New from Collings: The Baritone and the Parlor
Over the past couple of decades, Collings has earned a reputation for making some of the finest dreadnoughts and OMs around. In fact, those guitars are so popular, they tend to overshadow some of the other fine instruments they build. These two recently introduced Collings models demonstrate that our pals in Austin, Texas create far more than just a couple of different 14-fret models. The diminutive Collings Parlor is barely 12 inches wide, with a comfy short scale of only 24 1/2 inches. The Collings Baritone is based on the classic 12-fret Dreadnought shape but to accomodate the 27 1/2 inch string scale they lengthened the neck to 13 frets. The long scale, fat strings and low tuning makes it a sound like a very different instrument.
If you already have a dreadnought or an OM you might find one of these guitars can really expand your sonic pallet. Put a capo on the fifth fret of the Collings Parlor and you’ve got a lovely tenor-voiced tone (about the same range as a mandola). The Collings Baritone will enable you to play low-pitched fills and runs that are well below the tones you expect to hear from a guitar (the usual tuning is B, E, A, D, F#, B). If you do home recordings, for instance, you can produce a tonal range closer to that of a string quartet, rather than sounding like three people all playing similar guitars in the same tuning.
Whether you record, play strictly solo, or enjoy playing with other musicians, these guitars expand your range dramatically. You may want to experiment with new ways to use them, but you don’t have to learn how to play a new instrument, they still play like guitars.