Post by David Raleigh Arnold Post by Tashi
I put on a lute CD the other day for the first time in a while. I was
struck at how much I had grown accustomed to the sound of the guitar,
and thought the lute sounded like crap, I took it off after 20 seconds
and put on Goran Sollscher. I used to be addicted to the lute, but now
find it lacks clarity, sounds twangy, and unclean..... pretty much
like a banjo.
I spoke with a guitar friend today, whom I thought liked the lute.
Turns out he was just trying to make me feel good and finally
confessed he couldn't stand the sound of a lute. How does the lute
sound come across to most guitarists?
I have no idea what the vote would be, and care less. Why do you feel
that you have to make a choice? If you can play a guitar, you can play
a banjo or a lute. The difference in these instruments is that they
have different personalities. That means that they have long and short
suits. The guitar has a sweet sound, the classical more than the flameco
type, and much of that quality comes from the shape of the body. The
treble of the renaissance lute has a banjo like quality and very little
sustain which gives it a certain brilliance in treble scale passages,
while the bass notes ring on forever. It works better for music written
for it in nearly all, but not quite all, cases. Use a guitar for an
arpeggiated chord type accompaniment for a sweet song and it sounds
better than any other instrument. Guitar is still bottom heavy, but
much better balanced than the lute. The baroque lutes I have heard
retain renaissance lute qualities, but they have a bit more balance
because the treble has a weaker character. The banjo with American
tuning (bg#eae) is good with flamenco tiami tremolo for sentimental
tunes. tami tremolo stinks on any kind of banjo.
Don't let any of them hear you compare them, and don't make moral
judgments. Consider each to be like another wife with whom you have to
get along. ;-) daveA
"Dynamic Guitar Technique": http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html