Tenor guitars are hugely versatile. The reduced tension of four strings allows each soundboard to taken far thinner than that of a six-string guitar. Just how thick depends entirely on the piece of wood in question – It has taken years of practise to find that point where the soundboard is almost on the edge of being too thin. Coupled with a light x-bracing pattern this makes the my tenor guitars phenomenally responsive for such a small instrument, with really surprising volume and projection and a beautiful clear tone that’s very distinct from any other guitars.
I make my tenors with an unconventional 620mm scale length, longer than most, as this allows the guitar to play comfortably in a huge range of tuning systems using the four lightest from any regular off-the-shelf set of guitar strings.
They will sound great played in a guitar or ukulele tuning (DF#AD, DGBE etc.), a fiddle tuning (EEAE etc.), a Banjo tuning (DGBD, CGCE, DGCD etc.) or tuned in fifths like a regular scale tenor guitar (BbFCG – CGDA with capo at fret 2) and they can be strummed, flat picked, cross-picked, frailed , played fingerstyle, clawhammer or with banjo rolls with equal ease.
The A. S. Potter Tenor is available in five configurations;
Standard – four string designed for metal strings
Classical – with fan bracing and a tie-on D bridge to take nylon strings. This configuration may also be used with re-entrant tuning to create a ‘sub-baritone’ Ukulele (great for ukulele bands!)
Banjo – With a 5-string banjo neck, also available as fretless
Classical Banjo – with fan bracing, a tie-on D bridge and a 5-string banjo neck, designed to play with nylon or nyl-gut banjo strings. Also available as fretless for ‘minstrel’ players.
8-string – a thicker soundboard and heavier bracing lose some of the sweet tone in favour of a double-strung configuration. This makes an excellent and highly versatile alternative to octave mandolins and bouzouki.