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Thread: What to play on om/gdae tenor guitar?

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Aug 2007


    I bought a very nice Gibson L4 Tenor a couple of weeks ago, tuned in GDAE, and I love it. #

    Can anyone recommend things to play? #I know that's a little open-ended, so let me try to narrow the field a bit. #First of all, I'm not that good. #I really like some of the tunes in John McGann's book, particularly Cooley's Reel and Bits of Ginger, but I can't get them up to speed yet and frankly I can handle only so much Irish at a time. #I love the bouzouki arrangements from Tim O'Brien's Homespun DVD -- basically just ballads with the melody linked together by arpeggioed chords, slow and pretty. #I also just kinda sit around picking; sometimes I wind up doing some of the slow Bach partita stuff and sometimes I might stray to Dylan or Clapton or Tupac or whatever, just as long as it's not too fast. #

    Anybody got any tips on additional things that would be fun to play, particularly on a Tenor -- and where I might find them?

    Or if you're not feeling helpful today and want to talk about yourself instead, let me rephrase the question: #whaddaya like to play?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Oregon, Planet Earth


    If you lean toward the Irish, there is a wealth of material for tenor banjo that translates note-for-note to the TG. I got started on the Tbanjo (coming from mandolin) by listening to Seamus Egan (that would be the Oregon Seamus Egan). His CD "In Your Ear" is a dandy. These days, every time I see Seamus, he's playing a tenor'll hear some on the recording.
    Oh, it is fast, but learn the tunes and soon comes the velocity.
    Do you know about There is a huge archive of tunes in several formats for you to while away your time.
    Tim Crosby
    "Let us re-fill our glasses, for it's good to keep idiosyncracies well-moistened, they being subject to deterioration in a dry moral atmosphere." -O.Henry

  3. #3


    It sounds like your doing just what I did when I got my first one. (yes there is TGAS also) As you get more comfortable you'll get better and faster just like on the mandolin. Slim had a good suggestion also...tons of good stuff there! Any mandolin song ya know can be played also but some of the stretches can be a pain to get used to. Have fun with it, it sounds like a really beauty of a T-guit!
    Look up (to see whats comin down)

  4. #4
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Upstate New York
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    Quote Originally Posted by (West @ Jan. 16 2008, 11:40)
    I bought a very nice Gibson L4 Tenor a couple of weeks ago, tuned in GDAE, and I love it. #

    Can anyone recommend things to play?
    Yee haa!

    I love it. Only we crazy enthusiasts think this way. I have trouble explaining this to non- musicians, why we buy something before we know what we want to do with it.

    That being said - I am exploring the string band music of the turn of the last century - tenor guitar and straw hat stuff.

    My tenor is tuned CGDA, and though the chords are the same as my mandola, and the chord shapes are the same as with all instruments tuned in fifths - the sting band music has a different thinking to it.

    Its all good.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

    The entire staff

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