Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

I’m looking for a decent baroque guitar with ideally, a string length of 54cm or less. Unfortunately the arthritis in my hands is getting worse rapidly and I need an instrument that can accommodate my lack of stretch. This can be a used or new instrument providing it can delivered relatively soon, as at the moment I have nothing I am able to play.
Best wishes in these difficult times,

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Dear Mr Pearcy,

Baroque guitars mostly come with long scale length (by modern standards), up to 72cm... 

But if you want something smaller and historically accurate, you can search for an instrument designed after the Belchior Diaz guitar, a renaissance instrument from 1581 which at some point in the 17th century was turned in a five-course BG. The scale length is about 54cm.

Various luthiers offer this model, for example this one (scroll to the end of the page) :


Hope this helps,




Maybe I have solution for you. Please contact me on mail




Dear Chris, I don't know if you are still looking, but I know that luthiers Alexander Hopkins, Jan van Cappelle, and Joan Pellisa make small-size five-course guitars (sometimes called guitarró, chitarrino, chitariglio etc.).




If these specific instruments are not found on their website email to te luthier. 

There is historical evidence for the existence of short scale guitars in the 17th and 18th century. 

Thank you to everyone who kindly gave their advice. I have decided to commission a guitar from Alexander Batov who made me a lovely BG some years ago and whose workshop is in the next town to mine.
Thank you once again.


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