Traditional Acoustic Version of the shari ulrich 265 now available

The traditionalists will love this model for its grassroots, authentic size, tonewoods and cord-free performance. Our Acoustic version of the Shari Ulrich 265 is everything traditionally hand-crafted into this O body Size masterpiece and individually presented to you in our heirloom quality standards.
The Songbird series is crafted by hand in limited series, not mass-produced. This allows us to select individual pieces of tonewoods used to craft your guitar. We select the tightest grain Solid Sitka, the warmest grain solid Mahogany and the strongest Canadian Maple to craft a guitar that will be your pride for years to come. Even our Abalone binding is selected and purchased from farm-raised, Food first suppliers to assure no wild Abalone is used. We have one world, we’re trying to keep our footprint small.

The color pallet is unique to Craven Tenor Guitars. From our Heirloom Black and Vintage Sunrise to our intriguing Sitka Satin finish, each of our Songbirds have the look and feel of those incredible vintage Tenor guitars made famous reaching back as early as 1937. Our tweed style hard shell case will protect your investment when you’re not playing to assure it will be found among your family heirlooms.

Take the time to come meet your new Acoustic Guitar, There’s one waiting for you today.

Defined Beauty crafted for Left handed players ~ without penalty

Introducing the Shari Ulrich 265 L electro-coustic Series crafted for our Left handed friends.
Crafted to be with you on your musical journey, the 265L series embraces the authentic O body sound woods, construction and modeling of the historic guitars made famous by Folk players of the 1960s, the Songbird combines traditional with contemporary for a guitar you’ll cherish.

Under Shari Ulrich’s direction, Craven has crafted the Songbird to be stage ready. Our XLR8 equalizer by Cherub is subtly nestled within reach to dial in the exact tones you want from your guitar. The onboard tuner prompts you to the exact pitch you’re wishing to achieve. The barn door style means only one slot is cut into the body, housing both the equalizer and battery. We’ve hidden the plug in comfortably in the strap plug.

True to our quest for heirloom quality, the sound woods are selected by hand for their tight grain and esthetic qualities. Our Solid Sitka Spruce and Solid Mahogany are defined by their aging and curing before crafting begins to assure longevity and brilliant tones. Ethically sourced Abalone embellishes the binding, Rosette and fret markers to provide distinctive eye-catching warmth without being garish.

The three colour tones were selected to create the heirloom colour pallet that on first glance will kindle the look of rare 100 year old guitars, carefully stored under your grandmother’s brass bed. Our exclusive Heirloom Black looks warm and worn, exposing the Sitka underneath. our Moring Sunrise resembled the coveted shaded paint scheme of rare 1930s O bodies ( one is listed on line in near mint condition for $9,500 U.S). Our Natural Sitka tone has mysterious chameleon aspects to it. In bright daylight, the Sitka shows its beautiful white tone and yet, under evening light, a warm golden glow appears adding intrigue to this beautiful instrument.

Craven Tenor Guitars have many left-handed friends ( and co-workers) that have all said they often feel penalized for being Left handed. That the have grown accustomed to paying more for something made for their fellow south paws. Craven’s not going to charge you a Left hand penalty. Our 265 L series Shari Ulrich Songbird was made for you. No upcharge, no additional cost because you are you. That’s just how it should be.

Meet your Forever Left Hand Guitar today.

Songbirds take flight

Our first crafted release of Songbirds is complete. 53 very patient owners who supported our pre-order launch are now recieving their Shari Ulrich Songbirds.

After bench testing and inspection each Songbird is recessed, nestled in its recycled shipping container and driven along scenic Lake Okanagan to Vernon and our UPS store.

Each flock of 10 guitars were prepared one at a time for their flight to their forever homes. Our goal was for flights to begin April 29th. Best intentions are sometimes derailed by the unknown. 2 covid lock downs and a Canadian Federal Employee strike postponed departure exactly 31 days.

I am so greatful for the kindness and patience shown me by our incredible owners who believe that quality can’t be rushed and good things come to those who wait. I’m sorry you had to wait a little longer than planned.

We have a great selection of Left hand player additions and the full acoustic Songbirds available. The next flight of Electro-coustic Songbirds arive in July.

Make music, love life and all its wonders.

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.

Nylon Strings on a Shari ulrich 265? Sure, Why not!

Miss Linda Anne, this message is for you but other folk have asked the same question so you’re not alone. You’re mom shared your video with me and she says you’ve progressed with your baritone ukulele and now your thinking of switching to a Tenor Guitar. Congratulations and I hope I can answer some of your questions in this video.
Can you put Nylon strings on a 265 Songbird, well, absolutely. Nylon strings have much less tension than the steel strings that the 265 is made for. Baritone ukuleles are like classical guitars, they’re not braced for steel strings so they will become damaged if you try to switch from Nylon to Steel strings. The 265 Shari Ulrich Songbird is crafted with a truss rod in the neck for strength and adjustment and the body is fortified with proper bracing to accommodate the high tension of even heavy steel strings.

If you were to replace the steel strings on your 265 Songbird the only thing you may need to do is switch out the nut for a nut carved for your size of strings as they will be thicker than the steel strings our nut is carved for. It’s not an expensive trip to the luthier to have that done. Now, one thing to remember is the electronics will not pick up the sound of your Nylon strings so if you plan on staying with acoustic playing , choose one of our Acoustic 265 models. Your mom didn’t mention if you’re left or right-handed. If you’re left-handed, our left-hand models are Electro Acoustic only. If you’re right-handed, the 265 comes in Electro-Acoustic ( with the built in ELR8 Equilizer) or Acoustic.

The benefit of starting with Nylon strings is you’ll get accustomed to the 23 inch scale, it’s a little longer than you’ve played up until now. Then as you build confidence and you’re ready, you can switch back to steel strings. Not to worry, you can start with light strings and the 265 will accommodate any string variations you want to try. I know that as you play, you’ll discover the possibilities ahead of you with your Model 265. One day you may want to learn tunings like a Tenor banjo, a mandolin, a fiddle, who knows? You’re 265 will grow with you.

Keep making music, you’re a wonderful player and I really enjoyed listening to your music ( I love your big smile when you completed playing Edith Piaf’s, “non, je ne regrette rien”)

Best wishes,
Ledfreddie Nelson

Music for your Friday

It is finally Friday and we’ll let Michael August take us out in royal style.

Michael August breaths life into any instrument in his hands and when he takes up Big Jake, he brings out its full potential.

Available in 4 vintage colours Big Jake is your full bodied, Heirloom quality Tenor Archtop you’ll cherish for life.

Model 327- Big Jake Archtop Tenor Guitar
-23 inch scale, 1 1/4 inch Nut and robust 16 inch body
-Robust Canadian Maple Bolt On Neck with binding and fret markers
– Cream and black vintage style celluloid binding
– Adjustable Truss Rod
– Vintage Closed Tuners
– Rosewood Fret board
– MOP Fret Markers
– Floating Hybrid 2 wood Bridge or OptionalAdjustable Tune~O~Matic Bridge
– Solid Sitka Spruce Front with Binding
– Arched Mahogany Back
– Stratified Mahogany sides
– Celluloid Binding on Front, Back and Neck
– Single Alnico 4 bar P90 black single coil dog ear guitar pickup
– .032, .022, .014, .010 Strings for multiple tunings
– Volume and Tone Controls
– 1/4 Inch Plug in Jack on side
– Strap Plug
– Hardshell Case Included

– Pick guard optional
– Optional Tuning and String changes

No matter your preferred tuning, Big Jake and all Craven Tenor Guitars can take the pressure and will reward you with the beautiful tones only an archtop can provide. Big Jake is factory adjusted with medium strings and intonation set for DGBE tuning however the string configuration allows for most of your favorite tunings. String sizes are 032, 022, 014, 010.

Check out Big Jake here:

A rare opportunity to meet and hear john Lawlor

When we started working with John Lalwor developing the 350JLS he was in the forefront of the development. His guidance included what he wanted out of the P90 pickup, and how the look had to be consistent with his own Archtop. From Cream coloured components to the tuned P90, we listened and sought his approval throughout the design process. It wasn’t until he saw a raw video clip of the sound that he would allow us to place his signature on the guitar.

There are few opportunities to hear and see John perform live and moreso, to have an opportunity to talk with him. John will be performing and introducing the 350JLS personally to the Tenor Guitar Community. In June, you can join him in his Tenor guitar workshop at the Tenor Guitar Gathering in Astoria, Oregon June 2-4, 2023. For details and to register for the entire weekend of Tenor Guitar workshops and entertainment, check out

What defines the 350JLS from other tenor guitars today is it is crafted for quality, not for price point. We craft for heirloom quality satisfaction not disappointment and buyer remorse. Each of the three colour versions is crafted in limited quantities using only hand-selected tonewoods for the highest quality tones and voice played electric or acoustically.

Model 350JLS ~ John Lawlor Signature Tenor Guitar
-Robust Canadian Maple Bolt on Neck with binding and fret markers,
– Authentic 1 1/14 inch nut width
– Authentic Tenor guitar 23 inch scale
– Celluloid Cream / black vintage style binding on neck
– Celluloid Cream headstock binding
– Adjustable -Truss Rod
– Vintage Closed Tuners
– Rosewood Fret board
– Abalone Fret Markers
– Floating Hybrid Adjustable Bridge
– Solid Sitka Spruce Front with Binding
– Arched Solid Mahogany Back
– Stratified Mahogany sides for premium tonal clarity
– Wide Cream Celluloid Binding on top/ narrow Celluloid biding on rear sides
– Single Dogs Ear style P90 guitar pickup
– .032, .022. 014, .010 Stings for multiple tunings
– Cream coloured Volume and Tone Controls
– 1/4 Inch Plug in Jack on side
– Strap Plug
– Premium Lush Hardshell Case
* (Tune-o-Matic is a no charge option)

Our inventory of the 350JLS series sold out quickly last year. Our inventory will again be available to ship July 12th. To avoid disappointment, you can preorder your 350JLS today with a $149.00 deposit. All purchases are protected and refundable if we do not meet our shipping commitment.

View our full line of these incredible full bodied John Lawlor Signature Jazz guitars here:

Meet John Lawlor in person and enjoy a live performance.

Truly the man who through social media and YouTube inspired a new generation of Tenor Guitar players, John Lawlor is a Tenor Guitar Icon.
Quiet and even bashful in nature, with a Tenor guitar in his lap John opens up a world of music with his multi-dimensional playing.
Craven Tenor Guitars is honored to craft the 350JLS John Lawlor Signature Tenor Jazz Guitar and crafted the design under his supervision with his direct input. You have an opportunity to attend his workshop and also catch a live performance in Astoria, Oregon.

Be sure to check out the entire Series at

To fully understand why John is a legend and rightfully in the Tenor Guitar Hall of Fame, enjoy John Lawlors many recordings for Craven Tenor Guitars, follow this link:

In June 2-4th, you can attend his workshop and have the opportunity to hear him perform live on his 350JLS Natural Blonde at the Tenor Guitar Gathering in Astoria, Oregon. For details check out

Patrick Froelicher performs the Devil Wears a Suit and Tie on his 350JLS

Patrick Froelichers performance of this Canadian blues number will have you doing a double take at the next suit and tie walking by. The 350JLS in Patricks hands performs with all the mojo you would expect from an authentic, full-bodied, Solid wood Jazz Archtop guitar. Moody deep notes and penetrating high tones that are never shrill or buzzing.

Check out the full line of the 350JLS John Lawlor Signature Tenor guitars here:

And be sure to subscribe to both the official Craven Tenor Guitar Youtube Channel here:

And you know you want to subscribe to Patricks Channel to keep up to all his performances:

Mo Gunn’s exquisite performance of Love Has No Pride

Here at Craven Tenor Guitars, we’re always so thrilled when Mo Gunn shares a video on our 265 Shari Ulrich Songbird or when she plays her 327 Big Jake. We’re forever impressed by her talent and honest humility.
Here’s what Mo has to say about this particular video. “I know that many are waiting for their Songbird ship to come in, and it is hard to wait… so I hope I’m not boring you with these sound bites. My recording skills aren’t that great, but today I tried capturing a bit more ‘ring’ out of the guitar. I aimed the mic up the fretboard a bit – near the 10-11th to accentuate that. The down side is a lot more finger noise. Previous acoustic recordings were between 12 and 14th giving what I think is a more rounded sound. I dunno… Just having fun with this.”

Check out the full line of 265 Shari Ulrich Songbird TEnor guitars here:

Be sure to follow Mo Gunn on her Youtube Channel Here: