What is a Trez Guitar?

Have you ever pondered about the origin of this amazing fretted musical instrument – Guitar? How long has it been around? The origin of the stringed instrument which closely resembles guitars takes us back to the 9th century. A stone, aged about 3300 years old was discovered with a carving of Hittite playing a string instrument. Historical plaques show that Babylonian culture included this stringed instrument in their lives- this indicates that Babylon could be the origin of the guitars.

Guitar companies have brought so much of makeovers to the guitars according to their preferences. However, this article talks about a famous vintage guitar – the Trez guitar.

Trez guitar

Trez guitar – History:

Trez is also named Tierce, Third, or Tertz, that means third. Trez guitars were manufactured by Germanic makers and European composers who made it so famous, in the early 19th century. Those were a period of romantic and classical music.

It was also found in common in American countries around the 20th century. During the period around 1840-1850, the guitars were manufactured in various sizes. The sizes were named with numbers starting from 1-5. The largest of all was numbered as size 1, and the smallest instrument was labelled as size 5. The rare sizes 4 and 5 were designated as Trez guitars.

Structure of Trez guitars:

The Trez guitars have shorter scale length when compared to other classical acoustic guitars. The scale length should be around 20-22 inches. The Trez guitars are often misunderstood as a smaller sibling of acoustic guitars under 10,000 rupees.

They usually do not have the side-cuts or cutaway. The size and petite structure of the Trez guitars make it lesser accessible when compared to the modern electric guitars.

Trez guitars- How does it stand out?

  • The Trez guitars have a perceived loudness due to the shorter scale length.
  • The trez guitars are tuned 3 tonnes or 3 notes higher than the standard notes. Though we can play the ordinary guitar music on it, it should be noted that the music written for a normal pitch guitar may sound a little strange in the higher pitch of a terz guitar.
  • The Trez tuning can be achieved by capoing the standard tuning at the third fret. However, the Trez guitars are known for their performances at orchestra or duets.
  • As said earlier, Trez guitars are very high pitch guitars. They have the power of projection.
  • These guitars produce brighter sounds in the sharp keys.
  • These make the trez guitars so unique.
  • These guitars avoid the usage of the capo; they can be quite confusing as they reduce the number of frets available.
  • The tune of the trez matches the Renaissance lute’s pitch.

Tuning of the Trez guitars:

The Trez guitars are tuned a minor third higher when compared to the regular guitars.

We cannot expect to tune a normal guitar a third higher as that might cause higher tension on the strings and can damage the instrument.

Finding them is hard:

They are often misunderstood as “Child guitars” and are considered as cheap or thrown away, because of their smaller size.

Playing the Guitar can be a lot of fun. The values of the vintage guitars like Trez, have to be preserved for its individuality.