View Full Version : Timple: the spanish ukulele

03-02-2009, 12:01 PM
Talking with a friend tell me that there is an spanish small guitar very similar to ukulele, its named timple, its a traditional instrument of canarian islands (its a tropical spanish island at south).
It have 5 strings but there is another version of 4 strings used mainly in Tenerife island (one of the island of the canary islands)
Read more info here:

If you want to hear it go:

06-27-2009, 01:31 PM
I just ran a search for this to see what was known about it on this forum. My father has a timple which he bought in the Canary Islands (where we lived when I was a kid). I only recently started playing the uke and so I dug out the timple from our attic. It's an interesting wee instrument. I just restrung it this evening with soprano ukulele strings and it has a very nice sound (although the C string buzzes a bit - I'm guessing the humidity change from the Canaries to Ireland is responsible!). The timple is from La Palma, which is near Tenerife, and my father tells me the standard tuning there is the same as the high G soprano ukulele tuning. I'm going to see if I can learn any traditional Canary Island tunes for it. If there are any other timple players around who can point me towards relevant resources, it would be much appreciated!

If anybody is particularly interested, I can post photos/recordings.

Ahnko Honu
06-27-2009, 01:49 PM

06-27-2009, 08:15 PM
One of my hula sisters is from the Canary Islands. She just bought a uke to take back with her. Turns out that her father is friends with Benito and the ukulele is for him. I'm pretty excited and I hope he likes the ukulele.

06-28-2009, 02:51 AM
Similar, I believe to the raj„o, which has also been credited as the ancestor of the ukulele:

...the raj„o performs much the same function as the rhythm guitar. It has five strings, tuned DGCEA. The D is re-entrant, tuned in unison with the D on the C string; the G string is re-entrant (like today's soprano uke), tuned in unison with the G on the E string. The ukulele is tuned like the raj„o, but without the D string. (May Singhi Breen later popularized the D6 tuning of the ukulele, ADF#B.)