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This tuning should be familiar to anyone who plays a mandolin, and it’s the tuning Warren Ellis uses on songs like “Jubilee Street” with Nick Cave. The late Jason Molina played a tenor guitar for much of his early work as Songs: Ohia. The Martin 0-18T flat top acoustic tenor guitar was played in the late 1950s by Nick Reynolds of The Kingston Trio, a hugely popular folk act of the period. Tenors are typically tuned in fifths (usually CGDA, similar to the tenor banjo, mandola, or the viola), although other tunings are also common. That makes it an excellent tuning for those who are transitioning to tenor guitar from either the six-string guitar or the baritone ukulele. Tenor guitars normally have a scale length similar to that of the tenor banjo, between 21 and 23 inches (53 and 58 cm). CLICK HERE. For others, especially the open chords, the position of the root note changes. The tenor guitar has a distinctive style of its own, and there is literally no limit to the many kinds of sounds and rhythms that can be drawn from this fantastic instrument. For some chords, the root note is in the same place for each set of shapes. A tenor guitar is a 4-string, short-scale guitar with roots that go back more than a century, to the golden age of acoustic instrument production. CLICK HERE! Where are our Rolling Stones fans? Below, you’ll find simplified versions of major, minor, and seventh chords. This tuning is just like the lower four strings of a guitar. scale length (approx): 23" (Gibson tenors are 22 3/4") (6 string guitar = 25.5", plectrum guitar = 26") standard tuning: CGDA standard string gauges:.036 .024 .016 .010 (use bronze strings for acoustic, steel for electric) alternative tunings: As the six string guitar became more popular in the 1930s and 1940s, tenor guitars became less played, but returned to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s due to the Dixieland jazz revival and the folk music boom. One of the best things about the tenor guitar is the vast array of versatile tunings it can accomodate. In the mid-1950's, electric solid-body tenor guitars made their stage debut. ", "I think a tenor is a great way to get into the world of open tunings, mainly as it’s a more limited number of strings to deal with." One of the attractions of the tenor guitar is the variety of available tunings. This tuning is exactly like the top four strings of a standard six-string guitar (the four highest strings). Eastwood Guitars has a wide variety of electric tenor guitars that both look amazing (check out our Airline Map Tenor) and sound fantastic (don't miss the Warren Ellis Tenor Baritone and the Warren Ellis Tenor 2P tenors). Grimes used a DGBE (guitar) tuning on his tenor guitars, rather than the typical CGDA tenor tuning. Once you know the root notes on a fretboard, you can take any chord shape and move it along the fretboard with ease. Tenor guitars enabled players of the four-string tenor banjo to double on guitar without having to learn the six string guitar. The tenor guitar can be considered to be a transition instrument between Dixieland banjo and the six string swing guitar, particularly as it started to outpace the tenor banjo in popularity, towards the end of the 1920s. Many players choose to tune their tenor guitars to (DGBE) like a baritone ukulele (we recommend you get a standard pack of DGBE Tenor Guitar strings before attempting this tuning… Below, you’ll find simplified versions of major, minor, and seventh chords. Think like a Tenor Player. 'Guitar tuning,' 'Chicago tuning,' 'baritone ukulele tuning,' 'Irish' or 'octave mandolin' tuning and various open tunings for slide playing are also commonly employed on a tenor guitar. A tenor guitar is a fretted, four stringed instrument, most commonly shaped like a guitar. Credit where credit is due: the fretboard charts were made at guitarscientist.com. CYBER MONDAY = MORE BLACK FRIDAY. The tenor guitar is often used by musicians looking to replace or augment sounds produced by more conventional instruments or simply to add a new sound that is both familiar and strikingly fresh. One of the attractions of the tenor guitar is the variety of available tunings. Contemporary players have been placing a renewed interest in this instrument, especially in the folk scene where the tenor guitar offers something fresh and new to the conventional instrument choices that are most prevalent in today’s folk genre. The punchy, loud sound could cut through back in the days before amplification, and provided a nice rhythmic backing to early jazz bands. Our Warren Ellis Series Tuning Guide includes some suggestions of tenor guitar tunings and the best string gauges to use for each. Pono Tenor Guitar (tuned in gcea) 'Ukulele tuning - YouTube More recently, Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo also became an adept, picking up a Warren Ellis Tenor 2P for the recording of his next album. Warren Ellis, (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Dirty Three, Grinderman, film soundtracks) is one of the main tenor players right now, using his custom-made, Mustang-shaped, Eastwood Guitars electric tenors for a wide range of tones and colors. Traditional Tenor Banjo Tuning: CGDA. Originally marketed as an easy way that tenor banjo players of the day could double on guitar, the tenor guitar's charms have persisted to the modern day and, now, a new legion of players is discovering that the tenor guitar offers a unique voice and tone for adventurous musicians searching for new inspiration. Of course, you can play a lot more than major chords with an open tuning! You can play. Tenor guitars can be heard in country, western swing and jazz, as well as contemporary folk and pop music. It’s also a great tuning for those who are looking to play slide guitar, as barring any fret straight across creates a major chord. This trend quickened when important players of the period like Eddie Lang and Carl Kress, switched from banjo to six string guitars. Whether you already play a stringed instrument or if a tenor guitar is your first, we wanted to put together a resource to help you explore new tunings or get your bearings on the tenor guitar. A tenor guitar is a fretted, four stringed instrument, most commonly shaped like a guitar. Contemporary players include Neko Case, Josh Rouse, Joel Plaskett, Adam Gnade, Ani DiFranco, Carrie Rodriguez and Joe Craven. It makes it easier for people who started on everything from six-string guitars to mandolins to violins to pick up a new instrument. Picture: Neko Case and her SG-style tenor. Time to join the tenor guitar revolution! The four-stringed tenor guitar may be an instrument from the past, but modern musicians all over the world have been rediscovering the electric tenor guitar's many subtle virtues, from its strong, cutting tone for rhythmic accompaniment to the wide array of useful tunings available. Keep up to date with all things Eastwood, and be the first to receive exclusive offers! The tenor guitar was initially developed in the mid to late 1920s by the Gibson Guitar Company and C. F. Martin & Company. 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