hi everyone, i'm finally making a four string... and need some input on scale length. i will probably be tuning the guitar to G, C or double C and would appreciate any help n advice. cheers, steve :0)

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A tenor guitar scale length is usually between 21 and 23 inches.
cheers for that man,
I play a four string cbg as well as actual 4 string tenor guitars. I tune mine GDAE for playing chords, not slide. Anyway.... a tenor guitar is usually 23 inches scale....but unless you have one to measure from...yer screwed if you want frets. I make mine 25 inch scale like a dobro. More room if you play slide and easily found fret measurements if you want frets.
thanks 4 that gerry, found an ozark on the net with the spec on the advert, going 4 21 n a half inches. got the fret measuremrnts using stewmacs calculator. :0)
I like a 22 1/2" to 23" scale length tuned CGDA. You have to have a solid build because there's plenty of tension but it makes for generally a pretty loud guitar. Then you can find all of the obscure Tenor guitar and Tenor banjo tabs online.
cheers there ben:0)
I am starting my first tenor guitat as well.  I have a Harmony that has a 23" scale.  I went on Stewmac for scale length in mm.  Thanks for posting this question.  This is my first time adding frets to my neck.  Any advise?
Watch the video just posted by Dan Sleep on how he does fretting. That will point you in the right direction. My only real advice is to make sure you measure each fret from the nut instead of fret to fret. That way you don't compound any errors. Also know that if you build a 23" scale, when you intonate the bridge, it will not be exactly 23" inches from the nut (or 12 1/2" from the 12th fret). It will need to be pushed back a tad. Good luck! Not nearly as hard as you're thinking...
hi sam, my advice would be to just take your time with fretting, double check measurements. i put off fretting my first cbg for ages cos i was nervous about it, i now quite enjoy it but only do it when i'm in the right sort of mood. are you fretting straight to the neck or using a fret board, theres a vid on my page of a simple fret cutting jig i made that takes a lot of the pain out of sawing straight(need all the help i can on that one). i also made a fret press from an old drill press, might do a vid of the whole process? everybody does it differently i think, as ben said dan sleeps vid is excellent, totally different to my method but i picked up on a couple of things there...adapt n improve. give me a shout if ya get stuck:0) 

Ukecansam said:
I am starting my first tenor guitat as well.  I have a Harmony that has a 23" scale.  I went on Stewmac for scale length in mm.  Thanks for posting this question.  This is my first time adding frets to my neck.  Any advise?

Thanks dogfinger,

 

I was planning to fret on the neck and not a fret board.  I will check out the vid's to get a better idea what I am doing.  I will let you know how it turns out.

dogfinger steve dodds said:

hi sam, my advice would be to just take your time with fretting, double check measurements. i put off fretting my first cbg for ages cos i was nervous about it, i now quite enjoy it but only do it when i'm in the right sort of mood. are you fretting straight to the neck or using a fret board, theres a vid on my page of a simple fret cutting jig i made that takes a lot of the pain out of sawing straight(need all the help i can on that one). i also made a fret press from an old drill press, might do a vid of the whole process? everybody does it differently i think, as ben said dan sleeps vid is excellent, totally different to my method but i picked up on a couple of things there...adapt n improve. give me a shout if ya get stuck:0) 

Ukecansam said:
I am starting my first tenor guitat as well.  I have a Harmony that has a 23" scale.  I went on Stewmac for scale length in mm.  Thanks for posting this question.  This is my first time adding frets to my neck.  Any advise?

 

Ben,

 

Thanks for your advice. I will check the vid's.  could you explane more about intonate the bridge?

 

Thanks,


Ben said:

Watch the video just posted by Dan Sleep on how he does fretting. That will point you in the right direction. My only real advice is to make sure you measure each fret from the nut instead of fret to fret. That way you don't compound any errors. Also know that if you build a 23" scale, when you intonate the bridge, it will not be exactly 23" inches from the nut (or 12 1/2" from the 12th fret). It will need to be pushed back a tad. Good luck! Not nearly as hard as you're thinking...
Sure thing. So while we say, for example, a scale length is 23", that's not exactly true. Each string is slightly different because of the different diameters (and materials used in the string). So what you do is build it to a 23" scale. That means that from the nut to the 12th fret should be 12.5" (I normally do this all in mm for accuracy, but it is the same concept). Then a good starting place for the bridge is 23" from the nut (12.5" from the 12th fret). Bring your strings up to tension (note that they don't really have to be in tune with each other at this point). Play a harmonic at the 12th fret by very lightly touching the string with the tip of your finger over the 12th fret (not pushing it down...just touching it). You can do this either with a tuner or by ear. After you get that note on the tuner or by ear, fret the string at the 12th fret. You want it to be the same pitch as the harmonic. If your fretted note is sharper (higher) than the harmonic, then it means that you need to move the bridge back towards the tail a bit. If the fretted note is flatter (lower) that the harmonic you need to move the bridge closer to the 12th fret. Remember this is different for each string so it is a lot of trial and error trying to get the best for each string. If you're familiar with electric guitars like Strats and Teles then you know that there is an individual saddle for each string that can be adjusted. For acoustic guitars there is usually one saddle (sometimes 2) for all the strings. Generally the thicker the string, the further from the 12th fret it needs to be. That's why as you look as people's pictures, you'll see that their saddles are usually slanted so that the 12th fret will play in tune properly (intonation).

Ukecansam said:

 

Ben,

 

Thanks for your advice. I will check the vid's.  could you explane more about intonate the bridge?

 

Thanks,


Ben said:

Watch the video just posted by Dan Sleep on how he does fretting. That will point you in the right direction. My only real advice is to make sure you measure each fret from the nut instead of fret to fret. That way you don't compound any errors. Also know that if you build a 23" scale, when you intonate the bridge, it will not be exactly 23" inches from the nut (or 12 1/2" from the 12th fret). It will need to be pushed back a tad. Good luck! Not nearly as hard as you're thinking...

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