Starting to play
1. How to acquire a lute?
There are some very good lutemakers within the DLG e.V. Some of them offer instruments for hire or ‘student lutes’ at a favourable price, mainly because time-consuming decoration is left out of the making process (See: The Lute/Lutemakers).The DLG e.V. also offers several instruments for hire (See: The Lute/Lutes for hire).
2. The lute in overview
For those who would like some information on the instrument and its history, there is an entry on this website (see: The Lute/History)
A very good and more detailed account is offered in the book by our member Andreas Schlegel (The Lute in Europe 2 (new edition), available at ‘The Lute Corner’).
3. Teaching materials to begin with
There are no teaching manuals available that can really substitute for the role of a teacher, who is able to demonstrate and explain things, and who can motivate and intervene to help. Nevertheless, here are some suggestions.
Tutors for the renaissance lute
Méthode de Luth Renaissance. Paris: Société Française de Luth, 2008.
Metodo per Liuto Rinascimentale. Bologna: Ut Orpheus Edizioni, 1998.
Method for Renaissance Lute. English translation by Doc Rossi. Bologna: Ut Orpheus Edizioni, 1999.
Les Secrets du Luth I & II. Charnay-Les-Mâcon: Éditions Robert Martin, 2018.
A Method for the Renaissance Lute, with a supplement for the Archlute. Paris: le Luth Doré, 2019.
New Method for the Renaissance Lute. Munich: Lundgren Musik Edition, 1991.
A Tutor for the Renaissance Lute. London: Schott & Co. Ltd., 1991.
Tutors for the baroque luteSatoh, Toyohiko
Method for the Baroque Lute. Lübeck: Tree Edition, 1987.Serdura, Miguel
Method for the Baroque Lute. Bologna: Ut Orpheus Edizioni, 2017.Giesbert, Franz Julius
Schule für die Barocklaute. Mainz: Schott Music Ltd, 1938.
4. Music editions to begin with
For the beginner, in many ways what is on offer cannot really be generally assessed. Difficult or not difficult? If I like the music of a particular composer, then its acquisition is worthwhile? Music editions are helpful, in which pieces are reviewed and selected as suitable for beginners, and are also arranged in a graded order of difficulty.
For the renaissance luteTREE Renaissance Lute Booke edited by Albert Reyerman
A selection of 24 solo lute pieces from various sources of the Renaissance period. The pieces are grouped according to key and tempo and are thus suitable for performance. Intermediate difficulty. French tablature/Renaissance tuning. €15.- (TREE-Edition)A Collection of Easy Pieces for Renaissance Lute
Easy Lute Music, 6 volumes with music from various European countries, Seicento-Edition, €12 per volume.The Lute Calendar. The Renaissance Lute Made Easy
365 Lute Pieces Selected and Edited from 49 Original Sources by Stefan Olof Lundgren. The Lute Calendar is organized in four books: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. On every day of the year a new lute piece awaits you, carefully chosen so the pieces become gradually more difficult - the lute year begins on December 1st with the easiest piece - carefully "made easie" and beautifully printed in easy-to-read French tablature. 99.00 € (LUNDGREN-Edition)55 französische Chansons und Tänze
The volume contains 55 chanson intabulations and dances of French origin, that were arranged by German lutenists of the renaissance. Edition by the German Lute Society in collaboration with the Société Française de Luth (See: Literature/Publications of the German Lute Society).
Lautenbüchlein: 54 Lautenstücke für 6-chörige Renaissancelaute
Volume 2 of “Music for Renaissance Lute” includes 54 easy-to-intermediate pieces for 6-course lute from 16 th century Italy, Holland, England, France and Germany. Edition by the German Lute Society ( See: Literature/Publications of the German Lute Society).
For the baroque lute32 Easy pieces for Baroque Lute, edited by Anthony Bailes
32 pieces for baroque lute. With an introduction and commentary in English and German. This collection is intended for those beginning to play baroque music and has been so selected that all pieces are playable on a baroque lute with 11 or 13 courses. French tablature, Baroque tuning. €15.- (TREE-Edition)TREE Baroque Lute Booke edited by Albert Reyerman
A collection of pieces from the 17th and 18th century for baroque lute, that contains 22 solos and one duet piece. Intermediate difficulty. French tablature/Baroque tuning. €15.- (TREE-Edition)THE BAROQUE LUTE COMPANION by Stefan Olof Lundgren.
- 252 lute pieces chosen from twelve unpublished manuscripts
- 24 studies and twelve chorale variations composed by S. Lundgren
- Lute instruction with photos and exercises
- Reading and playing from historical sources
- Text: English and German
The pieces in this anthology are organized in twelve chapters and are based on the twelve most common keys for the lute music of this period. Every chapter is ordered in three levels graded, easy, medium and difficult. 349 pages. 65 € (LUNDGREN-Edition)
5. Take some lessons
For a serious interest in the lute, there is no getting around the need for some solid training and musical education. You can find out whether a teacher is available in your locality at: Playing the lute/Lute teachers.