Convert your electric guitar to a Baritone...Sort of...
Updated: May 11
I don't know about you but I crave the deep dark sounds that come from a baritone guitar! Whether it's heavy metal or even country or blues emanating from strings to the amp, it produces a sound that a standard 6 string can't achieve.
That said (and don't laugh), I don't own a baritone guitar. But I want one... So I embarked on a mini quest to get a similar sound and feel by semi converting my Oscar Schmidt Delta King into a pseudo Baritone! All I did was change the strings to Ernie Ball Not Even Slinky 12 to 56 gauge with a Plain unwound G. Look for the "P" next to the G string on the package. You can use any brand you want, I just happen to really like Ernie Ball.
It seemed to present no issues at the nut or bridge with the thicker low E string.
I first tried to tune down to Bb standard but the strings were so 'flubby' it was kind of unplayable. So I tuned up to C standard and it's much better. Still a little loose but not near as bad when compared to the Bb tuning. Is this going to sound as good and have the proper string tension like an off-the-shelf baritone guitar? Not a chance! But I do use this guitar regularly on my recordings when it calls for a super low and awesome sound like it produces. Side note, my Oscar Schmidt has a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge and a Lace Sensor single coil in the neck position.
Another option that you could use with a Strat or a Strat-style with a standard neck pocket would be a Baritone conversion neck. These necks will convert your guitar to the proper baritone scale without having to re-position the bridge. But I only spent around $6.00 for a set of strings so for my purposes I opted out of buying a neck. In the future I will probably buy an actual Baritone guitar!
So have fun and experiment! Use any guitar you want to for this. The one I used happens to be my least expensive guitar but that doesn't mean I don't love it. And also I did zero modifications to add thicker strings to it. If you go super thick (not sure of the gauges) be aware that you may have to file the nut. So you might not want to do that to your custom shop Stratocaster.
There are no rules to this as far as I am concerned. Feel free to comment below and share some of your own ideas/experiences! Stay tuned for more music making ideas!
Disclaimer: There are a few links within this article that take you to a merchant where I would make a small commission if it leads to a sale.
Here's a screencast where I used the Oscar Schmidt, tuned to D. Played through Positive Grid Bias FX2 software. Sounds great!