Ever Tried a Tenor?
Ever tried a Tenor?
Originally inspired by 4-string Irish banjos, the Tenor Guitar is often misunderstood and too often overlooked. The earliest origins of the tenor guitar are somewhat unclear, but by 1927, Tenor models appeared in both the Martin and Gibson catalogs.
In those days, tenor guitars provided a familiar neck and tuning for plectrum banjo players who were hired for guitar gigs. After a burst of popularity during the folk revival of the '60s, tenor guitars were back in fashion. Even though sales dwindled through the mid-'70s, Martin has continued to build them in limited quantities, while Gibson has abandoned them all together.
Nowadays, they have found a home in bluegrass, Americana, folk, Celtic, and many other genres where a resonant, articulate tone is desired. We particularly like tuning Tenors down in low G, like an octave mandolin. It unlocks interesting two-finger chord voicing that leave open strings, and the low notes resonate like you wouldn't believe.