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  #1  
Old 12-13-2017, 09:50 AM
JohnnySmash JohnnySmash is offline
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Default Tenor Guitar Information Wanted

Since I converted an old 6 string guitar to a 4 string I have developed a desire to play a real tenor guitar. I would like any and all information on where to buy, what to buy, books/scores, and names of people who play that are recorded. Really anything else good or bad you can think of about a tenor guitar.

Comments from anyone who plays or did play a tenor guitar are most welcome and desired.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:46 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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Not real common but places like Elderly Instruments usually have a decent selection of new and used.

As far as playing, you have to decide what tuning you will use. CGDA, DGBE,and GDAE are all popular. The advantage of GDAE is that it is the same a mandolin so chords, music, tab, and most instruction is transferrable. DGBE is the same as the 4 highest during on a six string so that makes it easier as well.

Don't get too tempted by the inexpensive models, cheap tenors v=can sound "plunky". The good ones have a full, resonant sound.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:04 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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  • CGDA is traditional tenor guitar/banjo tuning - chord/fingering patterns are identical to mandola, or mandolin a fifth lower (notes are fingered the same as mando but will have different names - you'll need to mentally transpose);
  • "Irish" GDAE will require heavier strings (TMK John Pearse makes a dedicated set), as well as a setup and possibly a re-compensated saddle in order to intonate properly;
  • "Chicago" DGBE is fairly common - an 11-15-22W-30 set should work for most 23" scale instruments, 12-16-24W-32 for short (20-21") scale;
  • Drop-G tenor uke tuning (GCEA low-to-high) is a great alternative if you're going to be using it for ensemble work, lending a sheen and sparkle to the high end - I'd only do this one on a fairly robustly-built instrument, though, keep the strings as light as possible consistent with decent tone (9-12-18W-22W should work on ~23" scale, 10-13-18W-24 on a short-scale) and keep an eye on the top/bridge and neck...
Hope this helps...
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:07 AM
JohnnySmash JohnnySmash is offline
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Searching around on internet I came upon the idea of playing the middle four strings of a guitar, but on a tenor guitar. A D G B or C. Reasoning was to get a warmer sound on the lower notes. I plan to try that tonight. Comments welcome.

NEKO case is a beautiful lady with a nice voice. However, her songs are not my thing. I searched everywhere on u tube to fine her singing a slow, melow, number with negative results. I also like finger picking or flat picking more than just strumming. I noticed many tenor players are flatpickers. Tonight I did find myself listening to her again - maybe it is catching.
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:59 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnySmash View Post
Searching around on internet I came upon the idea of playing the middle four strings of a guitar, but on a tenor guitar. A D G B or C. Reasoning was to get a warmer sound on the lower notes. I plan to try that tonight. Comments welcome.

NEKO case is a beautiful lady with a nice voice. However, her songs are not my thing. I searched everywhere on u tube to fine her singing a slow, melow, number with negative results. I also like finger picking or flat picking more than just strumming. I noticed many tenor players are flatpickers. Tonight I did find myself listening to her again - maybe it is catching.
Tenors will be a 21" to 23" scale length. The tuning you mentioned will be a bit floppy. If you want those open notes, CGDA would be the choice. Why even get a tenor if you want it to sound like a six string?
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:32 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnySmash View Post
Since I converted an old 6 string guitar to a 4 string I have developed a desire to play a real tenor guitar. I would like any and all information on where to buy, what to buy, books/scores, and names of people who play that are recorded. Really anything else good or bad you can think of about a tenor guitar.

Comments from anyone who plays or did play a tenor guitar are most welcome and desired.
Nick Reynolds of The Kingston Trio resurrected the tenor guitar back in the late 1950s. Listen to his great rhythm playing during the Guard/Stewart era Kingston Trios.

The Kingston Trio Place
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2017, 07:39 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnySmash View Post
Since I converted an old 6 string guitar to a 4 string I have developed a desire to play a real tenor guitar. I would like any and all information on where to buy, what to buy, books/scores, and names of people who play that are recorded. Really anything else good or bad you can think of about a tenor guitar.

Comments from anyone who plays or did play a tenor guitar are most welcome and desired.
Maybe this is just too obvious, but have you exhausted the resources at:

http://tenorguitar.com/
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:44 PM
Hoyt Hoyt is offline
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There is also a tenor guitar group on mandolincafe.com
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2018, 11:28 PM
JohnnySmash JohnnySmash is offline
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[QUOTE=Steve DeRosa;5567802][LIST][*]CGDA is traditional tenor guitar/banjo tuning

I am using an old Paramount Guitar, BM 410 N with 4 strings, DGBE, as my four string tenor guitar. It has a scale length of 25" to maybe 25.5", nut to bridge. (I am using tape measure. Rulers grow legs around here.) I want to change the tuning to CGDA. Question is, if I buy a set of Tenor Guitar Strings, will they be long enough? If I buy loose strings, what size should I buy? Will these strings hurt the guitar in any way? It is old but still a good guitar. Please advise. Thank you.

JohnnySmash
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