requinto guitar - tuning & strings

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Requinto tuning

The most common tuning for the requinto is 4 notes up from the prime guitar. This means that the tuning is A D G C E A

The requinto is notated as if it were tuned conventionally, so that the instruction to play the open first string is written as an instruction to play E. When played, a A comes out, 4 notes higher.

What this means...

The requinto reads from the same notation as classical (prime) guitar, and is played with the same technique - nothing is different except that the notes come out higher in pitch than the notation suggests. Once the requinto is tuned, the different tuning can be forgotten about.

When the composer/arranger notates the requinto part, it plays from a score with one more sharp, or one less flat, than the prime guitar.

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Requinto guitar strings

D'Addario Requinto Strings

Strings are always a personal choice and several manufacturers, including D'Addario, Hannabach and Pyramid, sell alto strings.

Because the requinto guitar is not proportionately as small (compared to the prime) as the increase in pitch of its open strings, the requinto strings are thinner than the corresponding prime strings.

The D'Addario J94 strings (pictured) offer excellent intonation, but the top string, at 0.022in thick, is proportionately thinner than is needed, and this gives a brighter, but slightly quieter sound than the Hannabach strings, which have the advantage of being wound specially for the scale length and tension required.