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Tenor Guitars

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So i was in my local music store when the manager put a Martin bass on the wall. I thought it was an acoustic bass and complimented him and he smiled and said no, this is a Tenor guitar. I asked what a Tenor was and he essentially said a guitar with 4 strings, i had to laugh and said isnt that a bass? Anyways, a customer walked over, started playin it and man it sounded cool! Looking online i see some Gibsons, Martins and Epiphone Tenors but i noticed you dont see many of these gits today. My question is if i got one, how do you string it? I found one guy playin it and it sounded like a banjo, yet another playin and it sounded like a guitar. Have to say, i am utterly fascinated by these 4 string oddities. GAS!!!!


Here is a guy playin a Gibson one with a modern sound, man it sounds beautiful.

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Come along to our local folk and bluegrass evenings...we are knee deep in tenor guitars.. [thumbup]


I've got two 'Ozark' tenors....very cheap, cheerful and well built


Tuning tends to be mainly in 3 types...


C,G,D,A.....a la Tenor Banjo and Viola


G,D,A,E.....like Mandolin and Violin....dropped one octave


D,G,B,E....upper 4 strings of the Guitar and similar but lower than Ukulele


They were created in America in the 1920's to assist Dixie Jazz banjo players transfer to a more 'guitar' type of sound


They seem to have been rediscovered big-time in the last 5 years or so.... [thumbup]





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I love mine, a Gibson TG-25, the tenor version of the B-25. It's either a 1965 or 1968, though I suspect '65 from the specs and what I have learned here on the forum. I got mine because I had seen them used a bunch as rhythm backup in the oldtime and Texas swing fiddle contests and festivals (where banner J-45's thrive!). Provides variety in the accompaniment - higher voice than a standard guitar, but not as high as a mandolin. I use standard tuning - C G D A - and found myself wanting to flatpick the thing. Worked up a few rags a few years back; haven't done much with it lately, though:



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