A few months ago, I decided to purchase a lute. I was, at the time, obsessed with French Airs de Cour and wanted to delve into the lute accompaniments. Besides, I already had in mind to integrate viola da gamba in my music, and wanted to familiarize myself with scales, fingerings, and chord positions (apparently, some similar tunings can be used on viola da gamba and lute).
It basically looks like an inverted coffin with a neck
I bought a cheap (lutenists, please don’t read the rest of this sentence) eight course, 15 strings flat lute from Pakistan (told ya). It is a crime to some, but to a broke student that has no intention to become a lutenist, it’s really not that bad. One gets a rough sense of the instrument and might avoid some blatant writing mistakes while giving the impression of being part of a Goth/Baroque band.
The instrument can be purchased online at Mid-East instruments. Once again, it’s only a nice working tool. If you want to be serious about the lute, seek advice from a professional lutenist (visit The Lute Society of America‘s website).