These lesser known fretted instruments are more for the specialist than general music areas, but I can help you along the way on:-
(the 5-string one), is mostly used for Folk, Irish or Country music. Banjos – it has to be said – are fairly primitive instruments, and cheap ones are easy to come by, but beware – you get what you pay for! The Tenor or Irish Tenor Banjo has applications in both Folk or New Orleans Jazz.
The Mandolin crops up in Folk music all the time, be it Irish, English or Country, and there is also a classical repertoire for it.
There are two types:- the traditional Bowlback, or Neapolitan, mostly used for classical or “nostalgia” fields, or the more common (but not better) Flatiron. It doesn’t really matter which you choose at the start, as they both play the same way, but if you get up to a good level you will probably have to choose the right instrument for the right job.
The Ukulele has enjoyed a renaissance in the last few years, mainly due to it’s relative cheapness and portability. However, it is capable of great subtlety in accompanying songs, and fully deserves to be taken more seriously.
The Pedal Steel Guitar is almost the defining sound of Country Music – the wailing bit in the background of almost every country ballad you can remember. However, they are expensive, complicated to play, and stockists are rare, but if you want to give it a go I am here to help.
Lutes are Elizabethan instruments, and I suggest they are for the specialist only. A beginner instrument will cost over £300, and strings go for about £50 a set.
The cost is therefore prohibitive for the beginner – start with the guitar in f# tuning, learn a few appropriate pieces, and if you like it, start saving.
The only good lutes are hand made and come with a four figure price tag, but I can suggest where to look
If any of the above interest you, go to the Contact Me page, or ring me direct on 01277 656741