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Thread: Tenor tuning - EBF#C#?

  1. #1
    Registered User mreidsma's Avatar
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    Default Tenor tuning - EBF#C#?

    I was doing some more research on Cromwell tenors from the 1930s, when I came across this listing from Folkway for a 1934 Gibson TG-00, turned down in fifths but with a guitar low E as the bottom string. They “highly recommended this tuning” but it’s one I’ve never tried or even heard of. Anyone else ever try this tuning out? My Cromwell is set up in GDAE, but sounds better with the E tuned down to D (GDAD). I’m curious about whether this lower tuning would give it a more full sound.

    Here’s the listing: https://www.folkwaymusic.com/museum/...bson-tg00-0115

  2. #2
    Registered User Seonachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tenor tuning - EBF#C#?

    I play in FCGD, and I know a few others on here do. This tuning is only 1/2 step lower, so there's no reason why it wouldn't work with the right combination of guitar & strings.

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  4. #3
    Registered User mreidsma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tenor tuning - EBF#C#?

    I haven't restrung, but I did try both low E tuning and FCGD and it really opened up my Cromwell. Transposing in my head was a lot easier with FCGD, too. I mostly play by myself, so I'm not that worried about playing nicely with others, but I can always capo up if I need to be in GDAE. Thanks for the tip! Funny I've never tried it before! (I have several 6 strings that I tune down because they sound better.)

    Thanks!

  5. #4
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tenor tuning - EBF#C#?

    Sure sounds like a cool experiment to try Low E. I would be choosy on which tenor i did it perhaps - might try on an electric. Main reason is I get a lot of joy in GDAE knowing I can just capo up to CGDA at fifth fret without feeling too cramped. Thanks for starting this thread!
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, ‘59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: ‘57 Gibson ETG-150, ‘80s Manson Kestrel
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  6. #5
    Registered User mreidsma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tenor tuning - EBF#C#?

    I had been playing in lower tunings this week with the wrong strings (too floppy!) so I decided to try restringing. I didn't have the right strings around for FCGD, but I had the right ones to pull off the harder-to-transpose EBF#C# (54-34-24-14). I strung up my 1935 Gibson-made Cromwell, which has always been quiet and lacking in tone, and it came alive! I'm really loving the lower voice it has. The whole box moves now when you play a note. Here's a short clip:



    The bottom two strings are a little high on the nut. If I keep it, I'll have to widen the nut slots.

    I didn't make a before video of the Cromwell, but I did capture a little sample of my mid-1950s Kay-made Orpheum mahogany archtop tenor in GDAE:


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