4 string tenor guitar

4 string tenor guitar DEFAULT

Tenor Acoustic Guitars

Tenor Acoustic Guitars for Sale on Reverb

The four-stringed little brother to the acoustic guitar, tenor acoustic guitars were designed in the s to help tenor banjo players transition to the guitar—an increasingly popular instrument in jazz. Later, the tenor guitar would find popularity in folk music, and today has a dedicated, if small, following of loyal players including Neko Case, Amanda Shires, Ani DiFranco, Elvis Costello, and Warren Ellis.

What is a tenor acoustic guitar?

A tenor acoustic guitar is an acoustic guitar with only four strings, a narrower nut width, and a shorter scale length. Their nut width is comparable to a five-string banjo, though the scale length is shorter. They often also have a smaller body, but some models like the Gibson ES tenor have a body that’s large even for a six-string guitar!

What is a tenor guitar used for?

Tenor guitars fit well in a wide genre of music and have historically been used in jazz, country, Hawaiian, folk, and rock music. Tenor acoustic guitars are renowned for sitting well in a mix with other instruments, despite not having a strong low end.

Is tenor guitar easier to play?

Many players with smaller hands and bodies find tenor guitars easier to play than their six-string counterparts. Additionally, mandolin and violin players find that they can pick up and easily play a tenor guitar because all three are often tuned in fifths, whereas a six-string guitar is mostly tuned in fourths.

What is the tuning for a tenor guitar?

Tenor guitars are most traditionally tuned in fifths, like a mandolin: C3-G3-D4-A4. However, they can also be tuned like the top four strings of a guitar, like the bottom four strings of a guitar, baritone ukulele tuning, octave mandolin tuning, or in an open tuning (like banjo).

What’s the difference between a tenor guitar and a baritone ukulele?

Though they look similar, tenor guitars and baritone ukuleles are completely different instruments. When you really dig into tenor guitar vs baritone ukulele you’ll find a few differences, including:

  • Tuning: Tenor guitars are typically tuned C3-G3-D4-A4 while baritone ukes are tuned D3 G3 B3 E4
  • Strings: Tenor guitars use steel strings while baritone ukuleles use nylon strings
  • Origin: Tenor guitars are essentially smaller versions of six-string guitars, while baritone ukuleles are bigger versions of a standard ukulele
  • Scale length: Baritone ukuleles have a shorter scale length than tenor guitars, though exact lengths can vary

Do I need specific tenor acoustic guitar strings?

While you don’t specifically need tenor acoustic guitar strings, there are a few brands that produce strings that are made to work perfectly with tenor acoustic guitars. However, different tunings require different strings, and tenor guitarists simply can’t agree to one tuning. Because of this, some players simply buy the individual string gauges that work with their desired tuning.

Tenor Acoustic Guitars Near Me

To exclusively browse tenor acoustic guitars near you, reference the list of top cities and countries available on Reverb to search within a desired location. You also can review shipping details within an item’s “Shop Policies” section.

Sours: https://reverb.com/c/acoustic-guitars/tenor

Thomann Tenor Guitar Standard

Nach meiner Harley Benton Stahlsaiten-Tenorgitarre, mit der ich ganzzufrieden bin, habe ich nun die Nylonsaiten-Ausführung erhalten. Dass Nacharbeit erforderlich sein würde, war mir schon klar, so dass ich lediglich den Preis etwas niedriger ansetzen würde. Ab Euro sollte man noch für neue Saiten , das Glätten von Stegen und Bünden, eine festere Brücke mit gleichmäßigem Saitenabstand, das Anleimen von gelösten Innereien und Montage von Gurtknöpfen einkalkulieren. Bundrein wird die Gitarre leider trotzdem nicht. Korpus und Hals sind allgemein sehr rau belassen, die scharfe Zargenkante stört beim Spielen und ich werde sie noch nachschleifen. Wenn ich nur die Anfängerakkorde in den ersten 3 Bünden spiele, stimme ich die Leeren Saiten, beim Solospielen in höheren Lagen stimme ich die Saiten im 5. bzw. 4. Bund, um die Bundunreinheit etwas auszugleichen. Mit den neuen Saiten klingt die Gitarre trotz des kleinen Korpus ausreichend gut auch ohne Tonabnehmer. Mit Tonabnehmer (+90 Euro) und Reverb aus meinen niedlichen Blackstar-Kistelchen klingt es schon fast überirdisch. Trotz oder gerade wegen der noch vorhanden Mängel (weil ich ja auch nicht ohne bin), habe ich das Teil schon liebgewonnen und kann es zum Einsteigen vor dem Aufsteigen zu den der 6-Saitern (auch als klangvollere Alternative zu Bariton- und erst recht zu den kleineren Ukulelen) gern empfehlen.

Sours: https://www.thomann.de/gb/thomann_tenor_guitar_standard.htm
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Tenor guitar

Four-stringed guitar

The tenor guitar or four-string guitar is guitar variant, with four strings rather than the standard six, and with a slightly smaller body and higher-pitched sound. The instrument was initially developed in its acoustic form by Gibson and C.F. Martin during the s so players of the four-string tenor banjo could double on guitar,[2] and is also manufactured in electric forms.


Tenor guitars are four-stringed instruments normally made in the shape of a guitar, or sometimes with a lute-like pear shaped body or, more rarely, with a round banjo-like wooden body. They can be acoustic, electric or both and they can come in the form of flat top or archtop wood-bodied, metal-bodied resonator, or solid-bodied instruments. Tenor guitars normally have a scale length similar to that of the tenor banjo and octave mandolin of between 21 and 23 inches (53 and 58&#;cm).

History and development[edit]

Dobro–style 37 tenor guitar

The earliest origins of the tenor guitar are not clear, but it seems unlikely that a true four-stringed guitar-shaped tenor guitar appeared before the late s. Gibson built the tenor lute TL-4 in , which had a lute-like pear-shaped body, four strings and a tenor banjo neck. It is possible that similar instruments were made by other makers such as Lyon and Healy and banjo makers, such as Bacon. In the same period, banjo makers, such as Paramount, built transitional round banjo-like wood-bodied instruments with four strings and tenor banjo necks called tenor harps. From onwards, the very first true wood-bodied acoustic tenor guitars appeared as production instruments made by both Gibson and Martin.

Almost all the major guitar makers, including Epiphone, Kay, Gretsch, Guild and National Reso-Phonic, have manufactured tenor (and plectrum) guitars as production instruments at various times. Budget tenor guitars by makers such as Harmony, Regal and Stella, were produced in large numbers in the s and s. National, formed by the Dopyera Brothers, also made significant numbers of resonator tenor and plectrum guitars between the s and s. Dobro, another company associated with the Dopyera Brothers, as well as National, also built various resonator tenor guitar models.

In , Gibson introduced an acoustic archtop tenor guitar, the TG, based on the acoustic archtop six string model, the L, with its production run lasting until In Gibson introduced the world's first commercially successful electric Spanish-style guitar, the ES In early Gibson also began shipping two other versions of the ES a tenor guitar (the EST, with four strings and a 23" scale, renamed the ETG in ) and a plectrum version (the EPG, with a 27" scale). The ETG, was in continuous production until

In the mids electric solid-body tenor guitar models began to appear from companies such as Gibson, Gretsch, Guild, and Epiphone. These were mostly produced as one-off custom instruments but, for a short time in , Gretsch manufactured an electric solid-bodied tenor guitar, the Gretsch DuoJet. Renewed interest in the tenor guitar led to the introduction of new solid-body electric models in the early 21st century, with companies such as Fender beginning production of a tenor version of their Telecaster model.[3]


Tenor guitars are normally tuned in fifths, usually C3G3D4A4, similar to the tenor banjo, mandola, or the viola. Other tunings are also common, such as

Chicago tuning
D3G3B3E4, same as the top four strings of a standard guitar or a baritone ukulele
Irish or octave mandolin tuning
G2D3−A3E4, like an octave mandolin or tenor violin, one octave below the usual violin & mandolin tuning

along with various "open" tunings for “slide” playing.

The tenor guitar can also be tuned in parallel octaves to a soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele, using various versions of G3C4E4A4 tuning.

Plectrum guitar[edit]

The "plectrum guitar" is a four-stringed guitar with a scale length of 26 to 27 inches (66 to 69&#;cm) and tunings usually based on the plectrum banjo, C3 G3 B3 D4 or D3 G3 B3 D4. They are also commonly tuned like a mandocello, C2 G2 D3 A4, one octave down from the tenor guitar, much as the relationship between a viola and cello. Plectrum guitars have not been made in as large numbers as tenor guitars and are rarer. One of the best known plectrum guitarists from the Jazz Age was Eddie Condon, who started out on banjo in the s and then switched to a Gibson L7 plectrum guitar in the s.

Use and performers[edit]

Tenor guitars are now very closely associated with the tenor banjo with its similar standard CGDA fifths tuning and they initially came to significant commercial prominence in the late s and early s as tenor banjos were slowly being replaced by six string guitars in jazz bands and dance orchestras. Tenor banjo players could double on tenor guitars to get a guitar sound without having to learn the six string guitar. This is a practice still carried out by many contemporary jazz banjo players. This period is generally regarded as the initial "golden age" of the tenor guitar.

Two of the McKendrick brothers, confusingly both named Mike – "Big" Mike and "Little" Mike – doubled on tenor banjo and tenor guitar in jazz bands dating from the s. According to Bob Brozman in his book on National instruments, The History and Artistry of National Instruments, they both played National tenor guitars and they are both shown in the book in photos with their National tenor guitars. "Big" Mike McKendrick both managed and played with Louis Armstrong bands while "Little" Mike McKendrick played with various bands, including Tony Parenti.

Brozman's book also features photos of Hawaiian music bands that include players with both National tenor and plectrum guitars. The Delmore Brothers were a very influential pioneering country music duo from the early s to the late s that featured the tenor guitar. The Delmore Brothers were one of the original country vocal harmonising sibling acts that established the mold for later similar acts, such as the Louvin Brothers, and even later, the Everly Brothers.

The younger of the Delmore brothers, Rabon, played the tenor guitar as an accompaniment to his older brother, Alton's, six string guitar. Rabon favoured the Martin T tenor guitar and the Louvin Brothers later recorded a tribute album to the Delmores that featured Rabon's Martin T tenor played by mandolinist Ira Louvin, but tuned as the four treble guitar strings. Another s band that featured the tenor guitar was the Hoosier Hotshots, commonly considered the creators of mid-western rural jazz. Their leader, Ken Trietsch, played the tenor guitar, as well as doubling on the tuba.

In British Columbia, Canada, Professor Douglas Fraser plays thirties jazz with "The Genuine Jug Band" on a Gibson arch top tenor guitar. A musical style called Texas fiddling uses the tenor guitar as part of its rhythm accompaniment. Well known exponents of the tenor guitar in Texas fiddle music include Jerry Thomassen, Al Mouledous, and Gary Lee Moore. Thomassen has a signature tenor guitar named after him that is built by luthier Steve Parks. Gary Lee Moore has produced an excellent teaching resource for playing the tenor guitar as backup for Texas fiddling, entitled Getting Started in Fiddle Backup, obtainable as a free pdf download on the Tenor Guitar Registry discussion board web site.

In the early s Selmer Guitars in Paris manufactured four string guitars based on guitar designs by the Italian luthier Mario Maccaferri that they marketed to banjo players as a second six-string guitar-like instrument. The two main four string Selmer models included a regular tenor guitar with a smaller body and a 23&#;inch scale length, tuned CGDA, and the Eddie Freeman Special, with a larger body and a longer scale length, using a reentrantCGDA tuning. The Eddie Freeman Special had been designed by English tenor banjoist Eddie Freeman to have a better six string guitar sonority for rhythm guitar work than the normal tenor guitar with its very high A string. However, it was still tuned CGDA so that it could still be played by tenor banjoists. The Eddie Freeman Special was based on a six string model and it had a larger six string body and a six string scale length of &#;inches, rather than the tenor's smaller body and normal 23&#;inch scale length. The CGDA tuning used was re-entrant with the C and D tuned in the same octave and the G and the A tuned in the same octave, lowering the overall tone. The tuning and scale length give this very unusual four string guitar a sonority that is very close to that of the six string guitar, compared to a regular tenor guitar.

Selmer heavily promoted the EFS guitar through the Melody Maker and Eddie Freeman even wrote a special tune for it called 'In All Sincerity'. There are also promotional photos of the well-known British singer, banjoist and guitarist Al Bowlly, playing the Eddie Freeman Special and it can be seen in use by Ray Noble's guitarist in a recording session photo of his orchestra. This guitar was not commercially successful in the s, possibly due to concerted resistance by the British six-string guitar fraternity, particularly Ivor Mairants. Many were subsequently converted to much more valuable six-string models because of the Django Reinhardt connection. Originals of the Eddie Freeman Special are now very rare and are consequently highly valuable. Within the last three years, modern Maccaferri-style luthiers, such as the late David Hodson in the UK and Shelley Park in Canada, as well as others, have started building this four string model again due to demand from their customers. Many have now been made and they are becoming more widely played. They are considered to have a beautiful sound and offer a very broad range of tuning possibilities including CGDA, GDAE, DGBE, CGBD, DGBD, and ADGB.

As the six string guitar eventually became more popular in bands in the s and s, tenor guitars became much less played, although some tenor guitar models had been made in very large numbers throughout this period and are now still common. Tenor guitars came to prominence again in the s and s, possibly due to the effects of the Dixieland jazz revival and the folk music boom. At this time, they were made by makers such as Epiphone, Gibson, Guild and Gretsch as archtop acoustics and/or electrics, as well as a range of flat top models by Martin. Around this time in the s and s, electric tenor guitars were also referred to as "lead guitars", although the rationale for this is not now clear, unless it was for marketing purposes. Lead playing on a six string guitar often involves just using its top four strings.

A major player of the electric tenor as a lead guitarist in the bebop and rhythm and blues styles from the s to the s was the jazz guitarist Tiny Grimes, who recorded with Cats and The Fiddle, Charlie Parker, Art Tatum and others. Tiny used guitar (DGBE) tuning on his tenor guitars, rather than tenor CGDA tuning.

The Martin T flat top acoustic tenor guitar was played in the late s by Nick Reynolds of The Kingston Trio. The acoustic tenor guitar became a popular instrument in the folk music boom of this period, particularly this model. In , as a tribute to the Kingston Trio, Martin re-issued 34 limited edition 40th&#;anniversary commemorative sets (40 sets had been planned, but only 34&#;orders were received and executed) of the three main instruments used by the Kingston Trio to celebrate their founding in The commemorative set included a custom Martin Kingston Trio KTT tenor guitar with "The Kingston Trio" and "–" engraved on the fingerboard in mother-of-pearl and its label was signed by C.F. Martin&#;IV, the CEO of Martin Guitars and four of the surviving members of the Kingston Trio.

Current use[edit]

Modern replica of a s Lyon & Healytenor guitar. Background tiles are 20&#;cm square

Since , there has been an increased interest in the tenor guitar, as evidenced by an increasing number of manufacturers, such as Blueridge, Gold Tone, Artist Guitars, Canora, Thomann, Harley Benton and Ibanez, offering tenor guitar models, and a greater number of specialist luthiers now building custom tenor guitar models or offering to modify existing instruments into tenor guitars. Kala recently introduced a ″ scale acoustic tenor guitar, the KA-GTR.

Contemporary players of the tenor guitar include Neko Case, Josh Rouse, Joel Plaskett, Adam Gnade,[4]Ani DiFranco, Carrie Rodriguez, Joe Craven, and Dhani Harrison. Jason Molina played a tenor guitar for much of his early work as Songs: Ohia. The instrument is often used by musicians looking to replace or augment sounds produced by more conventional instruments. Elvis Costello features a tenor guitar on the title track of his release Delivery Man. On the video for "Club Date: Elvis Costello & the Imposters Live in Memphis" he is seen playing an orange Gretsch Chet Atkins single cutaway archtop tenor guitar.

Tenor guitars can be difficult to locate outside the United States since from the late s when they were first produced, they were mostly manufactured in the United States. Up until relatively recently they were usually regarded as musical oddities with little value but now they are becoming very attractive to both players and collectors, particularly the National resonator instruments.

Production tenor guitars by Gibson and Martin from the s to the s are still generally available, such as Gibson's ETG electric/acoustic archtop tenor guitar and Martin's T acoustic flat top tenor guitar. Original tenor guitars in good condition by any of the major guitar makers are considered very desirable, either as instruments for playing, or as interesting collectibles in their own right. Some specially ordered custom tenor guitar models from makers, such as Gibson, can be extremely rare since only one of the particular model may only have been manufactured. As noted above, in the pre-World War&#;II period, Gibson offered either the tenor or plectrum guitar version of any model they made at no extra cost to the purchaser.

There has been increase in the number of artists who feature the tenor guitar in their music. Prominent U.K. users of the tenor guitar include the Lakeman brothers, Seth Lakeman and Sean Lakeman, and John McCusker and Ian Carr, who both play with the Kate Rusby Band.

Terry Bohner, a character in the mockumentary filmA Mighty Wind about the U.S. folk music era of the s and s, uses a tenor guitar.

Wes Borland, the guitarist for nu metal band Limp Bizkit plays a low-tuned (F
2B2E3) tenor guitar on the songs "Nookie", "The One", "Full Nelson", and "Stalemate".

Since , Astoria, Oregon, has hosted an annual Tenor Guitar Gathering, on the basis of which some call it the "unofficial Tenor Guitar Capital of the World."[5]

Warren Ellis plays a tenor guitar on the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album Push the Sky Away, and has custom tenor guitars built by Eastwood Guitars,[6] with a shape modeled after a Fender Mustang but with a wider than usual neck to accommodate his fingerstyle playing.[7] Eastwood currently offers several models of electric tenor guitar including the aforementioned Warren Ellis signature model, the semi-hollow Classic 4 Tenor,[8] and the Tenorcaster.[9]

See also[edit]



  • Richards, Tobe A. (). The Tenor Guitar Chord Bible: Standard & Irish Tuning 2, Chords. United Kingdom: Cabot Books. ISBN&#;. &#; A comprehensive chord dictionary instructional guide featuring both standard and Irish tuning.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenor_guitar
Convert your 6 string guitar to a 4 string tenor guitar in less than 60 seconds!

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Guitar 4 string tenor

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Convert your 6 string guitar to a 4 string tenor guitar in less than 60 seconds!

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