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View Full Version : What do you think of a tenor guitar?



dirk.li
07-30-2010, 07:16 AM
Hi, I'm interested in getting a tenor guitar, because I want more projection when playing unplugged outdoors and steel strings definitely help. (Sadly amps are not allowed for busking in my city.)

Since a vintage instrument is too expensive, I was looking at this one here which I found at a shop in England:
An Ozark electro acoustic cutaway tenor guitar (http://www.eaglemusicshop.com/details1.asp/ProductID/6115/sid/386/ozark-electro-acoustic-cutaway-tenor-guitar.htm).

I like the idea of having the electric option, too. Unfortunately I haven't found any sound samples online yet... so I thought it would be a nice idea just to ask around here. Please let me know what you think!

My question about tuning
It comes with "Standard" C tuning - C G D A. But I would like to restring it for "Chicago" baritone uke tuning - D G B E so that I can use the uke chord shapes on it. Do you think the saddle has to be modified for D G B E tuning? And what about slide guitar tunings? Do they require a modified saddle, too?

icuker
07-30-2010, 07:38 AM
There is a forum for Tenor guitars. tenorguitarforum.com, that might be of help. Also, on the mandolincafe.com forum there is a section dedicated to Tenor guitars. I know that there was discussion of the Ozark tenor guitars a while back. Both have good info on the subject and would be able to answer your question easily enough.

I think they sound great and about a year or so ago I took a six string guitar and restrung it as a tenor 4 string just to see what it was all about, and I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great sound. I tuned it in fifths instead of Chicago tuning. Good luck.

70sSanO
07-30-2010, 08:20 AM
A couple of months ago, I tried a Blueridge tenor that was tuned to Chicago tuning it was a blast to play. I wasn't to thrilled about the neck shape. Personally I think it could be a better option, in some ways, than a baritone ukulele because you have the size of the body to really project the sound.

I came to ukuleles from guitar, so for me a tenor guitar is an easier to play guitar. I like what icuker did to convert a six string to four except I would like to find a classical guitar with a narrow neck to convert over. Only issue may be neck relief with less tension and no truss rod on a classical to adjust it.

John

UKISOCIETY
07-30-2010, 08:50 AM
That's a coincidence. Freedy Johnston just mentioned that he wrote a few songs on the tenor guitar, but that it only produced sombre music for him. Said it was the tuning.

70sSanO
07-30-2010, 09:18 AM
My understanding is that the traditional tenor guitar tuning is the same as a 4 string banjo. But it seems that there are a number of alternate tunings, including the same as a baritone ukulele, which is the same as the top 4 strings on a guitar.

John

dirk.li
07-30-2010, 10:22 PM
There is a forum for Tenor guitars. tenorguitarforum.com, that might be of help. Also, on the mandolincafe.com forum there is a section dedicated to Tenor guitars. I know that there was discussion of the Ozark tenor guitars a while back. Both have good info on the subject and would be able to answer your question easily enough.

I think they sound great and about a year or so ago I took a six string guitar and restrung it as a tenor 4 string just to see what it was all about, and I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great sound. I tuned it in fifths instead of Chicago tuning. Good luck.

Thanks, that's very helpful information! I'll take a look at tenorguitarforum.com!

dirk.li
07-30-2010, 10:24 PM
My understanding is that the traditional tenor guitar tuning is the same as a 4 string banjo. But it seems that there are a number of alternate tunings, including the same as a baritone ukulele, which is the same as the top 4 strings on a guitar.

John

That's right. I just wonder if you have to change the saddle with the tuning. (It's clear to me that you have to change the strings.)

RevWill
07-31-2010, 02:10 AM
http://img.youtube.com/vi/ZSLQHekNi7w/0.jpg
Carrie Rodriguez

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/img/music/nekocase/newportfolkfestival/2009/2.jpg
Neko Case

Zakulele
07-31-2010, 02:18 AM
Crazy thought but, could it be possible to change the standard strings around and tune the D string higher to make to make it GCEA?
BTW when I said standard, I meant Tenor Guitar tuning CGDA

kissing
07-31-2010, 03:43 AM
you wouldn't tune the DGBE strings up to GCEA, they'd snap!

But perhaps with the right strings it's possible.

Stackabones
07-31-2010, 05:02 AM
Even though you couldn't tune it up to GCEA, you could still tune it re-entrant ... dGBe. Just get an extra B-string and replace the D-string, and tune it up to D. (You could also use an E-string for this.) I've done it on a six-string, EAdGBe, and it sounds cool.

Markwell
08-01-2010, 03:02 AM
Can't see why not. You might have to swap the D string for one of a different gauge, to try and keep the tension equal across the strings. I imagine it would work.

KevinV
08-01-2010, 03:15 AM
I'd like a tenor guitar. I'd more than likely keep it in CGDA, but would like to try some open tunings for slide blues as well. Someday I'll get me one.

Zakulele
08-01-2010, 07:13 AM
When I said standard, I meant Tenor Guitar tuning of CDGA

franulele
08-01-2010, 10:33 AM
Zak

You wouldn't want to tune your regular baritone uke strings up to GCEA. However Aquilla makes a GCEA set, so you can use the same chord fingerings as the rest of the uke family.

http://www.elderly.com/accessories/items/ANBP.htm