View Full Version : Braguinha Players in the House!

Uke Republic
10-21-2015, 01:58 PM
Anyone else out there play the braguinha? I really like them and since they are related to ukulele it seems a natural fit for ukulele players.

10-21-2015, 06:02 PM
It is on my bucket list. I want to make it through one entire ukulele book before I shift gears to a braguinha. Or, until the next attack of UAS, which has always occurred first. But, this time I really mean it :)

10-21-2015, 06:29 PM
Hmm. I am more leaning towards a raj„o. That 5-string tuning of D4, G4, C4, E4, A4 might be easier to pick-up.

10-22-2015, 12:08 AM
Hm, the Braguinha seems to be very similar to the Cavaco or Cavaquinho that I have become interested in recently, though not necessarily the small Portuguese one, but the somewhat larger Brazilian or Cabo Verde style that could be tuned to d'-g'-b'-e", an octave above the Baritone. They're about the size of a Concert Ukulele, but with steel strings.

Luke El U
10-22-2015, 02:22 AM
There was a Portuguese luthier at the Music China Expo in Shanghai last week. He makes a variety of fretted string instruments such as the balalaika, the cuatro venezuela and the braguinhas. I forget his name, but he was very engaging, a really animated speaker. His website is:

The braguinha was so small and therefore difficult for me to play. It had metal strings tuned dgbd' about which I inquired. He said he uses gage 10 acoustic guitar strings. I asked about this because I had read in Manuel Morais' excellent book that the machete had gut strings but, "Sometimes, especially in the countryside, the first string is replaced by a metal string, which gives it a more strident tone, which is to the liking of the country folk."

This gave me the idea of someday installing a metal 1st string on my KoAloa soprano which is already set up with the wonderful Southcoast machete set of nylon strings. But would the tension of a gage 10 guitar string be too high, I wondered. Fortunately, the KoAloha folks were in the same building. Alan Okami and one of his other luthiers said the tension should not be a problem, however the metal string would probably cut into the bridge.