How to play the Lute Instrument

The lute musical instrument is a string instrument. It may be either fretted or unfretted. Lute is known as Arabic lut, French luth, German laute, Italian luito, and Spanish port laud. Lutes have been widely used in Europe since the 13th century. Lute music flourished, especially in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was a prominent musical instrument in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. It is still played in Arab countries. 

About the lute instrument

The lute entered Turkish music in the 18th century. The type of lute used in Turkish music is separated from the lute by the frets attached to its stem. The lute musical instrument is similar to the oud musical instrument. It is made of leather. Many tree species can be used in lute production. The features that distinguish it from the oud are that the body part is narrower and the handle is slightly longer. In the west, there are 6–24 stringed types of lutes. In Turkey, the 7-string lute type is preferred. The person who plays the lute is called a lavtavi, or lute player.


The European lute and the modern Near Eastern lute descend from a common ancestor that went through different evolutionary paths. The oud is used in a wide variety of instrumental music from the Middle Ages to the late Baroque periods and was the most important instrument for earthly music in the Renaissance. In the Baroque music period, the lute and basso were used as two of the instruments that played the accompaniment parts. It is also an accompanying instrument in vocal works. The lute player improvises a chord accompaniment based on the figured bass part. As a small instrument, the lute produces a relatively quiet sound.

Is it hard to play the lute?

It is always difficult in the beginning for someone who has never played an instrument. The lute is one of the hardest instruments to play. The right-hand technique has to be precise and very gentle. It is also very different from a modern guitar. It requires constant tuning and maintenance. A well-made oud has a very thin body.

If you are starting the lute from scratch, it will be important for you to take lessons from an experienced teacher for the first time. At least for your foundation to be solid. Even if it is not appropriate to take lessons continuously, learning the basic playing technique, knowing the strings, and knowing how to play will be of great benefit to you in the future. Good technique is essential to getting a good sound from your instrument. Your development will be very clear with the practices you will do after gaining a certain amount of experience. But never rush to learn how to play music at first. You need to know the musical instrument. The requirements of each musical instrument may differ.


How to Play the Lute Instrument

The lute is played with a tortoiseshell or plastic plectrum. When played with a tortoiseshell plectrum, a sound very similar to that of a tambourine was obtained, which negatively affected the development of Turkish music. The baroque lute and the renaissance lute are played by pulling the strings with the thumb and index fingers of the right hand.

The playing position may differ from person to person. While some people play the lute by holding it almost the same way as the guitar, placing a stool under their left legs, some people may say that it is more comfortable in the opposite position. This may vary depending on how comfortable you feel.

Lastly, when you are visiting our website right now, all the lute instruments we sell are hand-made, constructed by well-known makers who have mastered their craft. In order to see our various types of lutes, do not hesitate to visit our store in Istanbul or see various models in our catalog through our website. You will probably find in our store the right lute for you at the best value.


 You may also like: What is a lute? Everything You Need to Know about Lute

 You may also like: How to Play the Oud Instrument: A Free Tutorial Series with 7+ Videos

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