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.
Prices from £1675
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.
Other Folk Instruments
I also enjoy making mountain dulcimers, ukuleles of all sizes, instruments from the mandolin family (up to and including guitar-bodied mandocello and bouzouki) and the occasional old-time or mountain banjo.
It is my aim to shortly be able to offer more comprehensive information about these instruments here, but for the moment if you would like to know more please get in touch and I will be happy to help out.