Early Guitars and Vihuela

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Hello friends. I have had a baroque lute for many years and lately I have been playing "Baroque Uke". But there is no way that I can afford a good baroque guitar. So, I have been looking around, and here is what I have discovered for pauper aspiring early guitar beginners.

First, a review of a decent sounding and decent playing 1/4 guitar:
Review of Strunal 1/4 guitar:

Second, a place to this guitar for less than $200 USD:
Strunal solid cedar top 1/4 guitar:

Third, a way to convert the 1/4 guitar to a pseudo baroque guitar:
Converting 1/4 guitar to baroque

I haven't done any of this yet, but it seems like a good possibility for we poor folks.

Glenn Godsey

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Glenn, if you go to Photos, page 7, the two first pictures there show how I solved this!
Best wishes
It's a nice idea but doesn't it have only 4 courses? I'm confused how one would add the extra string(s)...
I would end up with four single strings plus one double course. Actually, it would be like a five string uke, but the fourth course would be an octave double, giving both re-entrant and "low G" sounds...plus an extra bass string.

Not ideal, but a very cheap beginning or a cheap five string uke.

Oops, I gave the wrong reference for the conversion. It should be:

scroll down to the drawings at the bottom.

Ah I see now, the missing link really confused me! ;)

The problem is that the modern guitar just doesn't have the same resonance or tone (even when tuned to the same). I've tried arranging some baroque guitar music for my classical and often the music has fit well on it but the sound is so different that no strumming ever works well in my opinion. (by the way, would that be a useful thing for me to do on a larger scale!?)

However, I've tried doing baroque guitar strumming techniques on my renaissance lute with wonderful results. The sound is a lot more concincing and 'baroque guitar' like, especially since you can get good sounding percussion on the wood whereas on the modern classical I've never managed to. Maybe one could make a little (temporary) alteration to a lute to for a baroque guitar and then switch between every six months or so? Or if one has two lutes.......

Yes, I do have two lutes; an eleven course baroque lute and a six course renaissance lute. I didn't even think of that ! Senility.

But I still think the conversion to a five string uke might be fun since it is so inexpensive,

If you have the skills, do it yourself. If you have enough money go to a good luthier. However, if you cannot make the instrument, there are people for whom US$250.00 would be a fair deal. Have you checked with a traditional "guitarrero" somewhere in a Latin American village? I payed less than US$250.00 for my transition guitar (the one I use in my picture). And that is more than this guy usually charges for his handmade guitars. You have to guide them through the process because they are not used to building baroque guitars, but in the end you can have an affordable and usable instrument.
I have been thinking about doing kits because tools are sooo expensive to get for guitar building. I'll try to come up with a "kit" price as I have access to thickness sander, mold for bending etc. Jointing, mold building, peg reaming,bending, every step is about $120.00 average in tools I am getting better results on my jointing from tuning my plane. You have to be into woodworking and tools to build your own. This stuff is not easy, and mistakes often accompany your 'learning curve' EVERY step of the way, when you don't have proper instruction.
Juan Pablo, there is not much chance of me finding a "guitarrero" and going through that process. How about if I send you $400 and you ask your "guitarrero" to make another one exactly like yours?
It would be good if you could see some of their work. Let me see if I can get you some pictures.
Pictures would be great, Juan Pablo!
Juan Pablo, did you ever find any pictures or information about a "guitarrero" to make me a baroque guitar? I am still interested.

Many thanks,


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