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gibson 4 string guitars

GUEST,Max 07 Dec 06 - 09:35 PM
RangerSteve 07 Dec 06 - 09:42 PM
GUEST,Max 07 Dec 06 - 09:54 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 07 Dec 06 - 11:28 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 07 Dec 06 - 11:33 PM
GLoux 08 Dec 06 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 08 Dec 06 - 09:38 AM
Janie 03 Jul 09 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,Banjarz7 17 Feb 11 - 02:56 PM
Mark Ross 17 Feb 11 - 10:07 PM
scouse 18 Feb 11 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Jack Barnes 21 Mar 11 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Alvarez "Regent" 21 Mar 11 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Tenor Lover 05 May 11 - 04:09 PM
Will Fly 06 May 11 - 04:25 AM
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Subject: Gibson 4 string guitars
From: GUEST,Max
Date: 07 Dec 06 - 09:35 PM

What's the history on the Gibson 4 string guitar with the plectrum banjo neck as played by Eddie Condon? Some say his was the only one made because he couldn't be bothered to learn guitar. Others say they have been around since 1932...


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: RangerSteve
Date: 07 Dec 06 - 09:42 PM

Also called a tenor guitar, they were around before 1932, the Delmore Brothers used one. They're actually pretty common.


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: GUEST,Max
Date: 07 Dec 06 - 09:54 PM

I think the tenor guitar had a shorter neck and was a round-hole. The inst. I refer to has a regular plectrum banjo neck attached to an L5 F-hole body.


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 07 Dec 06 - 11:28 PM

The plectrum guitar is indeed a longer neck than a tenor. Kind of a rare bird.

Don


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 07 Dec 06 - 11:33 PM

From Wikipedia


The plectrum guitar is a close four stringed relative of the tenor guitar with a scale length of 26-27 inches and tunings usually based on the plectrum banjo - CGBD or DGBD. Plectrum guitars are also very suitable for guitar tuning - DGBE - because of their longer scale length but are much less suitable for CGDA tuning because of the high A string. Plectrum guitars were not made in as large numbers as tenor guitars and are now more rare.

Plectrum guitars played a similar role for plectrum banjo players in this period as the tenor guitar, but was much less common. One of the best known plectrum guitarists from the Jazz Age was Eddie Condon, who started out on banjo in the 1920s and then switched to a Gibson L7 plectrum guitar in the 1930s and stayed with it all his musical life up to the 1960s.

[edit] Use and performers


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: GLoux
Date: 08 Dec 06 - 08:09 AM

I always thought Rabon Delmore played a Martin Tenor Guitar. Sure looks like one from the photographs.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 08 Dec 06 - 09:38 AM

Hi Greg,

The pictures I have seen of Rabon Delmore have him playing a Martin tenor, probably around a 23-24" scale. The Plectrum guitar had a scale length more like a 5-String banjo. 26" or better. I'd bet you see a hundred photos of a six string before you see a tenor guitar. And 100 tenors before you see one plectrum.

There was a great article about tenors and plectrums in a copy of Accoustic Guitar not long ago. If I can find it I'll reference it for this thread.

Don


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: Janie
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 05:26 PM

I couldn't figure out to which thread this best fit, so decided this one is as good as any. Last night I was listening to an archived interview (from April, 2009) with Bela Fleck. He was talking about the use of banjo in jazz, and said that at one time, nearly all the big jazz bands included a banjo. When the guitar became much more popular and the "latest thing" with these bands, suddenly no one wanted a banjo player. He says the tenor guitar was developed largely so that former jazz banjo players could continue to work.

The interview can be heard here.. "Click on "Throw Down Your Heart" once you get to the page.


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: GUEST,Banjarz7
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 02:56 PM

I am the proud owner of a 1928 Gibson PG-1 Plectrum guitar. I am now completely nuts about plectrums. I also have a 1931 Martin 1-17P, a 1930 Stetson cutaway plectrum (rosewood)and am expecting delivery tomorrow of a really rare 1931 Martin 1-28P (less than 20 made.)
One of my real gems is a 1930 Weissenborn koa plectrum.
Don't let your friends make fun of your 4-string. It's a real hoot for a 5-string banjo picker (Bluegrass and clawhammer)to re-learn eveything and flat-pick the whole business.
And yes, a plecrum guitar has a long scale of 26+ 1nches.
As far as rarity, Martin for instance made at least 100 6-strings for every tenor 4-string, and 100 tenors for each plectrum. They are really rare birds.
By 1932, the plectrum era was fast closing. The bands by then started using a lot more horns, and a little 4-string lady was no longer going to cut it. They needed a big archtop 6 string boomer to be heard, so plectruma are the model "T" or buggy whip of the era; time just passed them by.


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: Mark Ross
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 10:07 PM

The Delmore Bros. used a tenor guitar, but it was tuned DGBE like the top 4 strings of a 6 string guitar.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: scouse
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 07:11 AM

I own a 1935 Tenor Guitar which "George Gruhn" described as a TG 75 model, it's still in it's original case. Only one owner from new who returned it to the shop were he bought it in Amsterdam in 1999 after it lay unopened since around 1936!!!'Cos he never did learn to play it.
As Aye,

Phil.


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string PLECTRUM guitars
From: GUEST,Jack Barnes
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 11:37 AM

Hello Fellas!
If anyone has any information on PLECTRUM "Regent" Guitars please post a comment.

I am assuming and hoping that "Regent" was only licensed for use by EPIPHONE.

Hope to hear back from someone soon!

Jack


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: GUEST,Alvarez "Regent"
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 02:29 PM

I have since found a modern day manufacture of "Regent" called Alverez.
I have seen a few photos of their six string that looks cosmetically like my plectrum but much larger of course. Again, please chime in since you all seem to have a lot of brain cells devoted to Geetars.

By the way, the comments you all made about tenor banjo players versus geetar players are pretty spot on.

However,I'm going to throw in my 2 cents either to get your attention or to set you off. Either way, this ought to cause a controversy.

Don't be mistaken about the roll of the Tenor Banjo. It was developed for use in BRASS BANDS when it was found YOU COULD NOT HEAR THE SOFT TONE GUITAR of the PARLOR BANDS. You all aren't going back far enough in your histories. BIG BAND SOUNDS were a different story. Banjos were considered "OLD TIME JAZZ" just like RACCOON COATS AND STRAW HATS. Fedoras and zoot suits went together with gee-tars better and you should not underestimate the COSMETIC APPEAL of the Archtop Gee-Tar. Both the Tenor Banjo and the Plectrum Banjo were replaced with Archtop Gee-Tars for COSMETIC APPEAL as much as they were for SOUND QUALITY. I play in a jazz band to-day I am am sure if any of you all who are not just in a PARLOR BAND (No Offense, my Grandpa had a Parlor Band in Temple, Texas in 1895) you will know when I say unless you are juiced up and on an amp, NOBODY CAN HEAR YOU ON STAGE WITH A BRASS BAND with just an acoustic geetar...but with an non-amplified banjo you have half a chance of cutting through those horns. Intellectual arguments aside, I believe GeeTars replaced Banjos in Big Bands because of aesthetics, not because of their superior sound. Of course, after Charlie Christian and the Electric Geetar, all bets are off!


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: GUEST,Tenor Lover
Date: 05 May 11 - 04:09 PM

What tuning did Rabon Delmore use? I think it was the tuning like the top strings of a 6 string guitar,but sometimes it sounds like CGDA? Did he change tunings periodically?


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Subject: RE: gibson 4 string guitars
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 May 11 - 04:25 AM

I don't know what tuning Rabon used but I would bet that he didn't change it. There's a huge difference in the scale length required to play CGDA and play DGBE, as there is between "standard" tenor banjo tuning (CGDA) and "Irish" banjo tuning, and string sets can't usually cope.

So, a short scale tenor guitar would normally use CGDA, and other tunings such as DGBE would require a longer scale. Unless Rabon actually used different guitars and played different chordings, he would probably have stayed with one or the other.

When the Louvin Brothers made their tribute album to the Delmores, the sleeve notes say that they had the privilege of using the Delmores' instruments, which were in a museum. So presumably it's possible to find out...


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