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  #1  
Old 04-29-2021, 03:09 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Default 4 string guitar

Anyone know anything about 4 string guitars? Are they the same as Baratone Ukes? How are they tuned? and so forth................
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Old 04-29-2021, 03:24 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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You're probably seeing a tenor guitar. There are a variety of tunings. They differ from a uke in that they are larger than a bari uke and are usually built for steel strings.
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Old 04-29-2021, 08:36 PM
Shaneh Shaneh is offline
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I tune mine like a octave mandolin for ease of transition
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:24 PM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
You're probably seeing a tenor guitar. There are a variety of tunings. They differ from a uke in that they are larger than a bari uke and are usually built for steel strings.
I think they are tuned in fifths like CGDA.
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:50 PM
guitarwebguy guitarwebguy is offline
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Our string bass player has one and uses Chicago tuning (top 4 of a guitar), he also plays a double tenor (8 strings) that is Chicago tuned as pairs … like a guitar, there are a lot of alternative tunings
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Old 04-30-2021, 01:29 PM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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Emerald guitars had a red X7 tenor guitar for sale on their stock guitars page a year or so ago.
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Old 04-30-2021, 02:30 PM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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tenorguitar.com

mandolincafe.com


The tenorguitar site is general resource.

Mandolincafe has a very active tenor guitar sub forum. (includes tenor banjo)


The most common use these days is for Celtic music tuned GDAE an octave below mandolin and violin.


Other users are ukulele players looking for louder instruments to play ensemble without having to relearn the fretboard. Standard ukulele (13-17" scale) is gCEA or GCEA and baritone uke (20" scale) is DGBE.


Plectrum guitars (very rare today) have four metal strings and a long 25-28" scale. Originally tuned DGBD for players doubling between banjo and guitar. Or "Chicago" DGBE the treble side of guitar.


Tenor guitars that follow the early 1900s Martin OO design have four metal strings and 20-23" scale.

"Irish" tenor guitars have four metal strings and 19-21" strings.


The first tenor guitars were tuned C3G3D4A5 the same as tenor banjo, mandola, viola.

Irish tenor tuning is G3D4A5E5 an octave below mandolin and violin.


Back to your question:
- Can adapt guitar strings to tune as baritone uke DGBE or standard uke GCAE
- Many stock string sets available to tune as standard tenor guitar CGDA or irish tenor guitar GDAE
- General body size is OO or O with 19-23" neck
- Carbon fibre possibilities are Emerald or KLOS (wood neck)

.
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Last edited by casualmusic; 04-30-2021 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 04-30-2021, 03:08 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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I'm a bit confused regarding the variability of tuning, i.e. how the same instrument can be tuned various ways. Can a concert ukulele be tuned like a baritone (with baritone strings)?
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Old 04-30-2021, 03:26 PM
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LyleGorch LyleGorch is offline
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Could we be looking at a Terz, Marty Robbins was noted for his.
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Old 04-30-2021, 03:54 PM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
I'm a bit confused regarding the variability of tuning, i.e. how the same instrument can be tuned various ways. Can a concert ukulele be tuned like a baritone (with baritone strings)?

Yes by tinkering with string thickness and tension.

One example is tweaking an EADGBE set to DADGAD by slackening three of the strings.


For a concert uke, start with a set of linear GCEA strings. Linear means that the G string is thicker that the C string.

Set the skinny À string aside. Install the GCE strings on the treble side. Add a string thicker than G on the bass side and tune it to D. Fine tune to DGBE.

Be aware that the concert uke body may be too small to give a great sounding D.

Cheers

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Old 04-30-2021, 04:02 PM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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I was introduced to tenor guitar by seeing Ani DiFranco play one early in her career (she also introduced me to the Alvarez Yairi guitars). I've seen and played a few, usually tuned DGBE like the 4 higher strings on a 6-string. Just like a uke, that means you can translate open chord shapes from those 4 strings of a guitar directly over (although a uke is tuned differently, making those shapes different voices, the intervals are the same, i.e. 4th-3rd-4th). They can be a lot of fun.

I currently own a mid-grade baritone uke that's tuned the same way, with a low D string instead of the octave higher. I use it primarily for traveling, when my Rainsong Parlor is too big to carry, but it's great to goof off with at home also.
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Old 04-30-2021, 05:19 PM
Caddy Caddy is offline
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I have a pretty nice Kala tenor guitar. A lot of fun to play. The normal tuning is in fifths (CGDA). My mandolin and fiddle also tune in fifths but (GDAE) so chord shapes are alike but a fifth different so a C chord on the tenor guitar is a G chord on the mandolin. Not too hard to get used to. A tenor guitar is best used in its normal CGDA tuning because that way it has different chord voicings so (inversions) than a 6 string guitar. That gives it its own space and sound when play with a six string. Chicago tuning just sounds too much like a capoed six string. Fun instruments.
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Old 04-30-2021, 05:32 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Thanks for all the response. I bought my daughter the Enya Concert Uke and then realized that she is used to guitar tuning and perhaps I should have bought her a Baritone. I will probably order her some baritone strings.
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Old 05-01-2021, 05:45 AM
mountainmaster mountainmaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
Thanks for all the response. I bought my daughter the Enya Concert Uke and then realized that she is used to guitar tuning and perhaps I should have bought her a Baritone. I will probably order her some baritone strings.
Wouldn't baritone strings be too flabby on a shorter scale concert uke?
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Old 05-01-2021, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainmaster View Post
Wouldn't baritone strings be too flabby on a shorter scale concert uke?
Yes - that’s probably not going to work at all.

Evan, the intervals between the strings on the concert uke are the same as a guitar, so your daughter can use regular guitar chord shapes. They’ll just sound a fourth higher (assuming GCEA tuning). She’ll also have the delight of that octave G, which, for me, gives the ukulele its sparkle.

If she really wants to get to DGBE, then casualmusic has suggested a possible method above.
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