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Thread: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

  1. #1

    Default Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    I was cleaning up me laptop today and found a video I recorded in 2017 and never published. I think the reason was the sound of the Session King distorts on the recording, but I've uploaded it 'cos I think the video might be pretty useful to some of you.

    In the video I talk about the difference between the long and short scale Session King tenor guitars I make.



    Enjoy,

    Nigel
    https://www.nkforsterguitars.com/ins.../tenor-guitar/
    Last edited by nkforster; Jun-15-2019 at 5:55am.

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  3. #2
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    Fascinating video, Nigel. Great insights into your thought processes, and the instrument sounds really good too!
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

  4. #3

    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    Great information and a wonderful sounding tenor Nigel. I need to try the GDAE tuning one of these days.

    Scott

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    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    Yes a nice sound on that instrument.
    I'm wondering why the shape of the body is straight instead of the usual curved bout, to the neck? The guitar / bouzouki's are the same shape.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  6. #5

    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    Any chance of a really short scale one say 18 inches, could be strung and tuned as either a mandola or an OM. I find that melodic playing on anything longer than 18" I am starting to stretch uncomfortably. I have small hands, and prefer light strings in the 15-18 lb range. I know this would lose power but don`t care, it's into a mic or a pickup most of the time, and less power is easier on the neighbors too. Its the quality of sound that matters more than quantity to me.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    Yes a nice sound on that instrument.
    I'm wondering why the shape of the body is straight instead of the usual curved bout, to the neck? The guitar / bouzouki's are the same shape.
    Well, you start with a regular 14 fret to the body guitar design. In this case, my Model S.

    When you join the neck at the 15th or 16th fret you have two choices - move the neck out from the 14th fret position or keep the bridge where it is and move the shoulders in. If you do the former the bridge gets very close to the soundhole. If you do the latter, you get squarer shoulders as the top bout is reduced by around 20mm.

    Nigel
    https://www.nkforsterguitars.com/ins.../tenor-guitar/

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by kurth83 View Post
    Any chance of a really short scale one say 18 inches, could be strung and tuned as either a mandola or an OM. I find that melodic playing on anything longer than 18" I am starting to stretch uncomfortably. I have small hands, and prefer light strings in the 15-18 lb range. I know this would lose power but don`t care, it's into a mic or a pickup most of the time, and less power is easier on the neighbors too. Its the quality of sound that matters more than quantity to me.
    I think you'd get more responses to this if you start a separate thread.

    Nigel
    https://www.nkforsterguitars.com/ins.../tenor-guitar/

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  9. #7
    Plectrum guitar/banjoist
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    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    A few pix of my ca, 1939 Vega Advanced C-66 plectrum guitar.Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #8
    Plectrum guitar/banjoist
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    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    Vega plectrum and Harmony tenor comparison photo. Plectrum has 26" scale, tenor is 23" Click image for larger version. 

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    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    ... And what are their specific tuning (plectrum comparing tenor) ?

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Irénée View Post
    ... And what are their specific tuning (plectrum comparing tenor) ?
    Originally tenor banjo and tenor guitar were tuned CGDA. Plectrum banjo, basically a "regular banjo" without the 5th string, was tuned CGBD. Both were steel strung and played with a pick.

    "Chicago" tuning is the tuning of the baritone ukulele, DGBE, which can be used on either the shorter neck tenor or the longer neck plectrum banjo.

    Finally, some Italian and Irish tenor banjo players tuned to octave mandolin tuning, GDAE.

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    Plectrum guitar/banjoist
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    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Originally tenor banjo and tenor guitar were tuned CGDA. Plectrum banjo, basically a "regular banjo" without the 5th string, was tuned CGBD. Both were steel strung and played with a pick.

    "Chicago" tuning is the tuning of the baritone ukulele, DGBE, which can be used on either the shorter neck tenor or the longer neck plectrum banjo.

    Finally, some Italian and Irish tenor banjo players tuned to octave mandolin tuning, GDAE.
    David: Succinctly stated and exactly correct. Well done! J.L.Myers ['39 Vega Advanced C-66 plectrum guitar, '25 B&D #2 plectrum banjo]

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    To paraphrase an old viola joke "whats the difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar? The plectrum guitar burns longer."
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  19. #13
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between a tenor guitar and a plectrum guitar

    ... Therefore, it seems (reading & hearing nkforster) that the best "recommended" scale is the Plectrum (long scale) with a GDAE tuning !?

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