NGD - my first Portuguese guitar!

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Shaytan, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Shaytan

    Shaytan Squier-Meister

    Age:
    21
    300
    Apr 10, 2018
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Last Saturday I've finally bought a Portuguese guitar, which I've been planning to for nearly an year now. The tuna would thank a new Portuguese guitar player and two friends of mine also part of it know how to play and are willing to teach me. It's certainly an instrument which requires a special technique and it will require a lot of practicing at home, but I'm very happy to get the chance to learn a new instrument, plus one with a sound as beautiful and as traditional of my Country as this.

    I'll take the guitar to one of the several known reputable Portuguese guitar builders in the are to get it identified (unfortunately the guitar is missing its label so I did my purchase based on the quality of the construction and materials, but it's certainly traditionally handmade by someone who knew well what was doing and by the oxidation of the woods, it may be over 30 years old) and to get new strings (if you think restringing Floyd Rose guitars is hard, now imagine having to create laces for each of the 12 strings using a special pliers and being aware the tuners can't rotate indefinitely), and after having it all inspected and cleaned I'll post some more pics, but it seems great so far and I've already been learning the chord shapes.

    45539877_2027619897484621_1770295956458176512_n.jpg 45698868_309785869622729_2274024036059054080_n.jpg 45617357_289291371915648_7015485918718984192_n.jpg

    BTW, this one is a Coimbra Portuguese guitar - the most popular types of construction are those from Coimbra and Lisboa, easily told apart as the first has a tear-shaped wood ornament above the tuners whereas the latter has a "snail"-shaped. The Coimbra model has its tuning one step flatter than the one from Lisboa and they have slightly different playing techniques and styles. The Coimbra model is traditionally used for serenades sung by men; the Coimbra Fado is mostly a tradition of the local tunas.

     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  2. Eddie

    Eddie Dr. Squier

    Age:
    49
    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    Sweet. Can you play Death Metal on it? :)
     
  3. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Feb 16, 2018
    North Central NC
    Interesting instrument, and quite a small fretboard radius!
     
    Shaytan likes this.
  4. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    Age:
    72
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Wow! That is SO beautiful!
     
    Stratlover84 likes this.
  5. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    A beautiful sounding and looking guitar! Love the bookmatched back and the wild tuner arrangement. You must be very patient to be able to tune that.
     
    Stratlover84 and Eddie like this.
  6. VealCutlet

    VealCutlet Squier-Nut

    722
    Aug 9, 2011
    Brookyn, NYC
    Yes. YOU can play Portugese Death Metal on it if you go to Portugal.
     
  7. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    I love it! Very cool.
     
    Shaytan likes this.
  8. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Squier-holic

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    That's a cool guitar. Is it hard to intonate? Show us a pic of the tailpiece. I'm curious about the surgical suturing you have to do on the strings.
     
    Shaytan and Stratlover84 like this.
  9. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Feb 16, 2018
    North Central NC
    The tuning system looks like it may have inspired Mark Erlewine's Wine-O-Matic Bridge. Here's the one on my old Hondo. It works very well, and you don't have to always tune in the up direction. If the string is high, you can just loosen it to pitch and it stays there.

    wine-o-matic_bridge.jpg
     
    mb doug, cool gouhl, fadetoz and 3 others like this.
  10. dtsreiuqs

    dtsreiuqs Squier-Nut

    523
    Oct 18, 2015
    France
    A very nice instrument... Like your country ;) !

    A+!
     
    Shaytan likes this.
  11. Shaytan

    Shaytan Squier-Meister

    Age:
    21
    300
    Apr 10, 2018
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Thanks for your comments so far! In the meantime, I've began to learn the technique and today finally took it to the luthier as I wanted to know if it was possible to tell its maker, to get an overall idea of its condition and to have his idea about its value.

    As I already noticed, it has a bit of a neck bow but nothing serious and completely normal for its age. It's an Artimúsica as I've already suspected (interestingly enough, the brand leaded by the brother of António Pinto Carvalho, who founded APC and which is the brand of my classical guitar - a bit of an inside info, Artimúsica focuses on making instruments traditionally by luthiers, while APC went for a semi-industrial production, making very affordable instruments but with lesser quality [not that they're bad, as I've said my classical is equivalent to an Alhambra 3C nearly half that price around here, but the lowest-end Artimúsica will always be a much better built instrument]). It's also a lot better than their modern equivalent model, with nicer ornaments, a pine top and bone nut and saddle. I decided to leave to him the task of taking care of its maintenance works and to properly intonate it, which btw answering to @Davis Sharp isn't exactly easy, it's movable and you need to use a small hammer to give it some light taps to move in order to correct it (which not only it needs, it was also put the wrong way!)

    Finally, he also assured me I've made a really good deal for the price I've got it, and it's a really nice guitar. :) More pics soon.
     
    squierbilly, willhowl and Davis Sharp like this.
  12. Shaytan

    Shaytan Squier-Meister

    Age:
    21
    300
    Apr 10, 2018
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Great news - the guitar is ready! Sadly I went to check it on the luthier's store but couldn't bring it with me today as I'll have a rehearsal tonight and it would be a pain to bring it along, so I'll get it (and properly show it off here) next Monday. :)

    It's as nice as it could be now. Spot-on intonation, lowered action, overall clean and polish and, best of all, the frets were recrowned (it seems something very common with student-level handbuilt traditional instruments around here that the luthier, after leveling the frets during its construction, only polishes them without recrowning them), all of that for a great price.

    ec9417a952b2b10cc6806e492c8f6763.0.jpg
     
  13. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Squier-holic

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    Can you play Stairway on it?:)
     
    Shaytan likes this.
  14. Shaytan

    Shaytan Squier-Meister

    Age:
    21
    300
    Apr 10, 2018
    Lisbon, Portugal
    I'm definitely curious to try out some adaptations in it! It's tricky to use the lower pairs of strings in octaves, though, they make for the remarkable sound of the instrument but may not always complement the music.

    Until Sunday I'll gotta focus on the good ol' six string for my friend's gig next week, and then once I get this one back I'll continue to practice it by following the Portuguese guitar method of Paulo Soares (at least the first edition that I'm using is written in two columns, both in Portuguese and in English, so you'd have no problem taking a look in case you're interested: Google Books - you may PM me if you're really interested and can't buy it... ;)), but there are a couple of songs that I think it could fit very well. Thanks for the new suggestion, I've definitely became curious!
     
  15. Big tuna

    Big tuna Squier-holic

    May 6, 2014
    east Tn
    That is a cool instrument.
     
    Shaytan likes this.
  16. Shaytan

    Shaytan Squier-Meister

    Age:
    21
    300
    Apr 10, 2018
    Lisbon, Portugal
    The guitar sounds great, definitely better now that it has new strings and proper intonation. The recrowning work came out great, but sadly not much was possible to do in terms of the rather high action. It's not too bad, though, and its great tone quite compensates for that. :) I'll eventually post some audio clips once I get better at it! ;)

    IMG_20181211_143141.jpg
    IMG_20181211_143440.jpg

    And - ups! - the high E of my classical had broken yesterday, but I couldn't wait for the pic!
     
    squierbilly and mb doug like this.