I am primarily a steel-string guitar builder but lately have been fascinated by the vihuela. I intend to build one, hopefully this year. I have a few questions for the experienced players (or builders).
- what is your ideal nut width and course to course spacing
- ideal bridge string spacing (1st course to last)
- ideal scale length for an instrument in G
- neck shape ( round, flatter, with or without shoulders etc.) and thickness dimensions (at 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th fret)
I realise that the repertoire (Milan, Narvaez et all) probably calls for close string spacing as one finger often frets 2 courses, perhaps the left hand thumb is over the neck rather than behind it?
Do you most often play with the highest strings in double or single course?
I intend to build a "small" vihuela in G since it seems it would be the more versatile, but I am totally open to suggestions.
Finally I think I will use German spruce for the top, cocobolo for the fluted back (or a mix and match of cocobolo and bloodwood), cocobolo sides and perhaps applewood for the neck, maybe butternut or cherry. Again I am open to suggestions. Thanks in advance for your feedback!