The Unwound Third > Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos

tenor guitar for acoustic blues

(1/3) > >>

Anyone out there doing much (any) of this? Since I started playing the mandolin, I haven't had much interest in playing my guitar. For whatever reason, I "get it" more with the 5ths tuning and fewer strings than I ever did with the mostly 4ths tuning of the guitar. Anyway, I just bought an old Emperador tenor. I am contemplating stringing/tuning it to GDAE (an octave below the mandolin) for a couple of reasons. One is that my feeble brain would not have to memorize another set of chords or note locations. The other is that it would be pretty close to the same range as a standard guitar, starting only 3 intervals higher and ending on the same string. The E and F blues bass runs are about the only things that can't be done in that tuning (and there are reasonable substitutes that I have already learned on the mando). The CGDA tuning (higher than what I am thinking) seem to be more popular though. Anyway, just curous if anyone else here is messinag around with a tenor.

Scott Jacobs:

Hi all,
Didn't Charlie Burse, the jug band musician from Memphis, play a tenor guitar?  I am not familiar enough with his recordings to know whether there are any songs that really feature his playing, or if he was most often employed in a more chordal accompanying capacity.  Is there anybody out there who is more familiar with his work?
All best,

Bunker Hill:

--- Quote from: Johnm on February 06, 2006, 10:36:08 AM ---Didn't Charlie Burse, the jug band musician from Memphis, play a tenor guitar? 
--- End quote ---
I'm sure you are correct.
This is from memory since I seem to have misfiled the work but I'm sure there are two photos showing Burse with tenor - one from the 30s, the other the 60s - in Bengt Olsson's 1970 Memphis Blues paperback. My mind's eye can also visualise a quote from Burse in which he says that folk who didn't know what the instrument was called it a uke-banjo (or something similar). Anyone have easy access to this book?

I don't have access to the book, but there's an extremely grainy print of one of the pictures - I assume the one from the 1960s - on the cover of Old Tramp CD 02: Charlie Burse - James De Berry.  It shows Burse in an open-necked shirt strumming a tenor guitar.  The CD title banner covers part of the guitar's headstock, but the thin fretboard is readily apparent.  I haven't listened to the CD in a while, so can't comment on what he's playing on the 1939 recordings.  I guess I'll give it a listen tonight.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version