Portuguese Guitarras For Sale (revised March 17, 2015) A venda guitarras portuguesas

Today (March 17, 2015) I was notified that 8 Portuguese guitarras have been shipped from Portugal.

As of February 9, 2015, I have one new Lisboa guitarra made of Cypress in stock (see above) You can see/hear this guitarra in a YouTube video in an unlisted section at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrEbdaoiQ3M


Today (March 17, 2015) I was notified that 8 Portuguese guitarras have been shipped from Portugal. After the guitarras have arrived and cleared US Customs I will pick them up and do set-ups on each one. Shortly after I will post photos, videos and prices. The new guitarras with case, strings, string winder, finger picks are expected to be $1300 to $2000.

When the guitarras arrive in California I dress the frets and set up the action--see my photo essay on how I set up guitars, press here.

I should mention that prices advertised on the internet for guitarras located in Europe do not suggest the complete price (and shipping risk). In addition, to the price for the guitarra, you will need a case ($150), a string winder ($65 to $80), fingerpicks ($2 each), extra strings ($15 per set), learning materials and you must pay for shipping, customs clearance charge, US customs duty, shipping/damage insurance and probably employ an instrument maker here to refine the frets and adjust the bridge height, and string depth. Shipping damage is a very real problem. The first guitarras I imported from Portugal arrived damaged; on the first Lisboa guitar the snail of the scroll head had broken off. On another shipment 2 of 14 guitarras had complete body damage. Packing from Portugal has been a continuing problem.


PLEASE NOTE: ALL of the instruments below have been sold. The new models will be slightly different; the new prices will reflect the current exchange rates.

I will keep the information of the old models until the new ones arrive.


We have 2 different styles of Portuguese guitarras: the Lisboa and the Coimbra. The 3rd type of Portuguese guitar is now obsolete--it was a model similar to the 19th

Lisboa head (above)

The Lisboa guitarra (Lisboa is the Portuguese word for Lisbon) has a scroll type head (which is much like a violin head). It has a string length of 440mm or 458mm which allows it to be tuned in the traditional fado tuning. The traditional fado tuning is: bb., aa, ee, Bb, Aa, Dd (1st to 12th string). This instrument is the typical guitarra used to accompany fado singing in Lisboa, and for playing Lisboa style variations.

 Coimbra Head (above)

 The Coimbra guitarra has a teardrop or shield type head design. It has a string length of 470mm which allows it to be tuned in the Coimbra style which is: aa, gg, dd, Aa, Gg, Cc (1st to 12th string). This tuning is one full step below, that is, two frets lower, than the Lisboa tuning. This tuning is associated with the music and song of the University of Coimbra (located in central Portugal) which my wife, Jeanette, and I attended during the summer of 1974. The Coimbra style of guitarra is linked to the instrumental music of Carlos and Artur Paredes, and to the student serenades. In recent years some Lisboa fado guitarists also have been using this longer scale instrument to accompany fado.


Here are descriptions of the models we had in stock. The new models will be similar

The Alfama Deluxe is a Lisboa style guitarra, it is named after an old district in Lisbon which is historically linked with Fado. The Alfama Deluxe model has a solid spruce soundboard (face), hard wood fingerboard (ebony, rosewood or blackwood), African Sapele (a type of mahogany) back and sides, scroll head, wood veneer rosette, glossy finish and a 440mm string length.

We do not import or export any instruments with Mother of Pearl inlay because there are customs restriction in many countries (US, Canada,UK, Australia, Common Market, Japan) for related species such as white abalone which looks like some mother of pearl; the 2008 Lacey Act in the US imposes severe penalties for trading in various endangered species; some countries allow importation but require registration of shell products; the present laws are confusing and inconsistently applied.

Occasionally people ask for a guitarra without a case. If they want to pickup the instrument at my shop in California that is okay, but if we are going to ship it we must sell the guitarra with a case to properly protect the instrument. My experience has shown me that it is false economy to buy the guitarra without a case. This is because it is nearly impossible to find a case later that fits these instruments and players who buy without a case typically damage their instrument when they carry it around. I have seen a number of old instruments owned by a grandparent which a grandchild inherits--if it has been in a case it may have survived the journey through time. If it is not stored in a case it is usually physically damaged, cracked, wooden parts have shrunk and fret ends are sharp because they are sticking out beyond the shrunken fingerboard. A case not only protects an instrument from physical damage from impact but also it protects the instrument from rapid loss or gain of humidity which can/will cause cracking.

The other important item needed by any Portuguese guitarra player is a string winder. In order to install strings on the guitarra it is necessary to have a string winder ($75) to make a loop at one end of the strings. Portuguese guitarra strings come with a loop on only one end because each instrument has a slightly different string length. The typical installation procedure is to attach the looped end onto the base of the guitarra and then pull the other string end up to the tuning mechanism where the exact length is noted and then to make a loop so the string custom fits the particular guitarra.

The basic price for the Alfama Deluxe is $950--this price includes an extra set of strings and a set of special fingerpicks. Cases ($150) and string winders ($75) are extra. So, with a case ($150) and string winder ($75) the Alfama Deluxe is $1170 (shipping is extra as well as California sales tax if you are in California). Extra sets of strings are $15 and extra fingerpicks or thumpicks are $2 each. The Guitarra Magica book has been replaced by a new book entitled Portuguese Guitar: Fados e and Counter-Melodies, Method to Play and accompany the Fado of Lisbon, Book 1, by Eurico A. Cebolo. This book comes with a CD. Price is $50 plus shipping (and tax if you are in California).

I should point out here that I personally prepare each guitarra before Jeanette packs it up for shipment. I spend several hours on each guitarra to insure that it is easy to play. You can see the fret work I typically do in my shop by going to Fret Dressing on YouTube at: In addition to the refining of the frets I focus attention on the height of the bridge and the nut. Also I take apart the threaded rods on the tuning mechanism, file rough places smooth and lubricate the rods. If these matters are not attended to the mechanism will be difficult to use and there is a possibility that the hook which holds the string in the tuning mechanism may cut the string. This attention to detail is what I am known for in the guitar community.

Portuguese Guitarra, Alfama Deluxe model, wood veneer rosette, upgraded tuners and glossy finish.

Back of Alfama Deluxe Portuguese Guitar

Head and Rosette of Alfama Deluxe Portuguese Guitarra

You can hear the sound of the Alfama Deluxe Portuguese Guitarra at the beginning of my YouTube video on making Unhas for Portuguese Guitar: PART 1. It is at: http://www.fernandezmusic.com/Portuguesemethodpage2.html


This model is out of stock as of February 10, 2015. New models will arrive in March or Abril and will be similar. I will post new photos and prices when they arrive.

The Mondego Deluxe model is a Coimbra style guitarra. It is named after the Mondego River which goes through the city of Coimbra. This model features the same woods as the Alfama deluxe model but has a teardrop shaped head and 470mm scale so it can be tuned as a Coimbra guitarra which is one full step lower (2 frets) than the Lisboa guitarra.

The Mondego Deluxe has a solid spruce soundboard (face), African sapele (a type of mahogany) backs and sides, hardwood fingerboard (ebony, rosewood or blackwood), wood veneer rosette, tear drop/shield style heads, real bone bridge, glossy finish 470mm scale.

We do not import or export any instruments with Mother of Pearl inlay because there are customs restriction in many countries (US, Canada,UK, Australia, Common Market, Japan) for related species such as white abalone which looks like some mother of pearl; the 2008 Lacey Act in the US imposes severe penalties for trading in various endangered species; some countries allow importation but require registration of shell products; the present laws are confusing and inconsistently applied.

Occasionally people ask for a guitarra without a case. If they want to pickup the instrument at my shop in California that is okay, but if we are going to ship it we must sell the guitarra with a case to properly protect the instrument. My experience has shown me that it is false economy to buy the guitarra without a case. This is because it is nearly impossible to find a case later that fits these instruments and players who buy without a case typically damage their instrument when they carry it around. I have seen a number of old instruments owned by a grandparent which a grandchild inherits--if it has been in a case it may have survived the journey through time. If it is not stored in a case it is usually physically damaged, cracked and the parts have shrunk so that the frets are sticking out. A case not only protects an instrument from physical damage from impact but also it protects the instrument from rapid loss or gain of humidity which acn cause cracking.

The other important item needed by any Portuguese guitarra player is a string winder. In order to install strings on the guitarra it is necessary to have a string winder ($75) to make a loop at one end of the strings. Portuguese guitarra strings come with a loop on only one end because each instrument has a slightly different string length. The typical installation procedure is to attach the looped end onto the base of the guitarra and then pull the other string end up to the tuning mechanism where the exact length is noted and then to make a loop so the string custom fits the particular guitarra.

The basic price for the Mondego Deluxe is $950--this price includes an extra set of strings and a set of special fingerpicks. Cases ($150) and string winders ($75) are extra. So, with a case ($150) and string winder ($75) Mondego Deluxe is $1170. Extra sets of strings are $15 and extra fingerpicks or thumpicks are $2 each.

The Guitarra Magica book has been replaced by a new book entitled Portuguese Guitar: Fados e and Counter-Melodies, Method to Play and accompany the Fado of Lisbon, Book 1, by Eurico A. Cebolo. This book comes with a CD. Price is $50 plus shipping (and tax if you are in California).

I should point out here that I personally prepare each guitarra before Jeanette packs it up for shipment. I spend several hours on each guitarra to insure that it is easy to play. You can see the fret work I typically do in my shop by going to Fret Dressing on YouTube or In addition to the refining of the frets I focus attention on the height of the bridge and the nut. Also I take apart the threaded rods on the tuning mechanism, file rough place smooth and lubricate the rods. If these matters are not attended to the mechanism will not be easy to use and there is a possibility that the hook which holds the string in the tning mechanism may cut the string. This attention to detail is what I am known for in the guitar community.

Mondego (Coimbra Guitarra) Back

Mondego Deluxe (Coimbra Guitarra), glossy finish, ebony fingerboard, wood veneer rosette.

Mondego Deluxe Back (Coimbra Guitarra)


 

Hardshell case for Portuguese guitarra--it is only sold with our guitarras, it is not sold separately. The interior color varies some are dark red some are dark tan--I have no control over the color which we receive. While we do not have extra hardshell cases for sale we do have very nice gig bags for Portuguese guitarras (see down this page for photos).


Gig Bags for Portuguese guitarras

We now have specially made gig bags for Portuguese guitarras. These gig bags have a shoulder strap, and a pouch on the outside. The price is $70 plus shipping (and 8.0% sales tax if delivery is in California). Cureently we have these bags in light green, darker green, red, white and black.


We accept VISA., Mastercard or money orders in payment.

Shipping with insurance and packing is about $80 to $85 for Fedex ground service across the US (5 day). These are just estimates--we will quote a precise freight/packing price per shipment.

Contact me below by e-mail or call 949-856-1537 for further information on Portuguese guitarras for sale.


If you are in the United States or Canada you will find that my prices are very competitve with those sold by a mail order company from Portugal because my price includes the freight to North America and US Customs duty. If you order from Portugal you will be charged customs duty and customs clearance fees after the goods get here. Canadian customers will probably be responsible for GST or HST. If you live in California I must charge 8.0%sales tax, if you live in other states there is no sales tax.


If you come to see me in Irvine, California I will also thrown in an introductory lesson on playing the Portuguese guitarra.

If you wish to e-mail me, click on my address: mailto:ron@fernandezmusic.com

Playing the Portuguese Guitarra Lisbon Style (an Internet lesson)

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Ron with spruce face, solid rosewood "Severa" Model