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Thread: Gone off on a tenor tangent

  1. #1
    Harley Marty
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    Default Gone off on a tenor tangent

    I've been playing tenor guitars now for almost 2 years, it's been like being a child again (not that I've ever grown up). I've played around with GDAE for tunes/chords & CGDA for bass. I wasn't satisfied with the sonics from a CGDA body with GDAE tuning so I started buying 6 string guitars (which I can't play) & converting them to tenors. I found a huge improvement in the sound with the larger body, my latest being a jumbo bodied guitar.
    A few months ago I noticed that a half size cello has a 580mm (23") scale length, so I bought one, removed the C string, shifted the others down & put on a 12 gauge guitar string for the E. Pesto I now have a great sounding tenor violin & yes that's its official title. Now I'm off in the same path with this tenor violin thing with a full size cello, I tried a 9 gauge but it's a bit weak tonaly. So any suggestions from you multitalented mutiinstrumentalists ? (Next I'm having a five string 17"custom made for my chin GDAEB)

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  3. #2
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gone off on a tenor tangent

    Ha ha sounds like fun, do you have any pictures or sounds?

  4. #3
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Gone off on a tenor tangent

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    Ha ha sounds like fun, do you have any pictures or sounds?
    It's great fun to play, all the tunes I play on the tenor guitar at the same finger speed (my bowing is at 75%) & sounds great in sessions. It has more volume than a treble violin but not as much cutting sound. Fiddle players struggle with the reverse bowing. The big one is a 100mm jump in scale length, I only set it up last night so it's going to take a while to stretch my tendons. The guitar string is exactly the right length & being a plain steel string it bows quite well. I tried a nylon & that was a disaster with the bow. Maybe the answer is to up the string gauge
    I need to learn how put photos & video onto this forum! My next 3 toys should be beauties. The custom 5 string octave violin should be leaving the workshop any day now, l won a bid on a loar LH-650 archtop that I'll tenor up in the next week & I'm going to take the plunge into the banjo world with a 1920's Bacon & Day Silver Bell. How much more fun can you have!

  5. #4
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gone off on a tenor tangent

    Can't imagine how hard it would be to find a chinrest for that one.
    Ted Eschliman
    Tenor Guitar Enthusiast

    Author, Getting Into Jazz Mandolin

  6. #5
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Gone off on a tenor tangent

    [QUOTE=Ted Eschliman;1637623]Can't imagine how hard it would be to find a chinrest for that one.[/QUOTE
    For a chin rest on the 1/2 size & full Cello I'll have to start putting steroids in my porridge �� The instrument I have being built is a five string 17" viola body, which is like a viola on steroids. When it arrives I can pass on the scale length measurement. The plan is to fit four 1/4 size cello strings for the GDAE & a normal cello string for the top B. It will never sound as good as the larger upright tenor cellos but when there isn't any room in a crowded Irish pub session & I need something closer to my ear it will fit the bill. For me the standard treble violin is too cramped for my fingers after playing the tenor guitar all these months. I have a 1921 C soprano saxophone for when I really want to be heard (or run out of town:-)

  7. #6
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Gone off on a tenor tangent

    The 9 gauge isn't working very well, it definatly needs to be a thicker string. Does it matter what set I take a plain (unwound) string from? Phosphore, Nickel so on? The other 3 strings on the cello are some sort of synthetic wound I think. I have lots of spare plains because l use 2 sets of 6 strings to make up the gauges for my tenor guitars. ???

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