Topic: Tenor Guitar

Hi.  I think I posted this in the wrong place previously, sorry, new to the site.  I play the uke (GCEA tuning) and read online in various places that a tenor guitar can be played using that tuning as well.  I ordered and received a Martin LXM Tenor guitar, tried to tune it to GCEA with the strings that came on it and it sounds like crap.  I am guessing I need different strings, but I don't want nylon ones like my uke has.  I called Martin several times and they are of no help.  I can't be the only uke player to want to expand and include tenor guitar, and although I have found many articles online that mention it can be tuned GCEA, I can find no where that tells me HOW to do it or what strings I may need.  The whole point of me buying a tenor guitar was for me to have tuning I'm already accustomed to. Any ideas please?  Thank you.

Re: Tenor Guitar

This is why you never buy a guitar you haven't played.    New Martins have seen some decline in build quality on their lower end stuff, especially the instruments built in Mexico.   Before I did anything, I'd have it set up professionally.   

You don't need special strings to change the tuning.  You just need to tune them to whatever tuning you're going to use.

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Tenor Guitar

Pay no attention to Jerome's answer! It has little to do with your problem.

Do as I have been doing for 35 years and buy your strings by the gage. Your local superior music store can sell you Ernie Ball Phosphor Bronze strings in the gages you need.

If you wish to play this tenor in the same range as your uke, you must tune it an octave lower, to compensate for the longer neck. I see you're using the reentrant tuning common to ukes, so I would first try these gages:

  G    -    C    -   E    -   A
26W - 34W - 30W - 18P

If any of them feel too slack, move up to the next even number.
(It's hard to find odd numbers in the larger sizes)

If any of them break or get very tight when you try to tune them up to pitch,
(and remember, you're tuning an octave lower!) move down to the next even number.

Experiment until the string's tension feels comfortable and sounds right.
You may also want to tune it only  a half octave lower, to make it easier to sing in keys that are new to you. That will require a new set of gages, but the notes you would want to try first would be C-F-A-D.

A Tenor Guitar is properly tuned in fifths, but we're forgiving misdemeanors today.

Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious. -H. L. Mencken

People who need pick-guards must think they're playing a washboard! -Me

Re: Tenor Guitar

You sound like you know what you are talking about, tenorlord, but that was an "in your face response" for sure.

You can see all my video covers on [url]http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000[/url]
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

Re: Tenor Guitar

First, he insults her buying method, then he insults both the instrument of her choice and Mexican craftsmanship, then fails to give her any relevant information while imparting bad advice.
How do I end up the bad guy, Benson?

Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious. -H. L. Mencken

People who need pick-guards must think they're playing a washboard! -Me

Re: Tenor Guitar

I understand where Jerome is coming from and I understand where your coming from. From my exprience you dont want to buy a guitar (or uke) that youve never played before because theres always gonna be a problem. If your having a problem keeping a certain tuning, than yes, change the gauge of your strings. Hence the reason people who play death metal use a thicker gauge to maintain tuning. I dont think anything Jerome said was insulting. To tell some that their advice is pointless is insulting and defeats the purpose of there even being a chordie. On that note, I wont highjack this post any longer.

Everything is bad including me
But being bad is good policy
Reverend Horton Heat

Re: Tenor Guitar

I am sure his response to her was not meant as an insult, as was yours to him.  Time to move on.

You can see all my video covers on [url]http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000[/url]
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

Re: Tenor Guitar

bensonp wrote:

I am sure his response to her was not meant as an insult, as was yours to him.  Time to move on.

Here here!!

Everything is bad including me
But being bad is good policy
Reverend Horton Heat

Re: Tenor Guitar

My response wasn't meant as an insult either, and I stand by my first two sentences as right and true.

Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious. -H. L. Mencken

People who need pick-guards must think they're playing a washboard! -Me

Re: Tenor Guitar

I appreciate all of the input; thank you.  My tenor guitar sits unused, but my uke remains well played.  Perhaps that's enough, I never thought I'd play an instrument at all.

Re: Tenor Guitar

I also got a tenor guitar and had the people at the store re-string it. It sounds great in GCEA tuning, but man, that E chord is a STRETCH for my fingers.... It's a lot harder to play than my uke, unfortunately, so I don't play it much.

Re: Tenor Guitar

thank you so much, storngren, i have pretty little fingers, so I think I have made my peace with being loyal to the uke, which i LOVE.  How long have you played the uke?  I've only been playing a year and a half, but SO much FUN!

Re: Tenor Guitar

Old thread I know. But in the interest of getting proper info out there, here is a chart for tenor guitar tunings/string guages. Note the Ukulele tunings do not have to be tuned down an octave. I have an electric tenor tuned GCEA with the proper string gauges and it works just fine.
I'll have an acoustic tenor soon and will do the same thing.
Another option would be to string it for DGBE baritone tuning and capo at 5th fret (GCEA) giving you the option of either tuning by attaching or removing the capo.
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/att … 1388811733