The student lute range has allowed students and universities who can't afford to own a historic based instrument and provides a suitable alternative to the mass produced lutes seen online. Some factory made lutes tend to be constructed like oud's which are heavier with un-authentic oud barring and a basic unauthentic rose. The student lute range allows you to have a luthier-made instrument which is a suitable alternative to the mass produced lutes online, in some cases cheaper than the 'pro' range offered by one retailer.. Budding lute players may say they don't care if the body shape and barring is authentic but some have a string action which needs remedial work, as commonly remarked about on by lute teachers, makers and online lute shoppers. Conversions are then required costing more money to make a soundboard closer to the original barring, listen to a converted oud lute Watch an interview with the maker, who originally learnt how to make one at school, with help from teachers and a professional lute maker, inspiring the need for affordable lutes which are enjoyable to play and new audiences to enjoy.

If buying is still too expensive for new students this year here is the latest lutes to hire:5 crs Medieval Lute, a 6crs Venetian lute, 11crs baroque lute, 14 crs Theorbo, 7 crs Mandora/Gallichon, now sold but another will be built to hire, 8 crs Hieber lute. The student range has been proved popular over the last decade, the range is increased each year, last year saw the creation of the student lute-guitar based on Maler (listen to it here ). It's light-weight, authentic construction, is based on Maler (MI54), unlike the many heavy instruments commonly found online. It has a 65cm string length, tuned in e' with lute intervals but can be tuned as a guitar too, no string changes just tuning up a semitone to play modern guitar music/ transcriptions,baroque guitar and mandora/gallichon music. You can still play almost all renaissance lute tablature, duets with lute or voice, or tenor in ensemble in lute tuning. Also in 2015 the student Quito Vihuela was created ( listen to it here ). The savings then can be spent on facsimiles of lute tablature, or lessons with a lute teacher, or a different student instrument. Below are examples of popular models, from the left; Sellas student theorbo E.547 (now made as folding theorbo option), 13crs student baroque lute based on Frei C34 (left handed version shown), 7crs student lute in g' based on Frei C34, 7crs student lute in f' based on Tieffenbrucker C36, 14crs student chitarrone based on Tieffenbrucker (RCM26):

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Hire lutes are also available for beginners or musicians/composers to try out new instruments for as long as required, and explore the vast printed resources of tablature for many different types of lutes from renaissance to late baroque.

The student lutes are made with less ribs and materials that are slightly less expensive but this has minimal effect on reducing the overall cost, but the real cost reduction is made by a lower rate of pay while working on these instruments to help get you on the lute-ladder, usually such customers return to order more decorative instruments. Construction time isn't reduced too much, only by less ribs, simpler rose design (but still nice looking like the Hans Frei C34), and quick drying varnish.

It's important your first instrument does not put you off playing altogether so great care is taken over the 'set up' and attention to detail, suitably low action but not too low and adequate space for the plucking hand (right or left handed instruments are made) All wood is sourced from specialist suppliers of quality soundboards and quarter-sawn kiln dried woods and eco-friendly bog Oak is encouraged as a suitable black wood replacement for ebony

The most popular student lute is the Hans Frei C34 student lute in g' at 61 cm, there are some are some 'student lutes' made by oud making companies but these are not the same shape/design as the original instrument in the museum, thus likely not to be authentic construction inside too. 

The Student Chitarrone was created to make the Chitarrone/Theorbo more accessable to existing lute players who desire to play continuo and solo without spending a small fortune. The cost has been reduced considerably by making the back out of 17 ribs rather than 51! Lutenist Alex McCartney ordered a student Chitarrone and a 10/11crs Frei after, here them at Veterum Musica. The rose is the same as the original however, a simpler one can be ordered, and the soundboard has a protective ebony edging as does the extended neck. The fingerboard has the usual student simple join without points. This instrument can be made as a folding theorbo as was the Sellas E547 Student theorbo in 2014.hear here!Oxford Graduate Lutenist/Scholar Richard MacKenzie was the first to order the folding theorbo as well as many of these student lutes, his first was a renaissance lute made in 2004, and heared in his ensemble Mascherata, also on Renaissance Fm click!

The smallest theorbo is based on a surviving soundboard by Pietro Railich is offered at the lowest possible price. Other instruments include a student Mandolino; Mandore/Gallichon; Archlute;Baroque guitar and Romantic guitar, if you are interested in ordering one of these then that may influence priority at when they will be made 

The intention is to get more people playing by offering a wide variety of affordable, luthier-made, quality instruments so get playing!