My Guitar’s Persona Is a Lute

I started learning to play lute pieces on guitar as a serious undertaking in late 2016, and it’s become the primary component in my persona performance ever since. During the Elizabethan period, English composers became world dominant, primarily John Dowland, but other talents such as Thomas Campion and Robert Morley have enjoyed lasting legacies thanks to the advent of movable type and the printing press. I first offered this class at Pennsic 2018, and it has proven to be popular. With the advent of COVID-19 in 2020, we now have an online recording of it. (Note: I am not the first teacher to use this title for a class of this nature, and I probably won’t be the last.)

Class description: How do you play authentic lute music if your instrument is a modern guitar? The good news is the instruments are very closely related. Learn how to tune and play your guitar as if it were a lute, how to interpret lute tablature, how to find authentic period composers, songs, and arrangements. The skills are highly transferable, and, while lute music has a different feel and sound, the rewards for your investment of time and effort are great. This is a lecture and discussion class. You are welcome to bring your guitar to experiment on, but because this is not a music lesson, it is not required. Suitable for all experience levels.