minstrel: Hmmmmmmm--a period looking guitar?

Lisa and Ken Theriot lnktheriot at compuserve.com
Sun Mar 12 13:51:38 PST 2000

My lady,

Since you have perused Ioseph's article, we can skip all that;  I'll hit 
your major points:

< First, monetary wise, let's put a price tag on this instrument of upwards 
of around $700.>

Watch the auction pages like www.ebay.com ; they are the best places to 
pick up bargains, and a decent instrument for under $700 qualifies.  Check 
out travel guitars and child-sized guitars; they have smaller bodies (and 
often look more like citterns and other earlier instruments).  You trade 
sound production for body size, of course.  ALSO, since you are in 
Atenveldt... take a little trip south of the border and shop in Mexico. 
 Cheap, and some of the mariachi instruments are much nearer their period 

< Second, a Lute is probably out (alas-so gorgeous!) because of its 
complexity (I'm trying to be realistic here-I want to have fun playing "in 
period", but not devote my entire existence to the intricacies of a 
difficult instrument.)>

I agree completely.  A totally (late) period attitude, BTW.  If you want 
the documentation, contact me off-list. Lnktheriot at compuserve.com

<Third, now that I'm thoroughly comfortable with the mundane properties of 
chording and patterns on a modern guitar, I'm a little nervous about the 
tuning changes necessary on other, more period instruments.>

Modern tuning is (just barely) period.  Earlier tuning is not something I'd 
recommend on a modern instrument because of the different stresses.  Open 
tunings can give you a more modal feel which picks up some of the "drone" 
qualities of lute tunings.

 < And finally fourth, I love an open, rich sound (especially that of a 
12-string guitar.)>

Multi-course (12-string versus 6-string) instruments are arguable MORE 
period than single course instruments.  I wonder whether the sound you love 
comes from the courses or the body, however.  Modern 12-strings tend to 
have "dreadnought" bodies which are pretty "right out" for period; the 
richness of their tone comes from the great, big box.  A body that big in 
period would belong to a vihuela, not a guitar (vihuelas can still be 
had-check any mariachi band!).


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