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Thread: Getting started with tenor, looking at an electric tenor

  1. #1

    Default Getting started with tenor, looking at an electric tenor

    Hello all you fine tenor guitar players! To use a quaint Australian phrase, my left hand is somewhat rooted, and therefore I am no longer equipped for playing anything other than slide or slimmer neck guitars. I am looking at joining your noble four string hobby. However, I am somewhat confused about where to get started. Strangely, anything acoustic aside from the cheap Harley Benton/Ibanez tenor guitars is... very expensive. Likewise, outside of custom luthiers, on the electric front the only tenors seem to be made by Eastwood and Fender. Further, it seems Fender are pulling some kind of nonsense with the Tenor Telecaster. Should I bite the bullet and just get a Warren Ellis tenorcaster? Any other suggestions? If it helps (or you can point me to a EU based luthier) I am in Europe. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Getting started with tenor, looking at an electric tenor

    If you want shorter scale, and CGDA, the Eastwood mandola converted to a four stringer is a sweet instrument. For longer scale, a real tenor guitar is the sweet spot.
    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.

  3. #3
    Tenor Guitar Greenhorn Huck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting started with tenor, looking at an electric tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Krabo View Post
    ...anything acoustic aside from the cheap Harley Benton/Ibanez tenor guitars is... very expensive.

    ...Should I bite the bullet and just get a Warren Ellis tenorcaster? Any other suggestions? If it helps (or you can point me to a EU based luthier) I am in Europe. Thanks.
    Hi Krabo: I'm in North America so I don't know how helpful I can be but here goes:

    I consider myself a novice tenor player. The Ibanez tenors were my only affordable option when I started. I'd love to find an Aria tenor or Little Martin tenor, but they are scarce it seems. Used Harmony/Stellas are now fetching over $200 USD regularly. So I have to ask - as a novice, what is your apprehension with buying an entry level Ibanez or Harley Benton? The Ibanez models are $200 USD and $330 USD for the solid top and are readily available here in the U.S.

    Secondly, If you can find a local Fender dealer - why not pre-order a Tenor Tele ($500 USD). I know a lot has been made of the so called "nonsense" but they are only a month behind on a completely new product launch. I'd rather they be late and right rather than be on time with set-up issues, etc.

    Also these threads may be helpful:
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...-Tenor-at-NAMM

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...aster-worth-it


    Just my thoughts as a fellow beginner.

    Best of luck!

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Getting started with tenor, looking at an electric tenor

    You're right in that a descent acoustic is very expensive and there are not many builders of either electric or acoustic.

    The quickest way to a tenor is to buy a capo and restring/tune a 6-string guitar removing 2 strings in the process. Capo at the 2nd fret of a Les Paul, for example, will give you a 21" scale tenor - obviously a bit longer on a Stratocaster. I did this with an Epiphone Wildkat and it works great for giving me a tenor on the quick while I wait for the right offering to come along.
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  6. #5
    Tenor Guitar Greenhorn Huck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting started with tenor, looking at an electric tenor

    I also remember reading this thread about Artist Tenor Guitars:
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...s-in-Australia

    Don't know if available where you live, but thought it might give you another insight into acoustic options at 219 quid. https://www.artistguitars.co.uk/prod...guitar-w-15200

    Like Verne Andru, I did restring a Squier Mini with four strings once, but I have to agree with kurth83:

    Quote Originally Posted by kurth83 View Post
    ...a real tenor guitar is the sweet spot.
    Last edited by Huck; Sep-30-2019 at 8:02pm.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Getting started with tenor, looking at an electric tenor

    For what it is worth, I have found a builder in South Africa of all places who makes tenor guitars. Might be worth a look:

    https://reverb.com/item/7059963-fann...ell-pick-guard

    There is also a seller in Australia, Found Sound, who are selling two of the old p90 Eastwood tenors. Were these any good?

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