Catch of the Day: 1927 National Style 2 Tenor Guitar

1927 National Style 2 Tenor Guitar

This is not the first time I’ve looked at a Style 2 National, but it is the first National tenor guitar I’ve featured. As I explained in this post about a very nice 1932 Martin 0-18T, the tenor guitar was invented around 1920 to give tenor banjo players a way to double on a instrument that sounded like a guitar in a period when the banjo was slowly losing popularity. Pretty much all of the guitar companies built tenor versions of their guitars but I don’t think any of them made one as beautiful as this example from National. Like their six-strings, National made tenor guitars in single-cone and triple-cone versions. The single-cone version was built with a truncated, hourglass-shaped body while the triple-cone version came in this art deco-inspired triangular body. I’ve played plenty of examples of both styles and I think the triple-cone version sounds smoother and mellower with a nicely balanced treble and bass. National tenor guitars are fairly scarce but they aren’t in huge demand, probably because most tenor guitar players don’t know they exist, so when they turn up they don’t cost a huge fortune. This lovely example is priced at $3000 and it’s being offered by Gruhn Guitars.