5 Best Tenor Guitars [2023]

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Looking for the best tenor guitar? Want to buy an amazing tenor guitar?

The tenor guitar is not one of the most common instruments out there today, and many musicians have never even laid eyes on one. However, if you want to have an instrument that sounds great and is a bit different from the norm, the tenor guitar can be a great choice.

If you want to start playing the 4-string tenor guitar, keep reading. Below I’ll give you my list of the best tenor guitars on the market today.

Best Tenor Guitars – Quick View

ImageModelPrice 
Blueridge BR-40T Contemporary Series Tenor GuitarBlueridge BR-40T Tenor GuitarCheck Price on Amazon
Ibanez Performance PFT2-NT Mini Dreadnought Acoustic Tenor Guitar NaturalIbanez Performance PFT2-NT Mini Dreadnought Acoustic Tenor GuitarCheck Price on Amazon
Gold Tone TG-10 Tenor GuitarCheck Price on Amazon
Kmise Tenor Guitar 30-inch Mahogany InstrumentCheck Price on Amazon
Ibanez AVT1 Tenor - NaturalIbanez AVT1 Tenor GuitarCheck Price on Amazon

What Is a Tenor Guitar?

If you don’t know what a tenor guitar is, you shouldn’t feel bad. These instruments aren’t so common and many guitarists have never laid their hands on one. The tenor guitar has been around for quite a while, however, and was created over a century ago. These guitars have an interesting history and have experienced something of a resurgence recently.

Unlike a typical acoustic guitar, the tenor guitar has only 4 strings. Tenor guitars are also usually tuned differently than a typical guitar. Most often, tenor guitars are tuned in fifths, to CGDA. This is the same as you can find in instruments such as the viola, the mandola, and the tenor banjo. However, all types of interesting tunings are available with the tenor guitar.

The tenor guitar makes a great instrument for guitar players to use to change up their instrumentation and can also be a great choice for banjo players looking for a change as well. While they’re not as common as standard guitars, many people play tenor guitars to this day and the instrument remains a unique choice for players.

How Are Tenor Guitars Used?

A tenor guitar can be used in a similar way to a full-size 6-string guitar and can be used to play rhythm parts or leads.

While a tenor guitar sounds a lot like a regular guitar, the sound isn’t quite the same. Some players prefer the tenor guitar’s sound in certain situations. The tenor guitar can be used to bring a different dimension of sound to a recording or a live performance and sounds both familiar and fresh at the same time.

Another important benefit of the tenor guitar is that it can serve as a transitional instrument for players. For musicians who play the banjo, the mandolin, the ukulele, or another instrument, the 4-string tenor guitar will be easier to learn than a 6-string guitar. A tenor guitar can even be tuned exactly like a banjo, so banjo players can easily play around with the sounds of the guitar or make the transition to a full-size guitar by starting with the tenor guitar first.

The tenor guitar serves as a great middle ground between guitars and other stringed instruments and this can be helpful for many different musicians.

Top Tenor Guitars – My Recommendations

Ready to get started? Here’s my list of the best tenor guitars.

1. Blueridge BR-40TCE Tenor Guitar

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Top Tenor Guitars

Pros:

  • Acoustic-electric
  • High-quality craftsmanship
  • Excellent value

Cons:

  • Nothing comes to mind

My Review:

The Blueridge BR-40TCE is a gorgeous acoustic-electric tenor guitar that sounds amazing and projects well. The tenor guitar has a clean, crisp tone.

The guitar has a solid Sitka spruce top along with scalloped braces. This guitar also features a mahogany back and sides that give the instrument plenty of resonance. The neck of this tenor guitar is very slim, as it should be for this type of instrument.

The instrument is extremely playable due to the Santos rosewood fingerboard. The action of this guitar is nice. This tenor guitar also comes with a padded gig bag, so this guitar will be portable from the very beginning.

While it is a bit pricey, the value you get certainly makes up for the money you’ll pay. This instrument is well worth a look if you’re in the market for a great 4-string tenor guitar.

Also worth a look is the Blueridge BR-60T, the big brother of the BR-40TCE.

2. Ibanez Performance PFT2-NT Mini Dreadnought Acoustic Tenor Guitar

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Best Tenor Guitar

Pros:

  • Beautiful glossy finish
  • Excellent quality
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • Needs some adjustments out of the box

My Review:

The Ibanez Performance PFT2-NT Mini Dreadnought Acoustic Tenor Guitar is the next tenor guitar on my list. It’s well worth your consideration if you’re in the market for a great tenor guitar.

This Ibanez guitar is a 4-string tenor guitar with a beautiful spruce top. The instrument also features a mahogany back and sides that create a resonant sound. Like a typical tenor guitar, the neck of this instrument is pretty narrow.

The Ibanez tenor guitar comes at a pretty reasonable price considering what you get with the purchase. If you can’t afford the Blueridge tenor guitar above, this can be a good alternative. This is truly a high-quality tenor guitar that will leave very few musicians wanting more.

3. Gold Tone TG-10 Tenor Guitar

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Gold Tone Tenor Guitar

Pros:

  • Excellent value
  • Impressive finish
  • Bright, crisp sound

Cons:

  • Action is a little high out of the box

My Review:

The Gold Tone TG-10 is another great tenor guitar that musicians will love to play.

Gold Tone is a quality brand and its instruments never disappoint. The same is true with this tenor guitar and it serves as another great option for players who want to start playing this 4-string instrument.

The Gold Tone tenor guitar features a high-quality build and great materials. It features laminated wood and comes with a heavily padded gig bag that will help players easily get the guitar from Point A to Point B.

If you’re looking for a good tenor guitar, you need to give this one a closer look.

4. Kmise Tenor Guitar 30-inch Mahogany Instrument

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Kmise Tenor Guitar Review

Pros:

  • Very budget-friendly
  • Great ukulele-like appearance
  • Includes accessories

Cons:

  • Action is a little high out of the box

My Review:

The Kmise Tenor Guitar may not be the most fully-featured instrument out there, but if you’re looking for a well-built and budget-friendly instrument, this one will serve you well.

This tenor uke guitar has a spruce top, Ibanez Advantage bridge pins, and a mini dreadnought body that looks great. While this isn’t the most high-quality instrument out there, you won’t find a better tenor guitar at this price point.

If you’re looking for a tenor guitar and don’t have a lot of money to spend, you can’t do better than the Kmise Tenor Guitar.

5. Ibanez AVT1NT Tenor Guitar

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Best Acoustic Tenor Guitar

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Beautiful appearance
  • Excellent sound

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include a case or gig bag

My Review:

Another tenor guitar from Ibanez, the Ibanez AVT1NT is another great tenor guitar choice.

This is a 4-string tenor guitar that features a nice spruce top. The instrument also has a mahogany back and sides. The finish of this guitar looks pretty nice and the overall build quality isn’t too shabby either.

The guitar is a breeze to play and has pretty good action. The guitar has more than adequate resonance for any playing situation.

This Ibanez guitar is also a pretty good value considering the price you’ll pay for it.

Choosing the Ideal 4-String Guitar for Your Needs

If you’re looking for the best tenor guitar on the market today, none of the instruments above will fail you. Be sure you consider the instruments above if you’re ready to start playing the tenor guitar and you want to start your journey off right.

Looking for a 12-string acoustic guitar instead? Click here to see my list of the best 12-string acoustic guitars.