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  #1  
Old 08-22-2021, 07:23 AM
mrjop1975 mrjop1975 is offline
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Default How did you find out about tenor guitars?

I am wondering how people that discovered and came to playing the 4 string tenor guitar? For me, I saw it online and decided it would be fun to try, and got some chord books and got a Kala model. I decided to stick with standard tenor tuning CGDA just for different chord voicings even if I was just playing in the key of C.
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Old 08-22-2021, 07:48 AM
bfm612 bfm612 is offline
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I don’t play one, but the first time I heard of them was from seeing Neko Case play one maybe during her Fox Confessor tour. I’ve always been tempted to try one out.
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Old 08-22-2021, 08:19 AM
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brad4d8 brad4d8 is offline
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A lot of us "old folkies" ran across the tenor guitar from listening to the Kingston Trio with Nick Reynolds on tenor. He capoed high up the neck, IIRC, to provide high harmony. I had a tenor for a while, but never really got into it. I was also familiar with John Mills, Sr. (tenor player with his sons in the Mills Bros), Tiny Grimes and Eddie Condon, although the latter played a Plectrum Guitar and not a tenor. Plectrum has a longer scale and a different tuning. Ozzie Nelson (known as an alto sax man and band leader before the radio and TV shows) played tenor guitar on some of Rick's records.
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Old 08-22-2021, 08:55 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Tiny Grimes for me.

I don't have one, but I have a Recording King parlor I recently went to 4 strings with, centered, and its a ton of fun. I'm using Chicago tuning, because I'm not ready to start moving notes around...yet.
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Old 08-22-2021, 09:05 AM
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hubcapsc hubcapsc is offline
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It is my hobby to look at J-35s on the Internet ...

I saw an old Gibson tenor a few weeks ago that
was described as being a tenor neck on a J-35
body... made that way? modified? Ida know.

-Mike
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Old 08-22-2021, 09:17 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Neko Case piqued my curiosity, but it was John Lawlor and his interview with Jason Verlinde at Fretboard Journal that provided a proper introduction and education. Well worth listening the podcast.

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Old 08-23-2021, 04:11 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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I second the recognition for Nick Reynolds playing the tenor guitar. I first remember seeing Nick playing one in The Kingston Trio back in 1958, and I think Nick could be credited with renewing some interest in the tenor guitar way back then.
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Old 08-24-2021, 06:39 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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When I started mandolin in 2008 I went to weekly acoustic jams with a folk/bluegrass/old time club. One of the guys there played tenor guitar. One of his friends kidded him about playing "half a guitar." He would always say "it's really 3/4 of a guitar."

Now that four course, fifths-tuned instruments have become my main thing (violin, viola, mandolin, resonator mandolin, banjolin, mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello) I've thought about tenor guitar more, but still have no plans to get one.

There are a few tenor guitar oriented fora and sub-fora out there for anyone that really wants to dive in.
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Old 08-25-2021, 04:15 PM
packmule packmule is offline
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I play irish traditional music on the tenor banjo and one of my favourite banjo players, who I also took lessons from had a tenor guitar. It seems like most of the tenor banjo players I admire in irish trad music usually have at least one or two tracks featuring tenor guitar on their albums and it just peaked my interest.
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Old 08-26-2021, 12:50 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Kingston Trio.
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Old 08-26-2021, 04:32 PM
neilca neilca is offline
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I started my journey playing a mandolin. My teacher/drinking buddy talked me into trying guitar, so I got a tenor since it was tuned the same a s the mandolin. Now I have moved on to the six string.
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Old 09-04-2021, 08:53 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjop1975 View Post
I am wondering how people that discovered and came to playing the 4 string tenor guitar? For me, I saw it online and decided it would be fun to try, and got some chord books and got a Kala model. I decided to stick with standard tenor tuning CGDA just for different chord voicings even if I was just playing in the key of C.
I noticed them in the 1960's in music stores and magazines, but what informed me the most was the 1930 Gibson L-5 I bought from the daughter of the original owner.

The Master Model Label says TGL-5, and it was indeed built as a tenor guitar in 1930, along with 4 other TGL-5's. Mine was converted to 6 string at the factory in 1933 according to the Gibson ledgers.

It still has a fret marker on the 10th fret; a vestige of the banjo. Tenor guitars were developed to entice banjo players to have the 'new sound' without having to learn a new instrument during the 1920's when banjo HAD been the king of rhythm ensembles.

Regards,
Howard Emerson
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:45 AM
Fathand Fathand is offline
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A friend of mine who was a "mover" was given one on a job. It was a Kalamazoo , probably KTG 11 and near worthless in 1980/81. He gave it to me for changing the strings on his guitar. Being a banjo player I tuned it DGBD and used it as my re-entry to guitar playing after my failed attempt at age 13.
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:58 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Yup, the guy in the Kingston Trio was the first one I saw. It was only later that I heard Tiny Grimes records and found out he used a tenor. I recall seeing some pics/videos of Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates playing a tenor later and of course Neko Case.
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Old 09-15-2021, 03:13 PM
TobyB TobyB is offline
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Steve Knightley, Show of Hands.
Martyn Joseph.
Phil Davidson... he built me one ... well, two actually, because he thought it was an improvement on a Chinese resonator mandolin that was rubbish (intonation impossible, etc) but transformed into a lovely instrument.
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