The 9-String Baritone Acoustic Guitar

A few weeks ago, I entered Guitar Center and saw an odd thing hanging on the wall of the acoustic room: an acoustic guitar with eight strings.  I walked over to investigate and noticed that it had a six-string setup (like a normal guitar) but two stings in the middle were doubled with a higher octave string (like a 12-string); also, it was “baritone tuned,” which means that it plays lower notes.  I grabbed it and Christine grabbed a normal guitar, and the two guitars made wonderful sounds together.  I was in love.

But, I don’t pay $3,000 for guitars.  That’s outrageous.  So I wondered if I could build one, myself.  I considered the cost of adding tuning pins to one of my guitars, but when I remembered how difficult it would be to drill correct holes at the bottom of the guitar for the strings I realized that this project was beyond me – I’m no carpenter.

Then, someone recommended I just buy a 12-string and only string eight of the strings.  Why didn’t I think of that?  So, I searched Craig’s list and immediately found a nice acoustic 12-string for sale.  It was very well priced.  It’s worn, and it’s going to need some repairs in the next few years, but it was a great deal.  I went home and started stringing it up immediately.

But I decided that eight strings wasn’t going to do it, so I went with nine.  I might have the first 9-string baritone guitar.  (Of course, I stole the idea from Taylor.)  It has a huge sound when strummed because of the low strings (it has a low ‘B’ that rumbles very loudly) and the high strings that resound together like a symphony.  I’m in love with my creation.  And it sounds good when I run it through my acoustic pedal board.  It’s taken a while, but I’m finally crafting the sounds I always wanted to hear.

Besides, Taylor doesn’t make one in red.

  2 comments for “The 9-String Baritone Acoustic Guitar

  1. September 5, 2011 at 2:22 am

    That sounds amazing. Maybe I'll actually get to hear you play again someday.


  2. January 20, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Where did you find a twelve string baritone? I have been looking everywhere and I can't find one


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