If you’re looking for recommendations for extra-long guitar strings, you’ve come to the right post!
Long-Scale Guitars, aka Baritone Guitars
Before we get into this, let’s first sort some things out. We first need to think of the scale length. This is roughly the length of usable parts of strings on guitars. Practically, it’s the length from the nut and to where the string touches the saddle on the bridge.
Now, each string will practically have a different length. This is because saddles are never aligned with one another. So the more precise way to calculate scale length would be to measure the distance between the nut and the 12th fret and then double it.
Your regular guitars come with a scale length anywhere between 24 and 25.5 inches. For acoustic guitar, it’s also up to 25.5 inches, but the choice is narrower.
The standard for most Fender or Fender-style guitars is 25.5 inches. For Gibson or Gibson-style guitars, it’s 24.75 inches. These are the most common scale length variants among electric guitars. 7-string guitars are usually at 25.5 inches.
Long-scale guitars also exist. These are 26.5 inches or more and we popularly call them baritone guitars. Most commonly, their scale length is 27 inches. However, they can go up to 30 inches.
Extra-Long Scale Guitars
But you may also stumble upon some super-long variants. These aren’t that common and are usually experimental. They can also come with extra strings, up to 10 or even more.
As a result, the scale length may be as long as with standard bass guitars and maybe even longer than that. They might feel weird to play, almost like a different instrument.
Now, there’s one issue when it comes to these types of weird guitars. You may have a hard time finding strings for them. In fact, there’s some chance you won’t find any at all. In some particular cases, the highest string’s tuning machine is so far, a regular string won’t make it.
Are There Strings for Extra-Long Scale Guitars?
As far as standard guitar strings go, they’re relatively long. They’re designed for regular and long-scale guitars. You can take any string set and put it on a 6-string baritone guitar. However, it’s recommended to use thicker gauges, but that’s another topic.
But as I mentioned, in some rare instances, you might stumble upon issues. Some experimental or just very rare guitars might have a weird design. A tuning machine may be so far away from the bridge that you can’t fit a string in it. Or, you could, but you end up with very little maneuverability for windings.
If you’re looking for a solution, I have kind of bad news for you. There aren’t any standard guitar string brands that can get you covered here. When talking about extra-long strings, it usually comes down to some custom string builders.
So Is There a Solution?
Look, it’s not easy to find parts or anything else for non-standard instruments. This also goes for strings. The good news, however, is that there are some potential solutions.
The simplest one is using long-scale banjo strings. This only comes as a solution for higher strings. But chances are that you’re having troubles with them anyway. The only thing you need to take care of is the loop end typical of banjo strings. You can carefully adjust them by adding ball-ends of guitar strings to them.
Some have also suggested using piano strings. But this isn’t exactly the best option out there. They’d be incredibly difficult to play on a guitar. And pickups would have a hard time amplifying them properly.
You can try some of the Stringjoy sets for baritone guitars. However, I’m not sure they increased the length much.
Another solution is to go over at JustStrings.com and contact them directly via email. There’s an abundance of stuff that they offer, it might be worth a shot.
Additionally, you can try and find a custom string builder. However, bear in mind that this won’t be cheap. Making a special order for one customer isn’t that simple. Additionally, you’d probably need to order more than one string set.
Extra Long Guitar Strings: Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you think through some options for extra-long guitar strings.
And if you want to read more about strings on this blog, check out:
- Best Strings for Floyd Rose
- D’Addario vs Elixir
- D’Addario String Color Code
- Best Strings for Seagull S6
Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another guitar-related topic!