Guitalele The guitalele (we’ll use that term for convenience throughout) is a fascinating instrument: it is about one-fourth the size of a traditional, modern guitar, but bigger than a ukulele, and has a similar tuning to the guitar but transposed up a fourth. What that means practically is that you can play the guitalele exactly like a guitar, but all notes will sound higher in pitch by an interval of a fourth (or, if you’re familiar with using a capo then it would be like having a capo on the fifth fret). The resulting tuning from low to high is ADGCEA. This makes the Guitalele an excellent option for a “travel guitar” because it’s small enough as not to be obtrusive but basically the same tuning as your “normal” guitar.

Some of you who have played in guitar orchestras may be wondering what are the differences between a guitalele and the similar Latin American instrument, the requinto guitar. Like the guitalele, the requinto guitar similarly has six strings and is also tuned like the same as the guitalele. The body of the requinto guitar, however, is generally larger than the guitalele. Where the guitalele is usually around a 430mm scale length (compare with the “traditional” 650mm scale length of the guitar), the requinto guitar usually has a scale length of around 530mm.