: The tenor and plectrum are most often used for the same type of music. Just a matter
: of preference. Tenor has a higher pitch, tuned in fifths GCDA. The plectrum
: actually was derived from the 5 string. When jazz evolved from ragtime etc. The 5
: string banjo, in those days had gut strings. They didn't have the volume to cut
: through the other instruments. The drone string was removed and steel strings were
: substituted for the gut strings to give it volume. The instrument had been played
: finger style up until that point. The style was changed to a strumming rhythm style
: using a "Plectrum"...which is a fifty cent word meaning "Pick".
: I believe the typical plectrum tuning is what is referred to as "C"
: As things progressed the higher pitch of the tenor would lend itself to the
: traditional "Jass" musical style.
: As the big bands began to become more popular and were now dance bands the banjo
: rhythm was considered too harsh. The band leaders wanted a guitar for that spot
: instead...enter the tenor guitar. The tenor guitar actually was a guitar body with a
: neck similar to a tenor banjo, for the obvious reason the banjo player could quickly
: substitute the two. HOWEVER..the tenor guitar just could not be heard...enter the 6
: string arch top guitar to claim that spot. At that point the tenor guitar became a
: red headed step child.
: The tenor guitars of the day were cheap for that reason, a lot of the black vocal
: groups (Mills Bros. and many others) originally adapted the tenor guitar as it could
: provide rhythm for a vocal group and not get in the way.
: Many years later...enter Nick Reynolds...we all know the story...tuning the tenor
: guitar as it were a larger bodied baritone Uke and the rest as they say....is
: history :>)
: If you'll go to You tube and check out some of the Johnny Baier videos from the
: American banjo museum, you can see this type of description in action...worth your
: --Previous Message--
: Is there a difference in the way you play a tenor and a plectrum banjo? I know the
: neck is longer by a couple of frets on a plectrum. Other than that, what actually is
: the difference between the two? I didn't bother to Google this, but is the tuning
: the same or different? I know, or believe Bob played his plectrum tuned like the
: first four strings of a guitar, like Nick played the tenor guitar. So is it the way
: you strum it? Or is a tenor a higher pitched instrument, as the word tenor seems to
: suggest? Curious minds want to know!