A baritone guitar is tuned lower than the standard E A D G B E, either a perfect fifth below (A D G C E A), a perfect fourth below (B E A D F# B), or a major third below (C F A# D# G C). This gives a sexy Eartha Kitt growl for playing low-down riffs, along with the ability to play full chords that can bring on the goosebumps. Look Eartha up on YouTube if you haven’t heard her.
The chord shapes are the same as the standard guitar, but of course if you play a C shape you aren’t playing a C chord.
Baritones are for advanced players because you need to be able to transpose chord sequences quickly if you want to play with other people. There’s not a lot of point in playing higher up the fretboard, although the massive strings and big soundbox do give a different tone. Did I say massive strings? I use an Elixir set measuring 0.070, 0.059, 0.047, 0.030, 0.022, and 0.016 that make standard strings feel tiny.
The scale length used for this guitar is 26 1/8″ (663.6mm) and true baritone is tuned to a major third lower than standard. For either of the lower tunings I would recommend a longer scale length again.
The soundbox is my Jumbo design.