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.

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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”