Guitars are, without a doubt, a popular instrument; every music fanatic, and even most people, know what an electric or an acoustic guitar is. Even most people are very aware of bass guitars and their purpose in music.
However, you may be surprised (or not, depending on how much you love guitars) to hear that those are not the only kinds of guitars out there! There are others that are made to sound very different, and are used for different purposes. The Tenor guitar is just one example of a unique type of guitar.
The tenor guitar often looks very similar to an acoustic guitar, but has a few key differences. The first thing you will notice is that the guitar has less strings; it only has four instead of the typical five. It is also usually shorter, smaller, and lighter than an acoustic guitar, making it often a very suitable instrument for children to play. Some tenor guitars, however, are very close in body size to a standard acoustic six string guitar. It depends on the manufacturer.
When you play the guitar, you’ll notice that it sounds different as well. That is because it is tuned in to a different key; they use the “CGDA” key instead of “EADGBE”. Tenor guitars are actually based off of tenor banjos; if you can play one of those, you can play this guitar! In the early days of its creation, that was actually one of the main uses of this particular guitar. It allowed tenor banjo players to play guitar without having to learn entirely new chords on a six string instrument. And interestingly enough, the guitar can also be played with the same chords used on a mandola as well!
These guitars have a very unique sound to them and are quite interesting instruments. Check out the video below to hear what one of these four string guitars sounds like!