I built this tenor with the melodic players of traditional Irish tunes in mind. It is tuned like a violin, but an octave lower, and uses heavier strings to make flatpicking easier. This small guitar has well-defined bass and sounds pretty cool with wide-open chords as a backup or accompaniment instrument, too. A friend of mine thinks it would be a nice alternative to the typical bouzouki sound for Irish music.
Amber’s parents came up with the perfect name for this lightly shaded, barely-a-sunburst finish: the tea-burst.
The body is finished with a French polish and water-borne varnish sandwich, and the neck is sugar maple with an oil finish. The sugar maple and Adirondack spruce top were supplied by Old Standard in Callaway County.
Here’s the tenor I’ve been dreaming of. This was built based on a very cool Gibson TG-0, with a few twists thrown in to make it my own. The big change I made was building the top on a light X-brace pattern rather than the ladder-braced scheme of the original. The sound of this little guitar is incredible. It has a throaty, full bass end with a bright, Adirondack spruce-chime on the high end. It pairs really well with the grand concert guitars I’ve been building, in case you’ve been having Delmore Brothers-inspired thoughts like I have.
Continue reading “Tenor Prototype”