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Thread: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

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    Default tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    So I play a 17 fret tenor banjo but I'm looking to get a Tenor guitar since not everyone in my house likes the sound of a banjo. I'm looking for a moderately short-scale tenor because I just can't do 23" -My banjo is 19 something- 21 would probably be about my limit..

    It'd be for playing melody when everyones home, but chords the rest of the time. (I play irish music)
    It doesn't HAVE to be playable in GDAE, since I really only use DAE, but it would be nice.

    Price range is 200-500, maybe more if I sell some things.

    Having said that, should I just buy the shorter scale trinity college octave and take off the four extra strings to quietly practice banjo once or twice a week, while still mostly playing chords with all eight strings instead?

    I've been wondering about this for a while but haven't really gotten too far

  2. #2

    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    I was making the same decision you are about a year ago. I ended up getting an Ozark Tenor. They don't sell them in the US so I ordered mine from Eagle Music in the UK:

    http://www.eaglemusicshop.com/detail...nor-guitar.htm

    I had to pay quite a bit ($90) for shipping, but still think the guitar was worth the price...very nice looking/sounding and a short scale. It came tuned CGDA, but I re-tuned it to GDAE without any problems and it sounded great that way. It also comes with a hard case that's not bad.

    There are some nice options in the US, but none with the short-scale length (21"), at least none that I could find.

    -Brett

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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    If the requirement is just to practice quietly at a home, I can recommend the banjo mute linked below. It slips over the bridge under the strings. My 17 fret tenor banjo sounds like a very quiet tenor guitar with this mute attached. I'm amazed at how well it works.

    http://janetdavismusic.com/gt-bm.html

    If you are looking for something to chord with, I think the Trinity OM is a good idea, but I would leave all 8 strings on. The Trinity scale length should be pretty close to that of a 17 fret tenor, so it would be a nice match up.

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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    Thanks for the link bretterb, I'll keep that in mind!

    The reason i was thinking of taking half the strings off of the om is because switching between the two(like little mando to banjo) would be tough since I always get tangled in the extra strings when playing melody. they'd probably be on though most of the time.

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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    so far it's between the ozark & goldtone tenors and the short trinity om. still have some saving to do so I won't be buying for another couple of weeks. does anyone have any experience with the goldtone tenor? the tg-18? Thanks again!

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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    A little tip you may already know of, but if your price range ends up limiting you do something with a scale longer than you'd like, you could always tune it to CGDA and then capo at 2 for DAEB. It's an under-rated tuning IMHO, and one I've used with good results on my 17-fret tenor banjo (and no capo required due to the scale length!)

  7. #7
    Registered User mikeyes's Avatar
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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    I second the capoing idea. It shortens your scale length and puts you in a tuning that is the same as a whistle. In addition you can find several tenor guitars (the Blueridge BR-40T, for example) that fit in your price range and have money left over for a capo.

    Mike Keyes

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    I have one of those Ozarks, and I like it a lot, although with the added overseas postage it may be rather more marginal over the Gold Tone and the Blueridge. It's really well-made and I like the look and feel -- matte finish with wood (not plastic) binding and bridge pins. Comes with a nice hard case.

    Like Brett, I have mine retuned GDAE, but have to say that the G string is somewhat marginal for melody playing in that tuning through the combination of short scale and small body. I gather that short-scale "Irish" tenor banjos tend towards a similarly limited low G. Chords are fine, though, and melody playing on the upper three strings is fine, too.

    I also have a second short-scale tenor, a one-off single-cone resonator. That one is better on the low G which is really punchy and growling.

    Martin

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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    Ha! I almost mentioned the capo trick last time i posted! I think that would probably work. So any ideas then for good affordable tenors?

    Thanks guys!

    Would a banjo/mandolin capo work?

  10. #10
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    Cruising the Gold Tone site I see a Baritone banjo-uke , check it out.
    A somewhat long neck still looks like a pretty small Pot, for practice you could dampen the head
    with sponge behind it , I use a piece , or an old wool boot sock to dampen the head of my mandolin banjo, stuffed between the rim stick and the head .

    Could still adopt steel strings for similar feel, for pick resistance , or pick out a few classical guitar strings
    to make up a GDAE or what set of 5ths tuning combination suits you.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  11. #11

    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    As an aficionado of different instruments (and owner of a couple of banjo ukes), I thought that looked pretty interesting, too. I especially enjoy banjo ukes as I really like playing nylon strings on banjos--imparts less twang and instead, a nice, mellow growl.
    Randal Scott

  12. #12

    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    id take a good look at the blueridge tenor guitars. i played one in a shop and it was super sweet. i now have one on order and cant wait to get it.

    baron
    MandoLessons: Free Online Mandolin Lessons
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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    i checked out the blueridge, and now its between blueridge and goldtone. does anyone have any experience with the goldtone tenors?

    thanks for all of your help!

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    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    I'm curious Montanasteve, what moved you away from considering the Ozark?

    J.C.

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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    I actually just spaced it Sorry about that. I think my price limit is around 450-500 now, so I have money left for shipping and a case.

    Do you think the Ozark would be best for my price range J. C. ?

    I keep wondering about the Goldtone because my banjo is a goldtone and its worked out really well.

    ...But the blueridge looks really good too...

    Which one do you guys think would be the best for the money?
    ...kind of afraid of overpaying...

    Thanks for all of your help so far though everybody!

  16. #16

    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    Steve,

    My TG-10 is sitting in the closet unplayed. I don't expect to be playing it either as I'm going back to six-string guitar. It's only a laminated top and so not as resonant as solid tops, but otherwise probably identical to the TG-18. I'll let you have it with gigbag for $175 if you want to make the drive over to Missoula. It's virtually brand new.
    Randal Scott

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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    Anychance for a soundclip and/or pic?

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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    have any of you ever played the Ashbury tenor from the hobgoblin site?

  19. #19
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: tenor shopping/tenor vs octave

    Montanasteve, I just aquired an Ozark and it is fantastic. Laminated back and sides, with a pickup and hard case. got it used for a little over 4hundred. I think it is a good buy, if you can find one. I must say, though, that I think I will end lup with and octave mandolin after it is all over with. I got a tenor banjo and now the tenor guitar, I will have to try the OM before I decide where I will end up (for a while).


    J.C.

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