Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

Starting to play Baroque Guitar - suggestions and advice very welcome!

I have had my  BG for a fortnight now and have started to get more used to some of its eccentricities. I play classical, but in the last year I have played just a bit of lute and ren guitar so dealing with the  paired strings is not too much of a surprise.


I havent quite settled on a playing position yet - It is a little easier for me to have a steep angle, like in classical. But a shallow angle seems fine too and puts my hand in  a thumb-under position which I have been experimenting with (I think thumb-out became more common in the 17th century though.)


I am surprised that right hand is more problematic. Some chords seem tough compared to classical. Precise finger placement  seems even more necessary to avoid buzzes.The BG is only 1 cm longer, though the distance from A-e is maybe 15-20% greater. With time I will adjust to the extra distance, but it was a surprise as on classical my spread is quite good. Bar chords are tougher for me too.

is ther evidence that there were 5 course guitars with shorter string length, closer to ren guitar size? Some of the alfabeto chords must have been quite tough for 17th century beginners on a long scale instrument, especially as average hand size would have been smaller


Any suggestions welcome. The info on this site really  is invaluable - many thanks to all





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I think some of the hurting might be from the slightly different angle putting a slight strain on the wrist .I am gradually discovering a comfortable sitting and holding position.Playing just fairly  simple hand-friendly little pieces, I  can feel a day by day adjustment.

Sometimes I put a capo on and pretend it is a renaissance guitar!

trying to find a comfortable holding position is precisely why i'm trying to find someone to put a button on the end so that i can use a strap. the guitar luthiers in Singapore only know electrics and have only metal endpins - i'm not letting those guys near my instrument. the violin luthiers are all terrified and refuse to work on it. i'm tearing my hair out, really.

what do most of you find to be a good angle for holding the instrument? i've no classical guitar background, so i don't automatically find the 45 deg angle i seem to see on CG players to be a comfortable one.

i already pretend my tenor ukulele is a renaissance guitar - i find the ren pieces work on it quite nicely!


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