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Help: String Gauge Question: Tenor Guitar

Clinton Hammond 04 Feb 01 - 12:01 AM
Rick Fielding 04 Feb 01 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,khandu 04 Feb 01 - 12:17 AM
Rick Fielding 04 Feb 01 - 12:22 AM
Clinton Hammond 04 Feb 01 - 12:28 AM
Rick Fielding 04 Feb 01 - 12:48 AM
Clinton Hammond 04 Feb 01 - 12:58 AM
Clinton Hammond 04 Feb 01 - 01:38 AM
Rick Fielding 04 Feb 01 - 01:43 AM
Clinton Hammond 04 Feb 01 - 01:51 AM
Gary T 04 Feb 01 - 06:22 AM
W y s i w y G ! 04 Feb 01 - 09:31 AM
Clinton Hammond 04 Feb 01 - 11:53 AM
Clinton Hammond 05 Feb 01 - 12:30 PM
Rick Fielding 05 Feb 01 - 03:49 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Feb 01 - 03:50 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Feb 01 - 03:34 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Feb 01 - 05:35 PM
Cluin 25 Nov 02 - 01:48 AM
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Subject: String Guage Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 12:01 AM

My tenor guitar is turning out to be a lot of fun... but in the tuning it's in now, I'm getting a little bored with it... I also recently aquired a mandolin that I'm having a devil of a time playing with these useless sausage fingers of mine...

So I'm thinking of treating my tenor guitar like an octive mandolin and tuning it GDAE... any suggestions what size or guage of sting to use in such an endevor...

I suspect Rick might have some good stuff to say here...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: String Guage Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 12:09 AM

Indeed I do Clinton. Tenors IS FUN! I've used several tunings on mine, and each really requires a different set of strings to get the proper tension. Mine is the same scale as a tenor banjo so I just use banjo strings. Yours might be too. When I tune it (from the high string) EBGD (guitar tuning) I use 12, 15, 22, 30.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: String Guage Question: Tenor Guitar
From: GUEST,khandu
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 12:17 AM

Rick, do banjo strings not cause a loss of volume on your tenor? I strung mine with banjo strings, loved the sound, but suffered an extreme loss of volume.

khandu


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Subject: RE: Help: String Guage Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 12:22 AM

Yeah Khandu. Certainly possible. One way of dealing with it is to check the guages on a tenor banjo package, and then buy separately four strings with slightly lighter guages. Eg: If the banjo string is 30 buy the equivalent (Bronze) guitar string at a 28 guage. Should help the brightness.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: String Guage Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 12:28 AM

Ya... that's for guitar tuning... what I wanna know is if ya have suggestions for string guages for Mandolin Tuning for this thing... GADE

EBGD... ahhh... gotcha... the 4 thin strings in a guitar... Mine is currently tuned (from the bass down) EADG... And I think the guages are 12, 16, 25, 32... but that's a total guess... Any suggestions?

I'm sitting here, looking at a tonne of old guitar strings from packs where only one got used... so I have a plethora to choose from...


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Subject: RE: Help: String Guage Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 12:48 AM

Clinton. Lets make sure all of us are on the same page here. The bass string on the mandolin is a G (usually about a 32 guage).

The bass string on my Glen Reid Octave mandolin (about the same size as a Mandola) is D (I use a 35...for a light tension) the next string is A (about a 24). The next is E (about 15) and the high one is B (about 11). This gives me a nice light feel. (remember these are paired)

One of the problems is that all these hybrid instruments have different scales and are often called something their not. My "Tenor Guitar" is a 1910 Washburn and the label says it's a "Courting Guitar"(!!?). It may actually be the scale of a baritone uke. (slightly shorter...thus heavier strings. I've seen three or four sizes of instrument called "Octave mandolin". Glen Reid designed his from another hybrid called an "Octophone". This is one of the reasons why I've used trial and error to get the right "feel". The Problem is that once it's time to change the damn strings I've forgotten what's already on!

Fortunately Tenor guitar strings aren't hard to find these days.

Shit this should have been easy. Sorry to make it so complicated.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: String Guage Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 12:58 AM

GDAE... ya... that's what I ment to type...

I'll take yer guage recomendations under advisment and post here leter to let ya know if it worked, or if the neck snapped off from the tension! LOL!!

I really wish I could find out more about this Harmony tenor guitar... I've looked on the 'official' site online and tried to compare serial numbers and such... but if I follow their date stamp guidelines, my tenor guitar is from 1902!!! LOL!!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: String Guage Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 01:38 AM

O.k.. so now I wonder if maybe we're on different pages where instrument names are concerned... I suspect i'm the one who's out to sea, so lemme start again...

I have this wee 4 stringed instrument... made by harmony... and they call it a tenor guitar... it measures very nearly 58cm from nut to bridge... I'd like to tune it to GDAE... when I tried a 33ish string as the G then tension was getting really high as I neared E, so I don't think it's gonna make it to up to G... and taking the G down the octave on that string is WAY too sloppy to be playable....

Any other suggestions for a guy who may be in over his head?

;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: String Guage Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 01:43 AM

I'll check mine out in the morning. Dammit, I had a chance to buy a really professional "guager"(what the Hell are they called?) from a Cash Converter's store for twenty bucks and passed it up!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: String Guage Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 01:51 AM

I donno... what the hell are they called? LOL!

ya... I'm gonna shelf this project till morning, make a bag of popcorn and watch the rest of Batman Returns on Space...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: String Gauge Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Gary T
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 06:22 AM

A micrometer will measure string gauges (they read to the thousandth of an inch). They are typically used by macninists and auto mechanics. I have doubts about finding one for $20, but this would be such light-duty use I wouldn't be afraid to buy a real cheapie if one's available.

Precision measuring calipers (essentially the modern equivalent of vernier calipers, but not literally having a vernier-type scale) will also give readings to the thousandth of an inch. This will be either on a dial or an LCD readout. I'd be very surprised if a new one can be had cheaply enough to be tempting.

You might find these used at a garage sale, or by going to machine shops or auto repair shops and asking about.


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Subject: RE: Help: String Gauge Question: Tenor Guitar
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 09:31 AM

Jeepers, Rick, dontcha keep the empty string wrappers in your case to hold business cards, post-it notes, picks, and other important documents so you can replicate the strings? That's what I do with my plucked psaltery I had restrung. (Bought as an execrable "Musicmaker" and redeemed to real instrument-hood with the help of an instrument repair genius.)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Help: String Gauge Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 11:53 AM

bump


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Subject: RE: Help: String Gauge Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 12:30 PM

re-bump?


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Subject: RE: Help: String Gauge Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 03:49 PM

Susan I'm afraid I'd have 20,000 string envelopes and I'd need three new cases just to carry 'em in.

Clinton, not matter how I slice it my bass string is 30-32.

However my friend Tony tunes his down to C (on the bass) and he starts off with 36.

Better start a thread with "octave mandolin" in it. I'm outta my depth. All my mando-thingys are weird scale lengths.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: String Gauge Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 03:50 PM

LOL!!

Thanks fer the help at any rate eh mate!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: String Gauge Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 03:34 PM

I heard back from a chummer of mine who also has the same scale length beastie... at about 23" And his string guage recomendations were 48, 30, 24, 10... but he also tunes the G down to an A because he said the G was giving off some strange overtones and such...

I'm gonna give it a try later tonight while watching Dark Angel

;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: String Gauge Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 05:35 PM

O.k... so I couldn't wait...

It was a boring old episode of Star Trek TNG, so I attempted it... and I'm liking it alot...

String Guages... 45, 35, 26, and Ithink the last one might be a 10 or so... I really like the sound... Now I have an excuse to learn new fingering!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: String Gauge Question: Tenor Guitar
From: Cluin
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 01:48 AM

Your old chummer is revamping his Harmony tenor this winter (new tuners, new nut, reworking the bridge and fixing the neck set) after some advice from the aforementioned Glen Reid. He told me (and some research has backed that up) that it should be tuned (bass to treble) CGDA, like a tenor banjo, which it was made to imitate back when the guitar was the new machine replacing banjo as rhythm instrument in most bands. That way, the banjo players could get hip and pick up the cool new axes without having to learn totally new chops. Also happens to be the same tuning as mandola. That's what the old tenor guitars were designed for and what apparently a prepackaged set of real tenor strings will correspond to. It was later players that changed to a tuning the same as the top four guitar strings, again to save learning new scales and chords. Jeez, aren't musickers lazy? ;)

Anyway, I'm gonna get this thing working right and start playing out with it, along with my fiddle and mando buddies. I used it to pick leads and fills in the old ADAE tuning in the studio once but it was real finicky that way. Verrrrrrrrry sweet tone though so it was worth it.


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