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View Full Version : New Tenor Guitar (or steel string baritone ukulele?) Day



mds725
08-18-2015, 09:34 AM
Last week I received my first ever custom tenor guitar, the first ever tenor guitar built by Beau Hannam. (Because it's tuned DGBE, it's arguably a steel string baritone ukulele! For that reason, I'm posting in "uke Talk" rather than in the guitar forum. Also, nobody looks at the Guitar forum.) It has Tasmanian Blackwood back and sides, a Sinker redwood top, custom headstock with a translucent moon, an African Ebony fingerboard, and a Brazilian Rosewood bridge It has a 23" scale length and "ukulele string spacing."

It has wonderful tone and sustain and is a dream to play. I will try to post a sound sample beau posted on Facebook.

Here are some photos.


http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82610&d=1439925418

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82611&d=1439925419

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82614&d=1439925423

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82613&d=1439925422

mds725
08-18-2015, 09:35 AM
More photos.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82612&d=1439925420

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82615&d=1439925506

DownUpDave
08-18-2015, 12:01 PM
Holy mother of.......

That is so beautiful. You have just shown me my next instrument. I have been wanting something with steel strings, like a tenor guitar but more of a uke size. Congratulations on such a wonderful instrument. It must resonate and sustain for days.

Dan Uke
08-18-2015, 12:05 PM
I'm not a big fan of volutes so how does the volute feel when you play? The overall uke looks awesome!!

Cornfield
08-18-2015, 12:25 PM
Tenor guitars are great. This one looks very nice.

Hippie Dribble
08-18-2015, 12:36 PM
I'm not a big fan of volutes so how does the volute feel when you play? The overall uke looks awesome!!
It's stunning Mark. Congratulations mate.

What is a volute?

bobinde
08-18-2015, 01:03 PM
Oh that rascal is SO pretty!! I wouldn't mind having a standard 6-string guitar version of it!! I love small body guitars . . .

bobinde

PhilUSAFRet
08-18-2015, 03:26 PM
:iwant:...........................

WCBarnes
08-18-2015, 03:30 PM
I've been watching this build on his FB page drooling over every pic! Absolutely beautiful!!

NatalieS
08-18-2015, 03:30 PM
I love it! Definitely looking forward to that sound clip!

Camsuke
08-18-2015, 05:06 PM
Beautiful in every way, congratulations!

mds725
08-18-2015, 07:14 PM
I'm not a big fan of volutes so how does the volute feel when you play? The overall uke looks awesome!!


What is a volute?

I didn't know either. It turns out that a volute is, according to the Sweetwater Music website, a "carved heel to the back of the neck just below the point where it becomes the headstock – a sort of triangular thickening that theoretically reinforces a notorious weak spot." I performed a Google search for "volute guitar" and discovered that the volutes is occasionally a hot topic of discussion on acoustic guitar forums. I didn't know that this guitar was being built with one, and I didn't expect it, but the volute doesn't get in my way when I play.

Ukulele Eddie
08-18-2015, 07:23 PM
I've been watching this build on his FB page drooling over every pic! Absolutely beautiful!!

I was virtually sitting next to you watching and drooling, too!

mds725
08-18-2015, 11:18 PM
I love it! Definitely looking forward to that sound clip!

Here it is! It turns out that Beau posted it to his YouTube channel.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQ5t2nLdTV0

billten
08-19-2015, 01:13 AM
This is absolutely lovely. I am definitely getting a tenor guitar next, hmmmm or maybe a good bari, or hmmmm, rats i though i had UAS beat.

Dave, you gotta check out the Kinnard tenor. It's a huge WOW!


Holy mother of.......

That is so beautiful. You have just shown me my next instrument. I have been wanting something with steel strings, like a tenor guitar but more of a uke size. Congratulations on such a wonderful instrument. It must resonate and sustain for days.

hammer40
08-19-2015, 01:25 AM
Last week I received my first ever custom tenor guitar, the first ever tenor guitar built by Beau Hannam. (Because it's tuned DGBE, it's arguably a steel string baritone ukulele! For that reason, I'm posting in "uke Talk" rather than in the guitar forum. Also, nobody looks at the Guitar forum.)

I beg to differ, "Chicago" (DGBE) tuning is a quite popular alternate tuning on the tenor guitar. I have mine tuned DGBE. Maybe if those who already have, or will now be purchasing a tenor guitar because of this thread, would post in the "guitar" section, it would be a bit more popular. Unless Beau is going to call this a baritone Nui like Pono did, than it's a tenor guitar. The tuning doesn't change that. ;)

Awesome guitar by the way. You will love it, I love mine. They seem to be enjoying a resurgence lately, several brands out there now. Martin just added another one, I posted in the guitar section about it.

There is a Tenor guitar section over at the Mandolin cafe, they would love this one over there, if you want to post it there as well.

http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/

FiL
08-19-2015, 02:55 AM
Wow, that is one beautiful guitar! I hope it brings you many years of musical happiness!

- FiL

mds725
08-19-2015, 08:08 AM
I beg to differ, "Chicago" (DGBE) tuning is a quite popular alternate tuning on the tenor guitar. I have mine tuned DGBE. Maybe if those who already have, or will now be purchasing a tenor guitar because of this thread, would post in the "guitar" section, it would be a bit more popular. Unless Beau is going to call this a baritone Nui like Pono did, than it's a tenor guitar. The tuning doesn't change that. ;)

http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/

I was being a little tongue-in-cheek about the tuning making it a baritone ukulele. A few years ago, Rick Turner built me two jumbo shaped Compass Rose baritone-sized ukuleles, one strung GCEA but an octave lower than tenor uke GCEA (Rick's name for it is an "Octave Ukulele"), and a steel string baritone tuned DGBE. Here's the NUD thread for those instruments. http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?91213-New-Ukes-Day!-Twin-Compass-Roses I mentioned in the thread that a steel string baritone tuned DGBE was, in essence, a tenor guitar with Chicago tuning. This is what Rick posted: "Mark's steel string baritone is tuned like the top four strings of a normal guitar; D, G, B, E. That is normal baritone uke tuning. That is NOT how a tenor guitar is supposed to be tuned, though some folks do. Normal tenor guitar tuning is as with a tenor banjo: C, G, D, A." I can't find it now, but at around the same time, another thread popped up was a discussion of whether an instrument is designated by the way it is strung and tuned or by its scale and related physical attributes (i.e., is a steel string baritone tuned DGBE a tenor guitar tuned to Chicago tuning or a baritone ukulele?). Rick argued in that thread that as a builder he designates instruments by how they're tuned (which is why he calls the other jumbo CR he built for me an "Octave Ukulele" instead of a baritone that happens not to be tuned like a baritone), and I think it's a builder's prerogative to call his or her instruments what he wants. My Beau Hannam tenor guitar is clearly a guitar (partly because that's what Beau calls it), even though it has uke string spacing instead of typical tenor guitar spacing (where the strings are closer together). I think instruments like this and my CR steel string baritone ukulele blur the lines a bit.


That is so beautiful. You have just shown me my next instrument. I have been wanting something with steel strings, like a tenor guitar but more of a uke size. Congratulations on such a wonderful instrument. It must resonate and sustain for days.

The aforementioned Compass Rose steel string baritone has a 20 inch scale, so it's the size of a baritone ukulele, but it sounds similar to a tenor guitar. In addition, I have the second steel string tenor ukulele built by Bruce Sexauer, a luthier in the North Bay. Here's a thread he started about his third steel string tenor ukulele. http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?94309-JB-Uke-follow-up The first post in that thread has a link to a video of a friend of mine playing my Sexauer steel string tenor uke.

hammer40
08-19-2015, 08:27 AM
I was being a little tongue-in-cheek about the tuning making it a baritone ukulele. A few years ago, Rick Turner built me two jumbo shaped Compass Rose baritone-sized ukuleles, one strung GCEA but an octave lower than tenor uke GCEA (Rick's name for it is an "Octave Ukulele"), and a steel string baritone tuned DGBE. Here's the NUD thread for those instruments. http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?91213-New-Ukes-Day!-Twin-Compass-Roses I mentioned in the thread that a steel string baritone tuned DGBE was, in essence, a tenor guitar with Chicago tuning. This is what Rick posted: "Mark's steel string baritone is tuned like the top four strings of a normal guitar; D, G, B, E. That is normal baritone uke tuning. That is NOT how a tenor guitar is supposed to be tuned, though some folks do. Normal tenor guitar tuning is as with a tenor banjo: C, G, D, A." I can't find it now, but at around the same time, another thread popped up was a discussion of whether an instrument is designated by the way it is strung and tuned or by its scale and related physical attributes (i.e., is a steel string baritone tuned DGBE a tenor guitar tuned to Chicago tuning or a baritone ukulele?). Rick argued in that thread that as a builder he designates instruments by how they're tuned (which is why he calls the other jumbo CR he built for me an "Octave Ukulele" instead of a baritone that happens not to be tuned like a baritone), and I think it's a builder's prerogative to call his or her instruments what he wants. My Beau Hannam tenor guitar is clearly a guitar (partly because that's what Beau calls it), even though it has uke string spacing instead of typical tenor guitar spacing (where the strings are closer together). I think instruments like this and my CR steel string baritone ukulele blur the lines a bit.

No worries, I was having some fun with it as well. Doesn't always come across in print though.😀 Whatever Beau, or you, calls it, it sure is a beauty either way!

You should post it over at the cafe forum in the tenor section, I bet they would love to see it over there.

UkerDanno
08-19-2015, 08:47 AM
That's gorgeous but, a tenor ukulele is a much larger version of a ukulele, so why is a tenor guitar a smaller version of a guitar, jus' wondering...:shaka:

Not that this is the only thing in the world that doesn't make sense to my much too logical mind.

sam13
08-19-2015, 09:30 AM
This is a fabulous instrument .... I hope you have a great time playing it ... enjoy, and congratulations.

mds725
08-19-2015, 10:00 AM
That's gorgeous but, a tenor ukulele is a much larger version of a ukulele, so why is a tenor guitar a smaller version of a guitar, jus' wondering..

The tenor guitar is an offshoot of the tenor banjo. When banjos stopped being popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s with the onset of the big band era, tenor banjo players found themselves out of work. to get gigs without having to learn a new instrument, someone basically built a four-string instrument that you could play like a tenor banjo but it sounded like a guitar. I think that's where the name comes from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenor_guitar

hammer40
08-19-2015, 10:53 AM
The tenor guitar is an offshoot of the tenor banjo. When banjos stopped being popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s with the onset of the big band era, tenor banjo players found themselves out of work. to get gigs without having to learn a new instrument, someone basically built a four-string instrument that you could play like a tenor banjo but it sounded like a guitar. I think that's where the name comes from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenor_guitar


Here is some more info for anybody that is interested in the origins.

http://www.tenorguitar.com/what.html

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
08-19-2015, 10:57 AM
Thanks everyone for the nice comments. To answer a few things:

Small guitar or big uke???-
I will be putting this instrument in both the Guitar and Ukulele sections of my website as it clearly appeals to both guitar and uke players.
I will be offering it with either uke or guitar string spacing and neck widths.

Bracing
It has a main light X brace (like a normal guitar) and has 3 fan braces (like a uke)- so it is indeed a cross over :)
82675

Another thread about that here:
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?100878-Tenor-Guitar-bracing-n-stuff

Volute
A volute was used on 1 piece necks to strengthen the neck/headstock which has short grain in this area. Scarf joints are stronger as they have no short grain.

Video
This video was quickly shot on an iphone just after string up.- just improvising.

Nickie
08-19-2015, 04:03 PM
Congratulations! I would love to have Beau build me a concert uke!

mds725
08-19-2015, 05:44 PM
Thanks, Beau!

Rakelele
08-19-2015, 09:09 PM
Congratulations, what a wonderful instrument, both to look at and to listen to. I like that kind of crossover a lot and I'm glad to see that guys like Beau Hannam and others are experimenting with new things.

billten
08-19-2015, 10:59 PM
Just curious, is the side marker dot on the 9th or 10th fret? For me the uke fretboard width makes this lovely instrument very appealing, where the dot is will finalize if this was designed as a small guitar or big uke :)

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
08-20-2015, 03:13 AM
Just curious, is the side marker dot on the 9th or 10th fret? For me the uke fretboard width makes this lovely instrument very appealing, where the dot is will finalize if this was designed as a small guitar or big uke :)

I put it on the 10th, like a uke.

If someone wanted a more guitar like string spacing/neck width id go with a 9th fret dot.

mds725
08-21-2015, 08:13 AM
By the way, for anyone interested in a tenor guitar (or an ukulele, or a six-string guitar) built by Beau, he was great to work with and has really cool ideas about the artistic use of wood. Be sure to check out his website for more information and for some great photos!
http://www.beauhannamguitars.com/

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
08-23-2015, 12:04 PM
Here is a page from a 1924 pamphlet describing the tenor guitar as a "Guitar-Uke" or Uke-I-Tar" !
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