Baroque Guitar
Baroque Guitar
Baroque Guitar

The Baroque Guitar was common from the beginning of the 17th century to the late 18th. It has five double-strung courses. There is a substantial solo repertoire in tablature, but it was also used as a continuo instrument, improvising from figured bass, and for simple strummed accompaniments.

The basic tuning is aa d'd' gg bb e'e' - the fourth and fifth courses are re-entrant. Two other tunings were commonly used - a low octave string on the fourth (aa d'd gg bb e'e') or on both fourth and fifth (aA d'd gg bb ee). Fortunately, changing tuning only means changing strings, so players are free to experiment.

Multilayer Rose

My baroque guitars are based on plans of the Stradivarius in the Ashmolean Museum, and another in a private collection in Birmingham.

A prominent feature of the Baroque guitar (appropriately) is ornament. There were relatively plain examples, but many of the surviving baroque guitars have LOTS of inlay, deep multilayer roses, moustaches on the bridge, and all sorts of other frippery.

Prospective purchasers will need to decide how much decoration they want. The pictures on this page show my standard model, which is decorative without being gaudy - nothing like the encrusted examples in some museums.

Inlaid Head and Pegs
Bridge with moustaches and inlaid top
Back of Baroque Guitar
Back view

Sound Clips

Played by Ian Pittaway


Played by Ian Pittaway


Played by Nick Gravestock


Baroque Guitar, as in the pictures above - deep rose, bridge moustaches, edge banding, inlaid head.
Baroque Guitar, plain version - simple rose, no moustaches, no banding, plain head
More decoration - just tell me what you want and I'll work out a quote.

To order or enquire, please contact me


Cases - Excellent cases can be ordered from specialist manufacturers such as Kingham MTM, but they're pricy. I can supply an attractive, custom-built plywood case, black with chrome fittings, for £150 when ordered with an instrument.

Delivery - the price depends on where you live. Please enquire.

Waiting time, from placing an order to clutching your new baby, is currently about 10 months. It's approximate, because the schedule often contains items that are somewhat experimental, and they may take more or less time to complete than anticipated.

Deposit - I usually ask for £150 (non-returnable unless I'm dead, insane, incapacitated or incarcerated) to secure an order and cover materials. Once that's paid, your order is entered into my Magic Book. Nothing happens for several months, then you receive an email to tell you I've started construction. A few weeks later, a big parcel arrives, and you squeal with delight.