Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

I've just acquired a vihuela built in 1978 by Yairi Guitar.  It's made of cypress and is beautifully constructed. As a guitar player the vihuela is new to me and my recent efforts to find strings for it have failed.  I've tried Strings by Mail and other common suppliers familiar to me to no avail. Can anyone suggest where I might find strings for it?

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It depends on what kind of strings you want it use on it and a little bit where you live.

There are also many different sources; these two are quite excellent and should serve you well, but there are more:

-Aquila Strings are all quite good, both synthetic and gut; they are in Italy. You can of course buy them in the USA, but the selection and stock on the EU side is more comprehensive and quicker to get hold of.

-In the USA I can highly recommend Gamut Strings; they can also provide advice if you are unsure how/what kind of strings to use.

Strings by mail are also great for cerain materials (like carbon strings, etc,) but these are hard to find on their website.

In short: there are many stringing choices (materials and/or diameters, etc.) but you need to decide what you want to go for....Strings are in themself a whole separate world of discsussion and a learning process for lutes, guitars and vihuelas. Don't be surprised if you end up changing your stringing every few years as you gain more insights!

Vihuelas are tuned like 6 course Renaissance lutes.  So if the speaking length of a vihuela is close to that of a Renaissance lute I would guess you could use a set of lute strings.  I believe Strings by Mail sells sets of lute strings.

Dear Stephen, if you let us know the scale of the instrument maybe we can be more specific. I assume it has six double courses?

Or 5 double courses and a high single string.  At least for lutes the high single string.was known as the chanterelle.


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