View Full Version : old uke with movable bridge. What is it?

richard lewis
05-31-2011, 05:38 PM
Hi. I just got an old soprano-sized uke [possibly braguinha] from France, via eBay. It has a movable bridge and tailpiece, is about 50% deeper than a uke, came with thin metal strings, looks pretty old.

Anyone heard of such a thing?

[I'm a newbie here in the underground--please, be gentle].

cheers, Richard

05-31-2011, 06:57 PM
Scroll down halfway to see picture of Venezuelan cuatro. Looks identical!


This may help with saddle placement:


05-31-2011, 07:00 PM
I think your guess that it's a braguinha/cavaquinho (http://www.jose-lucio.com/0%20Cavaquinho/Cavaquinho.htm) might be correct.

05-31-2011, 08:31 PM
It is a cavacoguinha (not really). Congratulations on your purchase of an instrument that has the "what is it?" factor. My first thought was that it looks like a cuatro, but it's too small. I suggest you wiki cavaquinho and take your pick of with which name you want to label it. Plus the movable bridge/tailpiece construction contributes to its uniqueness and allows for steel strings.
Oh, and welcome to the UU Forums.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yiseMI_sks&feature=related

05-31-2011, 09:13 PM

Brad Bordessa
05-31-2011, 09:25 PM
The Portuguese in me would really love to try one of those. I love the sound whenever I hear it. This is my reference: http://www.playingforchange.com/episodes/33/Samba_de_Viola (the Playing For Change thing is just phenomenal if you aren't familiar with it).

mm stan
05-31-2011, 09:25 PM
Aloha and G'day Richard,
Just wanted to Welcome you to the UU and our forums...have fun and enjoy..google Musicteacher2010 and Keonepax for awesome ukulele video tutorials and Dr Uke for songs, chords, and
instructions...Happy Strummings Matey, Cheers, MM Stan

richard lewis
05-31-2011, 09:32 PM
Hey, thank you all, this is great! good to be part of the gang.
so, looks like most think it's a cuatro or one of the others. I'm off to walk the dog now, then make dinner (it's 5.30pm, first day of winter, and my day off), but looking forward to checking out all these links after dinner.

Thanks again. Cheers, Richard

richard lewis
05-31-2011, 11:14 PM
Thank you, Phil, it's much appreciated.
I had a look, and yep, they seem very close, though I think the cuatro has a longer neck, by the looks of it.
The page regarding saddle placement will be very helpful. Thanks again, Richard

richard lewis
05-31-2011, 11:18 PM
Thanks Janeray. It's been a learning sort of a day; I'd never heard of any of these instruments before today. Went looking 'cos I only got hold of it this morning. Still, couldn't find anything online with moveable bridge, so thought I'd start the thread. Thanks for your reply. Cheers, Richard.

richard lewis
05-31-2011, 11:21 PM
Thanks, geetee. Will do. Cheers,Richard

richard lewis
05-31-2011, 11:24 PM
Wow, that's great! Is that you playing, geetee?
I had been tempted to put up a clip once I got it restrung, but I may have to have some lessons first (after that!).
Once more, thanks.

richard lewis
05-31-2011, 11:29 PM
Thanks, Hippie Guy. Checked out the Playing For Change link. Thanks for putting me on to it. Cheers, Richard

richard lewis
05-31-2011, 11:31 PM
Thanks, Stan, for the welcome. I'm enjoying myself a lot already. Will check out those tutorials soon. Cheers, Richard