Saturday, May 7, 2011


I never had such trouble with a string instrument as I've had with the Renaissance Lute. I've played guitar since I was 14, and learned to play the harp later in life. Now at 62, what have I done but made my life more complicated but trying to play this 15 stringed thing.  AARGH!

This particular lute is an 8 course lute meaning it has 8 rows of strings, two strings each row except for the 1st row which is single strung. It is a lute in 'G' meaning the 1st string is tuned to the note 'G'. The frets on lutes are not metal like guitars but made of Gut (lamb). The are tied in place.

It is a slow process for me as it takes so much practice time on an instrument to learn even the basics. On the Lute, the biggest problem I face is the touch, that is, how to pluck the strings correctly so both strings in a row sound evenly. Also, I never studied finger-picking as I always used a pick with electric guitar. Here, one uses the fingers to play the notes, and on Renaissance Lute a great deal is done with the thumb and first finger.