Is Ukulele tuning a full-size archtop a thing? SURE!!

Now I know some Tenor Guitar traditionalists are going to roll their eyes at me but that’s okay. Let’s add a new tuning to the potential of Tenor Guitars and welcome a vast new family of players. After all, mandolin players, Banjo pickers, and Fiddle players have all found how they can tune their Craven to meet their playing needs.

I remember putting a Capo on a six string and trying to play my gCEA tuning. I wanted the big sound and big body of a full size guitar but I was limited by playing so far up the neck I lost interest pretty quickly. Like so many others, I lept to a Baritone uke before finally migrating to my destination, Tenor Guitars. That’s where I found my home.

I had been asked if the 265 could be strung with Nylon and tuned like a baritone. That was an easy transition and absolutely they can be without hunting for specific strings or custom order sets. Simply grab for favorite Nylon guitar strings and go for it. I used a set of D’Addario Folk stings right out of the package in this video.

With that video posted and questions answered, I opened a real can of worms. Can a Craven Archtop Tenor Guitar ( or the 265 Shari Ulrich Songbird ) be strung and tuned in gCEA like a Concert or smaller Ukulele OR would it have to be tuned DGBE and played with a Capo like a 6 string? Well, I took to the test rather than simply saying, ” Ya, sure!”

I quickly found with the right set of strings, I could play our FULL SIZE, FULL BODIED archtops in good old ukulele tuning. Is that big? Well, I guess that’s all about perspective. If you are comfortable playing gCEA ukulele tuning but you’re ready to move up to something bigger than a concert size AND you don’t want to learn baritone cord structures, a Craven Tenor Guitar can embrace your goals. Go full size, Go Electric, Go Acoustic, You can make the transition from your small Ukulele to a full size guitar.

This just adds to the wonder that Tenor guitars are. Diverse, welcoming and able to keep up to you as your skills and interests change. The key thing is to start with an heirloom quality guitar that’ll grow with you, a guitar you’ll keep and enjoy rather than one that will get swapped out, hidden in the closet, or forgotten about.

As always, if you have questions about our product line, email me at, we’ll find which of our guitars are right for you.

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