Guitalele

Last updated
Guitalele
Guitarlele and case.jpg
Other namesGuitarlele, Guilele, Ukitar, Soprano Guitar, Petite Guitar, Kīkū'
Classification String instrument
Related instruments

A guitalele (sometimes spelled guitarlele or guilele), also called a ukitar, [1] or kīkū, [2] [3] is a guitar-ukulele hybrid, that is, "a 1/4 size" guitar, a cross between a classical guitar and a tenor or baritone ukulele. [4] The guitalele combines the portability of a ukulele, due to its small size, with the six single strings and resultant chord possibilities of a classical guitar. It may include a built-in microphone that permits playing the guitalele either as an acoustic guitar or connected to an amplifier. The guitalele is variously marketed (and used) as a travel guitar or children's guitar. It is essentially a modern iteration of the Quint guitar. [5]

A guitalele or guitarlele Guitalele.jpg
A guitalele or guitarlele

A guitalele is the size of a ukulele, and is commonly played like a guitar transposed up to “A” (that is, up a 4th, or like a guitar with a capo on the fifth fret). This gives it tuning of ADGCEA, with the top four strings tuned like a low G ukulele. [6] This is the same as the tuning of the requinto guitar, although the latter are typically larger than a guitalele, and as the most common tuning for the guitarrón mexicano, albeit at a higher octave.

Several guitar and ukulele manufacturers market guitaleles, including Yamaha Corporation's GL-1 Guitalele, [7] [8] Cordoba's Guilele [9] and Mini, [10] Koaloha's D-VI 6-string tenor ukulele, [11] Mele's Guitarlele, [12] Kanilea's GL6 Guitarlele [13] and Islander GL6, [14] Luna's 6-string baritone ukulele, [15] the Yudelele, the Lichty Kīkū, [2] the Kinnard Kīkū, [3] and the Gretsch guitar-ukulele. [16]

Some manufacturers' (e.g., Luna) use of the term "6-string ukulele" (or the like) in describing their six-string, six-course guitaleles can lead to confusion with the common six-string, four-course ukuleles that are typically referred to by the same name. [17] These four-course "6-string ukuleles" are usually strung with a single G string, a closely spaced course of two (often octave-tuned) C strings, a single E string and a closely spaced course of two (often unison-tuned) A strings. This means that chord formation is more akin to a traditional four-string ukulele, while the Guitalele's is more akin to a six-string guitar.

Terminology

In Latin America, Brazil, Portugal, and Spain, this instrument type is often referred to as a kind of Requinto. In that sense, the new English portmanteau word Guitalele is a commercial brand used to promote a locally unfamiliar variant of the guitar. Despite the Hawaiian origin of the word Kiku', the term is also a commercial, Anglo-Saxon creation.

Perhaps for these reasons, many sellers avoid naming the instrument altogether, preferring instead to use descriptive terms like '6-string ukulele' or 'Guitar-Ukulele'. [18] In English, the alternative term Ukitar emerged in parallel, but its usage is not widespread among instrument vendors.

Related Research Articles

Guitar Fretted string instrument

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that typically has six strings. It is held flat against the player's body and played by strumming or plucking the strings with the dominant hand, while simultaneously pressing the strings against frets with the fingers of the opposite hand. A plectrum or individual finger picks may be used to strike the strings. The sound of the guitar is projected either acoustically, by means of a resonant chamber on the instrument, or amplified by an electronic pickup and an amplifier.

Ukulele Member of the guitar family

The ukulele is a member of the lute family of instruments. It generally employs four nylon strings.

Charango

The charango is a small Andean stringed instrument of the lute family, which probably originated in the Quechua and Aymara populations in the territory of the Altiplano in post-Colonial times, after European stringed instruments were introduced by the Spanish during colonialization. The instrument is widespread throughout the Andean regions of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, northern Chile and northwestern Argentina, where it is a popular musical instrument that exists in many variant forms.

Twelve-string guitar

A twelve-string guitar is a steel-string guitar with 12 strings in six courses, which produces a thicker, more ringing tone than a standard six-string guitar. Typically, the strings of the lower four courses are tuned in octaves, with those of the upper two courses tuned in unison. The gap between the strings within each dual-string course is narrow, and the strings of each course are fretted and plucked as a single unit. The neck is wider, to accommodate the extra strings, and is similar to the width of a classical guitar neck. The sound, particularly on acoustic instruments, is fuller and more harmonically resonant than six-string instruments.

The term requinto is used in both Spanish and Portuguese to mean a smaller, higher-pitched version of another instrument. Thus, there are requinto guitars, drums, and several wind instruments.

Baritone guitar

The baritone guitar is a guitar with a longer scale length, typically a larger body, and heavier internal bracing, so it can be tuned to a lower pitch. Gretsch, Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, ESP Guitars, PRS Guitars, Music Man, Danelectro, Schecter, Jerry Jones Guitars, Burns London and many other companies have produced electric baritone guitars since the 1960s, although always in small numbers due to low popularity. Tacoma, Santa Cruz, Taylor, Martin, Alvarez Guitars and others have made acoustic baritone guitars.

Tiple Fretted string instrument

A tiple, is a plucked-string chordophone of the guitar family. A tiple player is called a tiplista. The first mention of the tiple comes from musicologist Pablo Minguet e Irol in 1752. Although many variations of the instrument exist, the tiple is mostly associated with Colombia, and is considered the national instrument.

Tenor guitar Four-stringed guitar

The tenor guitar or four-string guitar is a slightly smaller, four-string relative of the steel-string acoustic guitar or electric guitar. The instrument was initially developed in its acoustic form by Gibson and C.F. Martin so that players of the four-string tenor banjo could double on guitar.

In music, a chorus effect occurs when individual sounds with approximately the same time, and very similar pitches, converge and are perceived as one. While similar sounds coming from multiple sources can occur naturally, as in the case of a choir or string orchestra, it can also be simulated using an electronic effects unit or signal processing device.

Course (music)

A course, on a stringed musical instrument, is either one string or two or more adjacent strings that are closely spaced relative to the other strings, and typically played as a single string. The strings in each multiple-string course are typically tuned in unison or an octave.

Jarana jarocha

The jarana jarocha is a guitar-shaped fretted stringed instrument from the southern region of the state of Veracruz, Mexico. Typically strung with 8 strings in 5 courses, usually arranged in two single outer strings with three double-courses in between. The strings are usually nylon, although they were gut in the past. The body is somewhat narrower than a guitar because of its direct lineage from the Spanish baroque guitar of the sixteenth century. Sometimes mistaken for a ukulele, the jarana jarocha comes in at least five sizes, the smallest being the chaquiste, somewhat smaller than a soprano ukulele; then the mosquito, about the size of a soprano ukulele; the 'primera', about the size of a concert ukulele; the 'segunda', in length between a tenor and a baritone ukulele; and the 'tercera', somewhat longer than the baritone ukulele. Some luthiers are building jaranas of a size they label "tercerola" or "jarana cuarta", but there is some discussion as to whether these represent a distinct size or are merely particularly large variations of the standard tercera.

Outline of guitars Overview of and topical guide to guitars

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to guitars:

In music, standard tuning refers to the typical tuning of a string instrument. This notion is contrary to that of scordatura, i.e. an alternate tuning designated to modify either the timbre or technical capabilities of the desired instrument.

Tune-o-matic

Tune-o-matic is the name of a fixed or floating bridge design for electric guitars. It was designed by Ted McCarty and introduced on the Gibson Super 400 guitar in 1953 and the Les Paul Custom the following year. In 1955, it was used on the Gibson Les Paul Gold Top. It was gradually accepted as a standard on almost all Gibson electric guitars, replacing the previous wrap-around bridge design, except on the budget series.

Reentrant tuning

On a stringed instrument, a break in an otherwise ascending order of string pitches is known as a re-entry. A re-entrant tuning, therefore, is a tuning where the strings are not all ordered from the lowest pitch to the highest pitch.

<i>Trampoline</i> (The Mavericks album) 1998 studio album by The Mavericks

Trampoline is the fifth studio album by the American country music band The Mavericks. The album was released on March 10, 1998, by MCA Nashville. It includes the singles "To Be with You", "Dance the Night Away" and "I've Got This Feeling". Although none of these singles were Top 40 hits on the U.S. country charts, "Dance the Night Away" reached #4 on the UK Singles Chart and "I've Got This Feeling" reached #27.

The Yamaha GL-1 is a guitalele, also known as a 1/4 size guitar or guitar-ukulele hybrid, combining the size of an ukulele with the wider fretboard and six single nylon strings of a classical guitar.

Colombian tiple

The Colombian tiple, is a plucked string instrument of the guitar family, common in Colombia where it is considered one of the national instruments. About three-fourths the size of a classical guitar, it has twelve strings set in four triple-strung courses. It is played as a main instrument or as an accompanying instrument to the guitar.

Lichty Guitars

Lichty Guitars is an American company based in Tryon, North Carolina, that has been making custom acoustic guitars and ukuleles since 2009. It was founded by musician Jay Lichty, who honed his craft with luthier Wayne Henderson.

Requinto guitar

A requinto guitar is a smaller version of a spanish guitar, with a scale length between 52-54cm. It is tuned a fourth higher than a standard classical guitar, to A2-D3-G3-C4-E4-A4. They often, but not always, have a cutout to reach the higher frets. It was invented and first introduced in popular music in 1945 by Mexican guitarist/vocalist Alfredo Gil of romantic music trio "Los Panchos."

References

  1. "Want to mess up my acoustic..." Ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  2. 1 2 Kiku, latest offspring in the ukulele family, Lichty Guitars (Dec. 11, 2014).
  3. 1 2 Birth of the Kīkū', Kinnard Ukes (accessed September 2015).
  4. George Rajna, What in the world in a guitalele?, Huffington Post 01/09/2013.
  5. Anderton, Craig (July 1, 2002). "Guitar Player". Freaks of Frankfurt. p. 27.
  6. "Guitarlele | Ukulele Review". Ukulelehunt.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  7. Nikkei Weekly (December 22, 1997) Small guitar can be amplified. Section: New products, science & Technology. Page 10.
  8. "GL1". Yamaha.ca. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  9. Cordoba Guilele, cordoba.com (accessed 9 July 2013).
  10. Cordoba Mini, cordoba.com (accessed September 2015).
  11. Koaloha D-VI Archived 2013-07-03 at the Wayback Machine , koaloha.com (accessed 9 July 2013).
  12. Mele Spruce Top Guitarlele Archived 2015-02-14 at the Wayback Machine , Mele Ukulele (accessed 9 July 2013).
  13. Kanilea Guitarlele Archived 2013-07-13 at the Wayback Machine , Kanilea Ukulele (accessed 9 July 2013).
  14. Islander GL6 Guitarlele Archived 2015-11-18 at the Wayback Machine by Kanilea (accessed 19 Sep. 2015).
  15. Tattoo 6-string baritone ukulele, Luna Guitars (accessed 18 May 2014).
  16. Gretsch G9126 Guitar-Ukulele Archived 2015-05-09 at the Wayback Machine , Gretsch Guitars (access 15 May 2015).
  17. "Ask Ukulele Underground: 6-String Ukulele vs. Guitalele". Ukuleleunderground.com. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  18. "Folk & Bluegrass :: G9126 A.C.E. Guitar-Ukulele, Acoustic-Cutaway-Electric with Gig Bag, Ovangkol Fingerboard, Fishman® Kula Pickup, Honey Mahogany Stain". Gretschguitars.com. Retrieved 19 April 2021.