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Classical Bass

As with the orchestral or electric bass, the classical bass is tuned an octave below the normal guitar’s four lower strings – EADG. The string length is 88cm and the strings are overspun nylon core manufactured by Hannabach. It can be played upright on its endpin or in classical guitar position, supported by the endpin. The sound is strong, sustained and rich, providing a unique bass voice to any mixed ensemble. 


Between the bass and standard guitar, the baritone is tuned a fifth below a standard guitar. Its bottom string is therefore an octave below the A string on a standard guitar. It is played the same as a standard, but the 71cm string length (65cm on a standard) requires a bit more stretch! The baritone has a particularly attractive sound for playing slower pieces such as Bach’s suites for lute and cello.


   Sometimes known by the South American name, requinto, as it’s tuned five semitones (quint) above a normal guitar, so it is one octave above the baritone making that combination a versatile medium for a vast range of music, old and new: Bach lute suites, two-part inventions.

The acoustics of the treble are different from the requinto in that the treble has a big, sweet sound and the requinto more a percussive sound. String length is 52cm, enabling the treble to be strung with normal strings. The body is significantly smaller, as is the scale. 


Tuned an octave above a standard, this guitar provides a clear, sweet descant sound to any ensemble, even guitar orchestras. It has proved effective in duets with standard guitar for a range of musical genres or to sparkle up the melody in guitar quartets or ensembles, even augmenting mandolin ensembles. Octave string sets can be purchased on the net or a normal set adapted with a thin top string. The short scale of 43.5cm is of course close, but longer than a mandolin.

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