Gourd Resonator Lute

I acquired several medium sized gourds a few years back, and slowy discovered how to best use them as I intended, to make musical instruments.  Gourds have traditionally served as resonating bodies in musical instruments, either as the main body, or in the case of some Classical Indian instruments, such as the “Veena”, as a secondary resonator.

Classical Indian "Veena"

After the side has been removed from gourd

I must admit that as the instrument took shape it was difficult to limit the intention to one specific idea. I wanted to primarily make a standard Lute length instrument so I may test strings intended for Renaissance lute.

But soon after I began, a host of other possibilities came to mind, including sympathetic strings, which have always intrigued me, maybe an additional Bass string.

After the soundboard was glued on, I carved the sound hole to an appropriate diameter.          I also carved a place for the Cherry wood fingerboard to be inset, an “ogee” or lotus petal shape. I have been aging that Cherry for nearly a quarter century, in fact!  It was a section removed from rabbet of a large picture frame I made in the early 70s.

I was trying out this little “rosette” and found it muffled the sound a bit too much, so  am playing round with the whole idea of making other rosettes from parchment.

The current arrangement of frets are equally spaced, not unprecedented but an anachronistic holdover by some accounts.  The adhesive I used is quite easy to reverse if I change my mind later.

Equally spaced frets

About Lpkaster

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