms and follows the forearm contour, which makes no sense at all physically...but it'll be funny).

Tuned down to A-to-A. So if you're playing a little honky-tonk !-IV-V shuffle in the key of "A", you'd play in comfortable, familiar "E, A and B" type positions/fingerings. If you're playing in C or D, you'd finger in G or A patterns respectively.

Looks like it might involve a bit of tweaking or customization (getting Warmoth to route that short '51 P-Bass type of control cavity for that particular control plate, for example). I'm assuming they can do little things like that, or work with customers on some non-standard tweaks? The pickguard would have to be designed/drawn once everything is assembled and in place, I suppose...I can do that with cardboard and Adobe Illustrator easily enough. I've seen some outfits online that accept digital files for custom pickguard creation. I'll probably have to do that when the time comes.

And here was my idea on the knobs (not sure yet where the input jack is going...is a Strat body too rounded to have a standard Tele-style jack on the side?): could I make the rear one a three-position rotary switch (bridge, both and neck), and then the front one (nearest the neck) would be a volume. I had a Dano DC-3 several years ago and it had a large 7-position rotary dial thingie. If I could just have it be a three-way, with short travel (10:00, 12:00 and 2:00, maybe, looking at the thing, straight on? In the illustration above, it's in the 2:00 "neck pickup" position).

Anyway...more sparkly nuttiness.


Any of you experienced, super-knowledgeable guys here see any physical or logistical reason the above wouldn't work? That Tune-O-Matic thing is recessed, and Warmoth's site says it doesn't require the usual neck pocket tilt that the standard Tune-O-Matic usage on a flat-faced guitar would require. But otherwise, it is workable/feasible, from what you can see?