The tenor guitar originated in the 1920, when tenor banjo players started looking for an instrument they could instantly pick up and play in the new guitar bands. They were made in two sizes – with scale lengths of about 23″ or 21″ – the same as either a 19 or 17 fret tenor banjo.
Today, most people are using the larger instrument, which is excellent for chordal accompaniment, but I’ve been making short scale instruments, based on a Regal tenor guitar from about 1930. These are proving very popular with melody players, who find the shorter scale means they can play faster in the jigs and reels. Of course, if you want a long scale model I can do that too!