Many varieties of the lute family are available from 6crs to 13crs and a student theorbo based on Sellas E547, as seen in the 'Instruments' section and videos on various student lutes, theorboes and guitars or in stock the cheapest lute starts from £884 (without case, UK only of course). Instruments are based on originals in museums such as Hans Frei (KHM C34), Hans Burkholtzer (KHM NE48), and the Tieffenbrucker family (KHM C36, etc), with hand carved roses, not generically named models based on composers or periods in music and certainly not with soul-less laser-burnt out roses.

If your new to the lute and its related family Lynda Sayce, the Lute expert and owner of the student mandolino and triple pegbox baroque lute as seen on the blog, explains its long and complicated history in the Lute Roadshow Lute Roadshow The student range has allowed students and universities who can't afford to own a multiribbed or expensive decorative instrument, and providing a suitable alternative to the mass produced generic instruments seen online. Some factory made lutes from Turkey tend to be constructed more like oud's, heavier with oud barring not like the lutes and a basic unauthentic plastic or flat machine cut rose. The student lute range allows you to have a luthier-made instrument at an affordable price, in some cases cheaper than the 'pro' lute range offered by one online retailer..Budding lute players may say they don't care if the body shape and barring is authentic but some have a higher 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, here is such an instrument that needed converting as requested by the owner.

Interview with the maker shows the student lute after Tieffenbrucker C36 being played and explains the origins and philosophy behind the range. I 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 waiting for a lute takes too long then stock is made as seen here:5 crs Medieval Lute. Contact the Early Music Shop in London where it's currently kept in stock

The current stock is seen here including more elaborate models

The student range has been proved popular over the last decade, the range is increased each year such as 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.

In 2015 the scaled down student Quito Vihuela was created for Richard MacKenzie ( 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 (an invisible folding mechanism option is available), an 11 crs Student lute is available and can be heard here playing a newly discovered manuscript in Ghent and on this Tombeaux CD- A Secular Requiem played by Richard Mackenzie on Spotify, based on Frei C34 ( the left handed version shown below is a 13crs bass rider option), 7crs student lute in g' based on Frei C34, 7crs student lute in f' based on Tieffenbrucker C36 (as seen in the Interview with the maker news article), 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 discounting sufficiently and get you on the lute-ladder. Usually such customers have returned to order more instruments. Construction time isn't reduced too much, only by less ribs, simpler rose design but not flat and machine cute, still nice looking like the Hans Frei C34 original rose.

It's important your first instrument does not put you off playing altogether string spacings are comfortable, and different sizes of student lutes are available, such as the Frei C34 and the Tieffenbrucker C36, as one size doesn't always fit all. All wood is sourced from specialist suppliers of quality soundboards and quarter-sawn kiln dried woods and Bog Oak is can be used as a suitable black wood alternative for ebony

The most popular student lute is the 7crs Hans Frei C34 student lute in g' at 61 cm, a comfortable body depth and shape as most have said and 7crs covers most of the Renaissance lute repertoire. There are some 'student lutes' made by oud makers and or very cheap lutes online claiming to be after Hans Frei but these are not the same shape/design as the original instrument in the museum, thus likely not to be authentic barring inside too. 

The Student Chitarrone was created to make the Chitarrone/Theorbo more accessable to existing 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! Lutenists such as Alex McCartney have ordered a student Chitarrone and a 10/11crs Frei after, here them at Veterum Musica. The rose is the same as the original, 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 2013.hear here! for Oxford Graduate Lutenist/Scholar Richard MacKenzie He was the first to order the folding theorbo as well as many of these student lutes, his first was made in 2004, and heard here in the ensemble Mascherata, and often on Renaissance Fm click!

Other instruments have included a student Mandolino now owned by Lynda Sayce, and a Romantic Terz guitar for Jamie Akers, if you are interested in ordering one of these but is not currently in stock please contact info@jminstruments 

The intention is to get more people playing by offering a wide variety of affordable instruments of different periods and theres plenty of online tablature and digitised manuscripts even for the specialised instruments like the mandora/gallichon via here Explore, enjoy and get playing this lovely music!