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Thread: Guitalele is a Guitar and/or a Ukulele

  1. #1
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    Default Guitalele is a Guitar and/or a Ukulele

    What is this instrument? A little guitar? A musical instrument in it's own right? What?

    Another question here on the forum. Should guitalele information be posted under/on guitar or ukulele forums? Maybe it needs a forum of it's own.

  2. #2
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    Great question. I haven't made up my mind yet. It definitely plays like a little guitar, but I tend to think of it as "a uke with 2 bass strings", e.g. I try to think of the strings as ADGCEA, but old guitar memory still tries to bring up EADGBE.

    As far as the forum, I dunno. Separate forum wouldn't be a bad idea.
    Ukelele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG-C Lava
    Guitars:
    Cordoba C1m 1/4, TI CF127, G
    Cordoba Mini M, SC F# EFS
    Jupiter #47, TI CF127, G

    Jim's Blog

  3. #3
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    Unless you tune the guilele in reentrant tuning - then it gets a lot more uke-like
    Ukelele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG-C Lava
    Guitars:
    Cordoba C1m 1/4, TI CF127, G
    Cordoba Mini M, SC F# EFS
    Jupiter #47, TI CF127, G

    Jim's Blog

  4. #4
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    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
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    It has six courses, as does a guitar, a uke has four courses, so it's a small guitar - that is what I also think.

    However, ukes being more popular than guitars, just recently, the marketing men have come up with the name to try & increase their sales.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2014
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    I play the Guilele/Guitalele/Guitarlele or Kiku like a small Guitar. As a matter of fact, I am playing the uke pretty much like a small guitar with less strings to worry about, that is more comfortable to hold and to reach because of its shorter size, and that sings at a higher, more cheerful pitch.

    To me, the Guilele type of instrument isn't just a marketing scheme. I abandoned the guitar because it was way too big for me. Having an instrument that essentially works the same, but is much more comfortable at a shorter scale and overall length, is exactly what I want, no matter what it is called. I'm very glad that there is an increasing number of makers starting to build instruments to fit this segment, in different price categories, filling the gap between the very cheap stuff (Yamaha, Cordoba, Gretsch) and the expensive models from Kanilea, KoAloha, or custom builders. Also, they provide us players with more options to choose from: different scale lengths, different body shapes, different nut widths, radius fretboard, etc.

    A lot of the sub-size, short scale guitars are made for children and therefore have narrow fretboards and are often made cheap. And then there are a few expensive Piccolo or Soprano Guitars that are meant to be tuned an octave up from regular guitar. To me, the pitch of the Guilele, tuned in between G-G (three steps up from a Guitar) to A-A (five steps up from a Guitar), is perfect. The specs I really like for this type of instrument are 17" to 21.5" for the scale, 46mm to 49mm for the nut width, and a radius fretboard.

    A common name for this crossover between ukulele and guitar would certainly be helpful, but some of the diversity has to do with copyright protection, with one of the names being owned by Yamaha, I think.

    As suggested above, I'd welcome a sub-forum for this type of instrument, as I'm never sure where to post about it: not really a ukulele, bot neither whit the implications of a full-sized guitar.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2017
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    I just checked out these two instruments that are new to me. Requinto and Piccolo Guitars. I really like the Requinto Guitar sound.

    Is there a Piccolo Guitar made for nylor strings? What is the nut width of a Requinto Guitar as compared to a Guitalele? I could not find this info in my search.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysmash View Post
    I just checked out these two instruments that are new to me. Requinto and Piccolo Guitars. I really like the Requinto Guitar sound.

    Is there a Piccolo Guitar made for nylor strings? What is the nut width of a Requinto Guitar as compared to a Guitalele? I could not find this info in my search.
    "piccolo guitar made for nylon strings" - I'd say that *is* the guitalele.

    As far as nut width, I dunno, there doesn't seem to be any real standards here. I'd say Requinto is generally in the 48-50mm range but I've seen guitalele from 44mm(1.75") up to 50mm(2")
    Ukelele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG-C Lava
    Guitars:
    Cordoba C1m 1/4, TI CF127, G
    Cordoba Mini M, SC F# EFS
    Jupiter #47, TI CF127, G

    Jim's Blog

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
    Posts
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    I have some thoughts and ramblings about guileles now that I own one. First off Rainer (Rakelele) did a great job raking out the differences and confusion. I think there is a big "grey" area on these because they can be tenor body size with tenor scale length and tuned like a ukeule to two extra bottom strings the A, D added to GCEA. When it is a baritone size and scale we can make it a small guitar tuned like a baritone with two extra bottom string E, A added to DGBE, which is E - E that's standard guitar tuning. Then you can tune it up to F - F or G - G and I am not sure what you got, other then a six string instrument tuned higher than a guitar but lower than a ukulele.

    Anyway you cut it they are a lot of fun, mine is the baritone size, 20" scale length tuned E - E and I treat is as a small nylon string guitar.

    Johnnysmash.....to answer your question about the Requinto, I have been looking at the Cordoba. It has a 23" scale length and a flat fret board with a nut width of 48mm which is 1-7/8". Basically a 1/2 size classical guitar, but the body is a bit bigger and that intrigues me.

    If it had a radius fretboard it would be on its way to my house already.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 10-29-2018 at 11:11 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  9. #9
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    A way to see where a guitarele fits in is to get a vertical picture of a piano keyboard and mark in the range of notes for the first 12 frets of guitar, guitarlele and the GCEA ukulele.
    Mark in E2 to E5 for the guitar
    Mark in A2 to A5 for the guitarlele
    Mark in C4 to A5 for the ukulele
    If we were living in 1870 before the ukulele was thought of we would be calling it a piccolo guitar, in fact, you can still buy a piccolo guitar which looks and sounds and plays exactly the same as a guitarlele. Or maybe a Requinto Guitar if we were playing in the Spanish tradition. Martin had a size 5 guitar in its catalogue from 1898 to 1989.
    Daniel Ho and Koaloha developed the DVI in more recent times.
    So the marketing departments have jumped on the ukulele popularity bandwagon and started to use the name guitarlele because it sells product, many ukulele players wont look at a guitar of any sort, but show them a guitarlele and they show some interest. "Oh look its like a tenor with six strings, wow its so innovative and new".
    There is plenty of repertoire and material about tunings if you search for music arranged for piccolo guitar and requinto guitar. Not much if you look for guitarlele.
    Also the marketing world is yet to settle on how to spell the name. Koaloha bypassed the spelling conundrum and just called it DVI.
    I recommend that serious players look at the piano diagram and realise that the instrument might look like a guitar or ukulele or both, but its range of notes is what is important, it is going to play music in a different part of the sound and music spectrum to both the ukulele and guitar. If you forget about the marketing names, and concentrate on the music, you will find repertoire and alternative tunings and a history that goes back to the 19th century and earlier.
    Great explanation as always Biil, very informative.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  10. #10
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    Aug 2009
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    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
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    The playing style for a guitalele is closer to guitar than ukulele. It's similar to playing a guitar with the capo on the fifth fret. A guitar payer should be able to switch to guitalele with no effort whatsoever, using the same techniques, while a ukulele player will need to put some effort into learning to operate the bass strings.
    For the purposes of Ukulele Underground, I would prefer a separate heading for guitalele.

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