so...hiya folks....been awhile...i gotta nice easy philosophical(sp?) one fer yous.....i play tenor guitar and bariuke.....i get lots of guff from my friends who play "real guitar"(6stringers)..basicly i get this.."yeah dude..you sound great"..".good addtion to the jam".."come back in 3 days for next practice/jam...but then i get ..".when you gonna graduate to real guitar"...or something like "youd be good on a real guitar".. its never about how im playing or what it sounds like..just what inserment im playing...plus i work on and mod all the guitars and basses in both the bands i play in...so..what gives?....dont get me wrong guys i dont really care what they say..i practice alot and im ok good..im way comfortable as the "tenor" guy...also...i never get junk from these guys when i play my bariuke ..just my modified to tenor yamaha short scale(brought the bridge forward a tad for a 21.5"scale..cut the pickguard to fit...zero fret..nice heavy strings...plays\sounds great)..so after all that heres my question and the kicker....is a tenor guitarist a "real guitar player"?..or just a tenor guitar guy?...kicker..even if played in standard tuning?..not to fifths....im writing a paper fer music class on this subject so any and all comments/ opinions would be awesome...... i need lots of ProNCon..(my rockabilly bands name..sorry..had to..he he he).........thanks.....walker
Tiny Grimes played a tenor guitar. He played with Art Tatum and Charlie Parker, so I don't think he got much guff.
I could only play about 1/3 of the chords and 1/2 of the single note lines on a tenor vs. standard guitar. That would be too limiting for my taste.
I gave up 6 pretty much a couple of decades ago. I now play 4 string (or 8) in Irish bouzouki tuning. The tuning just speaks to me more, it’s not laziness or cheating, some things are easier, some harder.I was constantly overlooked for solos at bluegrass jams. Then I built a disguise- a tenor with a dreadnought body. At first glance bluegrass pickers could not tell I was an infidel. Once I had led a couple of tunes and ripped a couple of solos, then it was too late for the stupid ‘can’t afford 6 strings?’ comments. I do find the trad CGDA a bit high to match a 6 head on. In GDAE or in my case GDAD your only short the E and F at the bottom end so timbre is very much like guitar. I am now the only guitarist leading a reggae band with an Eastwood tenor in bouzouki tuning (that I know of). Sounds awesome, no one has even noticed or asked about the ‘missing strings’. Lastly, I try to avoid the goofs who are hung up on 6 string supremacy. I find the open mind of those who embrace all stringed instruments leads to better jamming, more interesting music and better friendships.