West European and American instruments

Instruments from Western Europe or America (central and South) that are not classified under guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, dulcimers or banjos.

  • Breakneck bowl lute – 8 course

    Breakneck bowl lute which is an 8 course renaissance lute made in Pakistan. Renaissance lutes generally had between 6 and 8 courses with the highest course being a single course and the rest double with the lower courses often strung in octave pairs.

  • Charango

    The charango is a small Andean instrument generally with ten strings (mine are nylon) arranged as 5 courses. Traditionally the back was formed from an armadillo shell but like most modern versions mine has a wooden back. Typical tuning is a re-entrant tuning of G4/G4, C5/C5, E5/E4, A4/A4, E5/E5.

  • Cuatro

    This is a Puerto Rican style cuatro with the more violin-like waist. It has 10 strings arranged as five courses which is one of the more modern versions. As the name relates to four other cuatros have 4 strings or 8 strings arranged as four courses. Typical tuning is B3/B2, E4/E3, A3/A3, D4/D4, G4/G4.

  • Tres

    The tres (Spanish for three) is an instrument of Cuban origin with 6 strings arranged in 3 courses. Typical tuning is G4/G3, C4/C4, E4/E4.

  • Cavaquinho

    The cavaquinho is a small instrument with the main varieties originating in Portugal and Brazil with the Brazilian ones like this being slightly larger. Typical tuning is D G B D.

  • RMV Cavaco-Banjo

    The cavaco-banjo is a cross between a cavaquinho or cavaco and a banjo and is also known as a Brazilian banjo. This instrument has a built in pickup and a plastic resonator. Typical tuning is D G B D though like many string instruments there are numerous variants.

  • Oscar Schmidt Requinto

    The requinto is a short scale relative of the flamenco/classical guitar from Mexico and Spain. Typical tuning is a fourth higher than guitar A2-D3-G3-C4-E4-A4. One of several instruments on the list for the next restringing session.

  • Regal Tiple

    The tiple has many different variations depending on which part of America (mainly South America) they are from. The Regal tiple is of the North American variety developed by Martin in around 1919. It is similar in size to a tenor ukulele but has ten steel strings arranged in four courses. Typical tuning is A4/A3, D4/D3/D4, F#4/F#3/F#4, B3/B3. This tiple is currently unplayable as it needs repairs to the headstock.