View Full Version : Guitalele - fingerpicking?

01-01-2011, 06:19 PM
Hi and Happy New Year everyone!
For those of you who own a guitalele, any comments regarding fingerpicking? Is the string spacing far enough apart for fingerpicking? I'm leaning toward the Yamaha GL 1 - but the Kanilea GL 6 looks appealing :rolleyes:

Anyone know the nut width on the Yamaha GL 1?

On a similar note, an acquaintance suggested (regarding small, nylon-stringed instruments) the Cordoba Cadete, a 3/4 sized guitar, similar in size to the Baby Taylor. Tuning is obviously EADGBE. I've never seen or heard one. My thinking is, a guitalele sounds like a 'ukulele, but has 2 'bass' strings. The 3/4 sized guitar likely doesn't sound like a guitar....

I've read some regarding the requinto. Based solely upon the wonderful talent on You Tube of people playing the Yamaha GL 1, that guitalele seems pretty convincing! And besides, it's a 'ukulele (mostly).

01-01-2011, 08:17 PM
I never knew much about guitars even when I had them, but I missed them when they were eventually sold. I just got two cheap vintage acoustics a few months back that would be considered 3/4 size and they are about 36" long with around a 24 inch scale. They are very much guitars, and these vintage ones are currently often being sold as "blues" guitars, as most were built by Harmony or the like and were cheap when new, so were more a "poor folk" instrument. They can have a very nice vintage sound. I have a circa '49 Stella and a 1940 Supertone (in 1941 it became Silvertone). I like the nice V neck on the Supertone. The Stella has awesome reverb.

I also got a 1/2 size classical to fill in the guitar/ guitarlele spot for now, as with it's shorter neck and nylon strings it's a lot easier for my hubby (as well as me) to learn on. The scale is about 21 inches (530mm), but it makes a big overall difference in the feel of it for me as far as reach, both from the guitars and the ukes. Easier than the bigger guitars, harder than the ukes but still comfortable. Better for fingerstyle than the steel string acoustics because of the wider fingerboard. Consider that a baritone uke runs around 19-20 inches on the scale, a tenor 17. The body on the 1/2 size is quite a bit bigger than a bari uke but it feels comfortable to wrap oneself around. It tunes regular classical strings in EADGBE just fine to my ear. I tried it up a few steps and it sounds better standard.

If I was going to go smaller on a 6 string I think I would be more inclined based on this instrument to go to a 1/4 sized classical kids guitar over a guitarlele. Which is what my luthier suggested.

Makes sopranos seem really itty bitty all over again though!

01-02-2011, 08:24 AM
You should note that the Yamaha is a similar scale length to a tenor, where the kanilea is a baritone like scale. I have KoAloha D-6, and the spacing is just fine, as anything, it takes practice to get used to anything new, but if you can do it on a guitar then you can do it on a D-6

01-02-2011, 08:42 AM
I tried one (Yamaha Guitarlele) in a branch of Hobgoblin here in the UK, but it didn't catch me. Maybe it was the awful strings on the thing, and the neck felt cramped and overly chunky, and I struggled to find my way round (admittedly this was after playing an expensive, beautifully set up tenor guitar in the store for about an hour). Over here they are dead cheap, about £50, but the quality was good for a cheapo instrument. Maybe take a look at some of the tiny travel guitars that are out there. I have a Washburn Rover, which is totally amazing. Body size is about the same as tenor sized uke, but with a full size guitar fingerboard, and solid spruce top. It sounds so much bigger than it looks, and costs very little.


01-02-2011, 04:41 PM
Hmm. Well, partly it depends upon what I'm trying to accomplish....

I love fingerpicking and nylon/nylgut strings. The Yamaha guitalele and the Kanilea guitarlele are very intriguing. Recently I discovered the Cordoba Cadete which is a 3/4 size guitar, similar to the Baby Taylor in size. Solid Cedar top and lam back and sides I believe. I forget the scale length but I believe it is 23" or so. I've not played one yet but the reports say they sound much better than the Baby Taylors (for example).

I've had injuries, both to my hands (joints, mostly thumbs) and my upper back, so playing a full-size classical guitar is likely out of the question. I'm not sure if the 3/4 guitar size isn't too big as well.
I really enjoy fingerpicking my concert and tenor ukuleles, and the scale is certainly easier for my small hands.... (and joint issues). So that's where the guitalele might become a great choice. Wouldn't it be nice to line up all the instruments and try them all? :)

I'm just a bit concerned that the guitaleles just aren't going to sound very good, as well as being difficult to fingerpick. If you own one I'd love to hear more!


01-03-2011, 08:13 AM
I don't know the nut size of the Yamaha, but I feel a little cramped when picking on the Utar. It's possible, but I feel a tiny bit cramped.