Early Guitars and Vihuela

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i am converting a mexican jarana tercera into a renaisaince guitar i am putting on a new bridge--in addition to other alterations.  it is built in early form, with a one piece neck and body.


however , where to get good strings? are la bellas ok? i oprefer carbon fibre for convience and sound. who carries carbon fibre?  i think baroque guitar strings are best for this size, and discard two strings. 


don't cringe, i am going to cut a layered rossette from cooking parchment!  maybe if i get good i'll do it later in real parchment but for now it\s going to be done on the cheap.


so where does one get strings?

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Hi, John, welcome to the forum!

Savarez offers carbon strings (Alliance KF) whose guages increments in fine steps. String by Mail is a good online dealer who handles all the existing gauges:


I googled "jarana tercera" and found the scales of the instruments are similar to those of ululeles (from soprano to tenor). So, you may also look at ukulele strings from various makes: D'addario, GHS, Hiro, Ko'olau, etc. Worth makes good carbon strings for ukuleles in various tensions.

Hope this would be of any help.

when i look at baroque guitar strings they usually say medium tension or high tension and sometimes low tension. again any idea what to ask for for a jarana?


i am also looking for greek lavta strings. it presently has left over lute strings and they work fine.  how do you think a greek lavta compares in tension to a baroque guitar. the lavta is 67 cm scale.



It would not be practical to talk about the strings without mentioning the actual scale length of the instrument and the pitch you are tune to, especially when you intend to use it in a non-standard way.

I'm not familiar with either jarana tercera or lavta. Do you know the matarials and gauges of the standard strings for them? How long is the scale of your jarana tercera?

I mentioned ukulele strings because they are easy to find and their tensions are in general fairly low so long as the scale of the instrument and the tuning are right for them.


I am considering to give a try at Aquila 19 u, a nylgut string set for 8 strings ukulele, on my renaissance guitar.

has anybody already experimented this ? Any tension issue ?

Thanks in advance for your answers.

Hi, Gilles,

As noted above, you would need to specify the scale of your instrument and the standard pitch you tune to.  The string tension is highly dependent on those two factors.

Dear Akira,

Thanks for your post, my apologies to answer it lately. Of course you are right regarding the scale length — my renaissance guitar being at 54 cm, I deduced that uke strings for a tenor scale (closer to 43 cm) might not fit.

So I changed my mind and wisely decided to give a try at La Bella strings for renaissance guitar. I just put on the string set and I must say I'm more than delighted with the sound and the feel of rectified nylon which are a far better match than my previous alliance carbon strings. I'm tuning the guitar quite low (i.e G= 392) so the tension is not too stiff and the instrument sings and breathes. At about 8 $ for the complete string set, I'm positive it's a real bargain. 



oops... I mean A=392, of course (which is an actual G at 440 standard pitch, hence the confusion).


The Aquila Nylegut string set I assembled for my Renaissance guitar (54cm scale) was:

1st course (single): 0.42mm

2ne course (double): 0.50mm

3rd course (double): 0.62mm

4th course (octave): 0.42mm and 0.82mm

The intended tuning is A=392Hz.

The strings are of the older type (white in color).  Now I use real gut strings on my guitar, so my Nylegut set is floating around.  If you are interested, please PM me.  :)


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