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#1 2008-05-16 22:31:43

geoaguiar
Honoured Member
Registered: 2007-03-24
Posts: 1108

Portuguese guitarra

Does anyone have any experience playing a guitarra? Is it similar to an acoustic 12 string? How's the sound? Where can they be purchased? There's not so much information on the internet? there seems to be very few distributors in the continental USA. I'd love to try one and potentially buy one but I'd hate to spend $1500.00 experimenting? Any experience or advice would be appreciated...Thanks in advance


I used to be disgusted; now I try to be amused.
Elvis Costello

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#2 2008-05-16 23:04:22

Roger Guppy
The Laid Back Moderator
From: Almancil, Algarve, Portugal
Registered: 2006-09-02
Posts: 4766
Website

Re: Portuguese guitarra

Hi Geo,


Wikipedia has a quite interesting article on the Portuguese guitar, which explains the tuning and the method of playing. The link is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_guitar

Sadly I have never had my hands on one so I cannot help in a practical sense.

Roger


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” -Plato
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. (George Bernard Shaw)
Do, or do not. There is no try. (Yoda)

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#3 2008-05-18 05:12:06

geoaguiar
Honoured Member
Registered: 2007-03-24
Posts: 1108

Re: Portuguese guitarra

Thanks Roger. I was hoping you'd chime in being from that area. Thanks for the link. Anyone else? Is it a like a 12 string mandolin. I've read it's associated with Fado style of music (which is interesting as well). I'd really like a lower end unit to play with to see if I like it. I can only find 1 source here in the states and the models are 600.00 and up. Kind of a lot to drop on a whim without having any experience or even knowing whether I'll like playing it (or whether I can!!!).


I used to be disgusted; now I try to be amused.
Elvis Costello

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#4 2008-05-23 21:06:07

Roger Guppy
The Laid Back Moderator
From: Almancil, Algarve, Portugal
Registered: 2006-09-02
Posts: 4766
Website

Re: Portuguese guitarra

I have sent you some MP3's of Fado songs where you can hear the style of playing the Portuguese guitar. I hope you have recieved them and that they are of help.

Roger


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” -Plato
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. (George Bernard Shaw)
Do, or do not. There is no try. (Yoda)

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#5 2008-05-27 17:02:17

geoaguiar
Honoured Member
Registered: 2007-03-24
Posts: 1108

Re: Portuguese guitarra

Thanks Roger!!!! I don't think I'll be able to play quite like that if I decide to but one!!!!!


I used to be disgusted; now I try to be amused.
Elvis Costello

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#6 2008-08-27 00:38:59

ookalaylaylady
Junior Member
Registered: 2008-08-26
Posts: 2

Re: Portuguese guitarra

geoaguiar wrote:

Thanks Roger. I was hoping you'd chime in being from that area. Thanks for the link. Anyone else? Is it a like a 12 string mandolin. I've read it's associated with Fado style of music (which is interesting as well). I'd really like a lower end unit to play with to see if I like it. I can only find 1 source here in the states and the models are 600.00 and up. Kind of a lot to drop on a whim without having any experience or even knowing whether I'll like playing it (or whether I can!!!).

Hi, have just joined up here. Am wondering if this thread is still 'a live one' - as it's originally dated last year. I am in Portugal right now, and saw this instrument recently at the local park - a couple were playing Fado music, one guitar, and one Portuguese guitar as described, also a singer. Twas very lovely indeed. If you're still wondering about this instrument I would be happy to find out for you from the local epople. But of course, you have probably found out by now, and even bought one.

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#7 2008-08-27 01:15:53

Doug_Smith
Moderator
From: Western Oregon,US
Registered: 2008-07-22
Posts: 1135

Re: Portuguese guitarra

Good Evening Ookalaylaylady.... I almost misspelled that one!  Welcome to Chordie!

  Most threads here are sort of active in that they are scanned for new posts regularly so if one would have questions or comments they will be seen, and responded to appropriately.

  If you are relatively new to the site, by all means browse around and you can find opinions and information (most of which is quite useful) from this global community of music-minded friends.

Once again Welcome and we will look forward to hearing from you from time to time, great friendships are forged from the first hello.....   HELLO!

Take Care;  Doug


"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

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#8 2008-08-27 03:04:20

geoaguiar
Honoured Member
Registered: 2007-03-24
Posts: 1108

Re: Portuguese guitarra

ookalaylaylady wrote:

geoaguiar wrote:

Thanks Roger. I was hoping you'd chime in being from that area. Thanks for the link. Anyone else? Is it a like a 12 string mandolin. I've read it's associated with Fado style of music (which is interesting as well). I'd really like a lower end unit to play with to see if I like it. I can only find 1 source here in the states and the models are 600.00 and up. Kind of a lot to drop on a whim without having any experience or even knowing whether I'll like playing it (or whether I can!!!).

Hi, have just joined up here. Am wondering if this thread is still 'a live one' - as it's originally dated last year. I am in Portugal right now, and saw this instrument recently at the local park - a couple were playing Fado music, one guitar, and one Portuguese guitar as described, also a singer. Twas very lovely indeed. If you're still wondering about this instrument I would be happy to find out for you from the local epople. But of course, you have probably found out by now, and even bought one.

I have not yet bought one but was still contemplating it. Thanks for checking in. I was interested in the difference in playing chords between the guitarro and a guitar. I really don't want to learn from scratch but if the two were similar I'd consider purchasing as I think it's a cool sounding instrument.


I used to be disgusted; now I try to be amused.
Elvis Costello

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#9 2011-02-02 06:30:28

tenorlord
Junior Member
Registered: 2011-02-01
Posts: 7

Re: Portuguese guitarra

Since the Guitarra Portuguesa has six courses, (12 strings, in pairs) you could easily tune a regular guitar to the same tuning to try it out. I have the tuning written down somewhere, but it's probably on the web too. I seem to remember it had the top three strings repeated on the bottom three, but a few frets down. You may need to change the string gauges, and considering the nature of Fado music, you might want to go light, to help achieve that liquid sound. Once you've tried it and found the right gauges, you could get a 12 string guitar and continue your transition, until you're ready to lay down the dough for a real Guitarra!
Boa sorte! Espero ouvi-lo tocar, um dia.


Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious. -H. L. Mencken

People who need pick-guards must think they're playing a washboard! -Me

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#10 2011-02-02 10:15:59

Roger Guppy
The Laid Back Moderator
From: Almancil, Algarve, Portugal
Registered: 2006-09-02
Posts: 4766
Website

Re: Portuguese guitarra

There are two different sized guitarra, Lisboa and Coimbra, the strings gauge and tuning is as follows:

Lisbon (Lisboa) Tuning) 440mm scale

1st, 2nd and 8th strings-- .009"  wire string. Tuned to B
3rd, 4th and 10th strings--.010"  wire strings. Tuned to A  (This A  = 440 Hz)
5th, 6th strings-- .013"  wire strings. Tuned to E
7th string --.020"  wound. Tuned an octave below the 8th string (B)
9th string --.024"  wound. Tuned an octave below 10th string (A)
11th string -- .034"  wound. Tuned to D ( like the 4th string on the Acoustic Guitar)
12th string -- .018"  wound. Tuned an octave above the 11th string (D)

Coimbra Tuning 470mm scale

1st, 2nd and 8th strings-- .011"  wire string. Tuned to A  ( This A  = 440 Hz)
3rd, 4th and 10th strings--.012"  wire strings. Tuned to G
5th, 6th strings-- .015"  wire strings. Tuned to D
7th string --.022"  wound. Tuned an octave below the 8th string (A)
9th string --.024"  wound. Tuned an octave below 10th string (G)
11th string -- .036"  wound. Tuned to C (like the 5th string, 3rd fret on the acoustic guitar)
12th string -- .019"  wound. Tuned an octave above the 11th string (C )

The tuning is unusual and the playing method also. They are normally played with by alternate picking with the thumb and forefinger.

Roger


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” -Plato
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. (George Bernard Shaw)
Do, or do not. There is no try. (Yoda)

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#11 2012-03-25 21:16:27

Musicman8
Junior Member
Registered: 2012-03-25
Posts: 2

Re: Portuguese guitarra

Hi all,

I'm new to the site, but wanted to comment (that's if anyone is even reading this thread anymore!).

I actually have both styles of the Portuguese guitar.  One Coimbra model (Tuning CGADGA) and one Lisboa model (tuning DABEAB).  I love both models.  They are more difficult to play than a regular classical guitar mainly because the frets are much more compact, and having a double string per note means pressing down harder on the frets. 

That said, I love the way they sound and they are a joy to play.  They are indeed used for Fado, but several prominent musicians have really pushed this as a headlining instrument, chief among them was Carlos Paredes. 

Enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9cqXIk2B04

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujf6EVam … re=related

And one of the new generation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN6kg11w … re=related

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#12 2012-03-26 00:01:34

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4679

Re: Portuguese guitarra

Hi musicman8,welcome here. I really enjoyed the awesome sounds of the insterment,thanks for sharing.


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#13 2012-03-26 04:05:02

Musicman8
Junior Member
Registered: 2012-03-25
Posts: 2

Re: Portuguese guitarra

Hi Dino, thank you.

It's a great instrument.  I just wanted to share some info.  This is a great site and I am happy to be able to talk guitars with others.

Cheers.

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