frank tennyson
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  • Fairview, TN
  • United States
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Frank tennyson's Blog

How the Blues was born

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 11:06am 6 Comments

As a novice getting the hang of playing any instrument, especially a CBG is very confusing. Playing the instrument in a Blues style is even more complicated if you do not understand its development. I have yet to find a good primer on blues. I am not an expert but the following appears to be valid from all I have read:

The major "D" for blues has a "D" for the I chord, and "F" for the iii,  a G for the IV, an "A" for the V, and a…


Coming Soon Online Store

Posted on May 5, 2013 at 8:30am 2 Comments

There is a reason we have children. In today's world it is called technology.


I have been building CBGs about a year now and finally feel good enough about my builds to think of selling them. Also health problems make my going back to work after being on medical leave for six months questionable. Even if I can go back the medical restrictions may be such I may need transferring to a whole new job category and need to learn a new set of job skills. So, I need a "PLAN…


Twilight Zone CBGer

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 12:36pm 6 Comments

December 5, 2012 I crossed the yellow line and sideswiped a service truck. Problem is I did not realize I had done it. Some things in life really shake you up. I did realize someone had hit my drver's side mirror and shattered it. Looking in the inside mirror I did not see anyone stop, slow or any other indication anyone was concerned, so figuring it was a hit and run went home. Later I went out and saw paint on the driver's side fender. So I called the police to report an accident and was…


People who cannot play only - please

Posted on November 25, 2012 at 4:46pm 1 Comment

I became interested in CBG because learning to play guitar was on my bucket list. Anyone here in the same boat?

I am learning how to build much quicker than how to play. Anyone in that boat alos?

OK, so on the playing side, I have actually made some progress I want to share. Well, not share, more like talk through  - a discussion group  - theropy?

First I did the thumb tacks on the neck at the third, fifth, seventh, and twelfth fret positions. Later, after a lot of…


Comment Wall (16 comments)

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At 9:20am on March 24, 2015, TN Twang said…

Hey back at ya', Frank.

Over the past 2 years I've grown to like the open "power chord" tunings: DAd, Gdg, etc. If you're playing a lot of lead with occasional strums to fill in, this works well and the 2 highest strings work just like the 2 highest strings on a 6-string.

 However, for a banjo-like effect I still have my original instruments tuned F#-a-d and G#-b-e (using the top three strings from a 6 pack or else buying a set of dulcimer strings.) I use a flat pick to bounce around the strings one note at a time, but you can also finger pick--with or without picks stuck on your finger tips. This works well when somebody else is already playing rhythm guitar.

I'll have to think about D-a-f#. That makes the strings awfully far apart. It's probably a lovely sound when you strum the open strings, but I don't know how flexible it would be. You might want to try a-d-f# using the top three strings of a really light set. You could play 2-string lead on the a and d strings and the high f# would give you some "brightness" when you strummed a chord.

At 3:32pm on March 21, 2015, Uncle John said…

Frank, I'm glad to have you for a CBB friend.  

At 5:37pm on April 28, 2014, TN Twang said…

Hey Frank,

I'd seen your Fairview address on here, but didn't know if you were still keeping up with the "Nation" and building CBGs. 

Glad to know there are a few "junkyard" luthiers in Williamson County. There are so many high-end custom builders to the stars hereabouts that it's particularly hard to get folks interested in making instruments from found objects and recycled trash.

My tastes run to 3 strings, no frets, and sloppy woodworking. Mostly, I only create the stupid things to see if I can figure out how to play 'em. I've not been overwhelmed with success... (oh well.)

At 4:25pm on January 14, 2013, Keni Lee Burgess said…

Thank you Frank for your friendship. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance. Enjoy. 

At 1:51am on October 4, 2012, Rand Moore said…

Yes, a "blossoming dogwood" would likely be the place the heroine of the song would like to cort her lover. I know my mom liked dogwood trees, and had bought and planted one when we lived in Dayton, Ohio back in the 50's and 60's. So I'll try to work this tree into the song. Thanks.


At 12:32pm on October 2, 2012, Rand Moore said…

P.S. I'm working on a song (arranging it for stick dulcimer) in which the song writer  "claims" there's such a thing as a "wild banana tree" in Tennessee, something I find highly unlikely. This song, "Rosa Lee" (aka "Don't Be Foolish Joe"), was published in 1847 and it's a minstrel song which means it was originally sung in black face with a heavy negro accent. My thinking is that this is just another example of how Northern white song writers writing songs about the South, just don't know what they're talking about. So, in addition with taking liberties with the music (simplifying it) and modernizing the lyrics (so it sounds acceptable being sung by white folks), I want to correct this glaring inaccuracy. I looked up on Wikipedia the trees that do exist natively in Tennessee and have chosen a number of alternates which could be used in place of " 'Neath the wild ba-nan-na tree". Here's my list:

tupelo tree

sycamore tree

hickory tree

possumwood tree

cucumber tree

sassafras tree

And by changing it a bit more, maybe

flowering dogwood tree

flowering tulip tree

So, which of these trees sound favorable as a Tennessee tree where you'd like to sit and court your lady?

At this point, I'm thinking maybe "possumwood tree" (another name for the American Persimmon tree). The word "possum" seems like an Appalachian classic word.

Let me know what you think. (And anyone else who reads this via CBN.)


At 12:11pm on October 2, 2012, Rand Moore said…

Well to find other loacl CBN members, you can use the Cigar Box Nation's menu bar (at the top of each page) to navigate to Community / Members and then do an Advanced Search on members.  If you want to find all the members who have listed Nashville, TN as their city and state, simply enter "Nashville" and "TN" into the appropriate fields and do the search. Then, go through the list, visiting each member's personal page. Those that are active CBN members will have more postings on their home page. If you find one interesting, leave a comment, or request to become friends. Please visit Bairfoot Cajuns personal page. I think you'll agree, traveling 100 miles is nothing to meet such a creative character.


At 2:41am on October 1, 2012, Keni Lee Burgess said…

Thank you Frank for joining my group. Feel free to add to the discussions or ask questions. Please check out the blog on my page and my instructional video CDs: 

Enjoy your practice, Keni Lee

At 1:36am on October 1, 2012, Rand Moore said…

Fairview, TN

Seems bairfoot cajun also lives up near your neck of the woods. He's a cool builder you should check out on CBN if you haven't come across his postings before.

At 1:28am on October 1, 2012, Rand Moore said…

Hmm... "per-approved" should read "pre-approved" in the preceding comment. I guess I should get reading glasses so I can check my spell checker better!


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