Tuning a Tenor guitar like a Tenor Uke

Davoravo

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What does chord strumming in fifths sound like? I had heard it was a bit thin and better to stay DGBE (or GCEA) if that was your style but i am thinking about switching to fifths even though i dont play melodies.
 

bunnyf

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I like the logic and symmetry of fifths tuning. It's great for moving chords both across and up and down the fretboard. Great for finding the melody notes too and makes it easy to move keys. It does give you a different sound than all the other guitars or ukes playing. If I'm playing all alone just singing and strumming, then I like the close harmony of gcea or dgbe tuning. If you are not gonna do any chord/melody, solo fingerpicking or the like, I wouldn't bother to learn a new tuning.
 

SteveZ

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What does chord strumming in fifths sound like? I had heard it was a bit thin and better to stay DGBE (or GCEA) if that was your style but i am thinking about switching to fifths even though i dont play melodies.

It's easy enough to try fifths. Aquila makes a GDAE string set for soprano ukes and a CDGA set that's good on concert and tenor ukes. If one likes it,great. If not, consider it just a fun experiment.

For me I've found the fifths chording is easier on the fingers - less stretching. Most of my play is usually within the first 5 frets and rarely do I barre-chord. Fifths tuning is just comfortable.
 

Down Up Dick

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Though I agree pretty much with Steve, I’m also likin’ DGBE a lot lately. It fits better with my 5 stringers, and it’s a whiz to fret. Fifths is better with Irish and Classical, and I use both tunings for folk and gospel by ear. I also use staff music for some stuff without chords.

I find string instruments and piano a lot more difficult than wind instruments, mostly because of the chords.
 
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Davoravo

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Thanks guys, six string barre chords have hurt my shoulder (rotates cuff, biceps tendinitis I think) so really looking at a tenor now. Wondering about rather than DGBE going for ADGB. Anyone tried that or GDGB?
 

SteveZ

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Thanks guys, six string barre chords have hurt my shoulder (rotates cuff, biceps tendinitis I think) so really looking at a tenor now. Wondering about rather than DGBE going for ADGB. Anyone tried that or GDGB?

The good this is...any tuning you like is fine. I've tried several. As long as you stay within the acoustic range of the instrument (e.g., no screechy sounds) the instrument doesn't care. I knew a guitarist who tuned some combo nobody knew. He said it kept folk from borrowing his stuff and thus kept his stuff from accidents.
 

Jupu

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I'm very interested in a tenor guitar and also wondering if it would work with reentrant (gCEA) as well as the uke. Kinda like a bass to uke like a bass guitar is to regular guitar? At least a little longer scale tenor?

I would like to master only one thing (at a time) - and if I did get bored, I could always file the 4th slot of the nut...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
 

merlin666

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I'm very interested in a tenor guitar and also wondering if it would work with reentrant (gCEA) as well as the uke. Kinda like a bass to uke like a bass guitar is to regular guitar? At least a little longer scale tenor?
Maybe check out U-basses, size of a uke but mighty sound of a regular bass guitar. They need an amp, though.
 

Jupu

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Maybe check out U-basses, size of a uke but mighty sound of a regular bass guitar. They need an amp, though.

Yeah, basses are an option but I think I'd like a strummable instrument. And to my understanding, it doesn't help either to restring an ubass, since the scale length is that of a bari uke.
 

merlin666

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What does chord strumming in fifths sound like? I had heard it was a bit thin and better to stay DGBE (or GCEA) if that was your style but i am thinking about switching to fifths even though i dont play melodies.

The Fifths tuning of tenor banjos and guitars was initially intended for strumming in jazz bands. It is much richer and fuller than uke tuning because it includes the low C in addition to the linear G to A range.
 

Down Up Dick

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I’m having problems finding CGDA tenor banjo/guitar music books in fifths without scads of chords. I have lots of Celtic music books in GDAE and even an Italian folk music one. I even have some pretty good Classical music ones too, mostly in CGDA.

What I’d like now is some good American/British folk music ones without a bunch of chords. I can read and play with regular staff music, but it doesn’t have the tabs for chords. My old brain just has a lotta trouble rememberin’ stuff now days, so it’s difficult to learn new things.. Anyhow, I like tabs for (a few) chords.

I’ve been changin’ my CGDA instruments to XGBD or E. It fits better with my banjos and mandolin and tenor guitars. I still have a coupla ukes and my Cello banjo in CGDA though. I noodle on the ukes and play classical on the CB.

It’s always somethin’ ain’t it? I guess that’s what makes music so interesting. I think I'll take up the marimba or celesta next.
 
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merlin666

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The chords are only needed for accompaniment and can be ignored if you focus on melody and fingerstyle. A tab is usually just an interpretation of the music. As you are able to read and play from music notation you don't need a tab. Just get any music score you like and play it. There is a lot of mandolin music out in your genre but you would need to transpose that down by a fifth. Or of course just use Mandolin tabs.
 
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Down Up Dick

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The chords are only needed for accompaniment and can be ignored if you focus on melody and fingerstyle. A tab is usually just an interpretation of the music. As you are able to read and play from music notation you don't need a tab. Just get any music score you like and play it. There is a lot of mandolin music out in your genre but you would need to transpose that down by a fifth. Or of course just use Mandolin tabs.

Fingerstyle sounds better with accompaniment, but some books have two or three chords per measure.

I’m an old brass man — no chords unless one plays with someone else. I also play flute and a little sax. However, my lip gotta little over-the-hill, so I switched to strings—no hand-arthritis yet.

Well, the only answer is to jus’ keep chuggin’ along.
 
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Down Up Dick

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Though I can read music, I find it much easier to read chords in the tabs. If I’m just pickin’ tunes, I use dots.

I do play mando banjo and also Irish banjo, and I really think I prefer GDAE to CGDA. However, Irish banjo music doesn’t use many chords.

I’ve had a runnin’ battle with chords for a long time. My keyboard whipped me, so now I’m a right (or left) hand pianist.
 
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prd

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I’m having a lot of fun with my tenor guitar strung up in a baritone ukulele tuning.
I have it tuned dGBE re-entrant. It’s a bit of a stretch for some of the chords but
the high D string gives a nice chimey uke vibe to some of those guitar songs that
You don’t want to transpose
 

Jupu

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I’m having a lot of fun with my tenor guitar strung up in a baritone ukulele tuning.
I have it tuned dGBE re-entrant. It’s a bit of a stretch for some of the chords but
the high D string gives a nice chimey uke vibe to some of those guitar songs that
You don’t want to transpose

What kind is your guitar? Are there any issues with intonation, nut or pickups, it being reentrant?
 

prd

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I have a 1950’s Regal. It has a 22 3/4 scale length. Using the Ry Cooder pages I strung it up for a kind of light action
E=013
B = 016
G = 022 (wound)
d = 013
No issues with nut or intonation you could bump up to a medium gauge if experiencing back bow
 

Down Up Dick

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What does “Spam post ^” mean? I’ll bet it kept anyone else from posting on this thread.