View Full Version : Tenor guitar tuning

04-21-2017, 03:25 PM
Can anyone tell me the difference in terms of sound or tone between traditional CDGA tuning vs DGBE. I recently purchased a Blueridge BR-40TCE. I play in DGBE and I'm curious what traditional tuning sounds like. I play folk, classic rock and I sing so I'm wondering which tuning is best for my needs. Thanks for any help

04-21-2017, 03:52 PM
With steel (not classical), 5ths tuning is pretty nice. You can see from the notes of the tuning, the wider spacing gives both a deeper bass and higher treble. And with that wider spacing, on a 23" scale you'll often stretch a bit when playing chords. I had a music teacher friend describe the sound once as "vaguely medieval". But best you listen for yourself. Mark Josephs heads up the Tenor Guitar Foundation:


04-21-2017, 04:09 PM
I've had both on my tenor guitar. CDGA sounded nice to me and banjo-like. I didn't like the amount of tension in the A string though. The A also breaks very easily with that high tension and the thin steel string is tough on your fingers (and my fingers are pretty calloused). I like the sound of DGBE ala Skatman Cruthers, more bluesy and much more comfortable under my fingers.

04-22-2017, 12:53 AM
Does anyone ever tune it gdae?

04-22-2017, 01:51 AM
Have gone back-and-forth between CGDA and GDAE, and CGDA is now on everything (except mandolin). GDAE is higher pitched snd a favorite for folk who do a lot of Irish Traditiinal Music. As someone who does a lot of "Gulf & Western," some country rock and a little folk, CGDA is very comfortable. I'm not a fan of GDAE because of E string snapping (very thin string).

One advantage of CGDA is the ability to capo down two frets and do key-of-D stuff easier, using the same chord fingerings.