1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Baritone Jaguar

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rick Martin, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. I was playing around with the Fender Jaguar Baritone Guitar at a local shop yesterday and it was a pretty cool axe. How is it used musically? Is it used instead of a bass? Are there any classic songs that have it? Someone said Jack Bruce used one. On what songs?
  2. Wolf


    Jan 30, 2004
    It's a "Fender Bass VI". Was played with a pick. I think it would be most suitable for traditional unison-style rockn'roll guitar&bass compin'. Don't know of any specific recordings, but I could probably recognize that sound if I hear it...

    I'm starting to think all those old-timin' bassists were a bunch of sissies. Paul McCartny's short-scale fiddle, and this baritone - they couldn't handle a REAL bass! ; )
  3. DannyB


    Aug 17, 2004
    I believe that the Fender Bass VI and the Jaguar Baritone are two different beasts altogether...

    The Jaguar Baritone is basically a standard Jaguar with a longer neck and thicker strings, tuned down a fifth from standard guitar tuning, and played by guitarists.

    The Bass VI, although very close in appearance, can be distinguished by the lack of controls in the top horn, a third pickup, and that it was used more by early "bassists". Unlike a baritone guitar, the Bass VI is tuned a complete octave lower than a guitar across the board (in most cases)

    Here is a picture of the Jaguar Baritone here, as compared to the Bass VI shown above:

  4. I think the Jaguar Baritone is also tuned EADGBE like a guitar.
  5. you are correct rick, its eadgbe like a guitar, only an octave lower. as for how it is used musically, you can play any bassline you want with it, and it also has a low cut switch, so you can play it like a baritone guitar without taking up much of the bass's frequencies.
    i don't think there are any songs out there with the baritone jag out, but the songs with a bass VI that stick out to me is cream's strange brew and i feel free...actually i suppose that all of cream's first record (fresh cream) was recorded with a bass VI. if you can find the music video for strange brew, you can see it is psuedo-action...i don't think they are actually playing their instruments in that one, but you can see it the bass VI action.
    btw, the baritone jag was put out be fender as an updated bass VI, and they do sound the same.
  6. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    For a healthy dose of the Fender Bass IV, listen to some Cure. Some of their songs from the late 80s have a build up intro, i.e. the first few bars are drums and bass only, then the Bass IV comes in, and then the other instruments. I'm not really sure if they put the Bass IV through any effects or how they tuned it, though.

    Songs you can hear the Bass IV on (correct me if I'm wrong:)
    Just like Heaven, Inbetween Days, Lullaby ... and others.
  7. I don't need one, I can't afford one, but hot damn, I want one!
  8. DannyB


    Aug 17, 2004
    Hmm, my bad. I was thinking that the Jaguar baritone, like most other "baritone" guitars was tuned B thru B... hence it being called "baritone" and not "bass". That and the scale length seems to be shorter on the Jag than the Bass VI

    Factory specs are a 28.5" scale, strings .095-.025.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but could you loosen a .095 enough on a 28.5" scale to be playable at a standard "bass" E ???

    I repeat, maybe I'm wrong. I am wrong frequently. Sorry if I am :)
  9. JohnnyA


    Aug 21, 2004
    John 5 apparently used a new Baritone Jag on some of the newer Marilyn Manson tracks.

  10. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
    Los Pirata's bass player Jesus Sanches plays a Bass VI on stage. But I'm not shure if their cd was recorded with it.

    Anyway, here you can get some really cool MP3s, if you like Ska/Surf music/punk kind of music.
  11. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I've owned several BassVIs from different makers. Currently I have a Jerry Jones Longhorn BassVI and a Gretsch SynchroBassVI. The Gibson EB-6 is my "holy grail", the solidbody version, but I'd take the hollowbody too.
  12. I'm getting the idea that these things are rare birds and not often seen or heard. I wonder how many Fender sells in a year.
  13. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I just got a brand new Jaguar Baritone for $600 with gig bag at my local music store's twice-a-year blowout sale. It's Crafted in Japan--super solid, with sturdy hardware--and tuned EADGBE, an octave below a guitar. It has a stop tailpiece and Tune-O-Matic bridge, which give it a really resonant, sustaining tone--even unplugged. I haven't really heard anything good about the Bass VI's tremolo system so I'm glad mine's a hardtail. The Jag Bari has two single coils (as oppose to the Bass VI's 3) and the actual scale frum nut to bridge saddles is 29" (I believe the Bass VI is 30").

    I've been playing bass and guitar for about 18 years and I've always wanted a hybrid of the two. I'd tried the reissue Danelectro bass VI a few years ago--it was interesting but kinda felt like a toy. I'm a huge fan of both Jack Bruce and Bill Laswell who both used Bass VI's at various points in their careers. I've had 6 string contrabasses and I have a 7 string Groove Tools but for me they're just too big. I want the extended range so I can do chord-melody and counterpoint. For me, it makes sense to have narrow string spacing and a shorter scale length. This is a great instrument for playing with a pick.

    Some songs I've written on the guitar translate very well to the Jag. I actually brought it to a jazz gig last night (with trumpet and guitar) where I usually play upright. It doesn't give the most authentic jazz tone ever, but I (and everyone else) dug it. It was really easy to play chord extensions on songs like Nefertiti. It may not be the instrument I play at every gig, but it's a very tasty flavor to have in the mix.
  14. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I've had thoughts of getting one of those, can you give us an update after you've had it a while?
  15. Avante makes a baritone and so does ibanez. Is the jag the only one that tunes to E instead of B? Here's a link. The Avante is acoustic. May be a good alternative to the projection issues.

  16. ZiggaDigga


    Dec 3, 2004
    The guitarist in my band has a Jaguar Bari, we have a few songs that he plays with it.
    It's a nice sound and works well with my Stingray....
  17. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I just got a Danelectro reissue. I like it, its a blast to play. You can play chords easily, get some great baritone guitar sounds, and still play it like a bass too. Very cool.

    By the way, the main guitar riff on Aerosmith's Back in the Saddle was played by Joe Perry on a Fender Bass VI. On the recent live Aerosmith DVD Perry plays an Ernie Ball Silhouette bass on that song, which is their version of the Bass VI.
  18. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    My guitar player thought of buying one (he tunes BF#BEG#C#) and finally decided to get a Les Paul baritone (by the way, absolutely amazing guitar!). I think it's meant to be used as a guitar (I'm positive it can) as it's scale is 28". The MusicMan Silhouette baritone is 29" and I think that is a nice instrument to use as a piccolo bass.

  19. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
  20. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    The Fender Bass IV and the Dano were very popular in the 60's and 70's in Nashville recording studios. They were used as a "tic tac" bass for country recordings. An upright bass would be recorded for the root and fundamental notes and the 6 string would double it and do the walking parts.
    Now most musicians use the 6 string as a seperate instrument from the bass. Robert Smith of the Cure uses a Fender Bass IV quite a bit, playing it through a Peavey guitar amp and 4x12 speaker. Watch the Cure's "Picture Show" or "Trilogy Live" to see it in action. Schecter now has a Robert Smith signature baritone guitar. Peter Hook of New Order plays a Shergold 6 string bass live as well. Joe Perry used a Gibson EB-6 on "Back in the Saddle" and Slash used a Fender Bass IV on "Welcome to the Jungle".The six string bass is a great heavy sounding instrument.