Tiple Colombiano

Tiple ColombianoThe tiple (pronounced TEE-play) is a guitar-like instrument from the Andean region of Colombia. It is a steel strung instrument, with a scale length approximately 80% of that of the guitar, with strings arranged in four courses, each with three strings. It is tuned like the top four strings of the guitar. The E string course contains three identical strings.

The tiple pictured is modeled after those built by Alberto Paredes, considered by many to be the top builder of this type of instrument as well as guitars and bandolas. Although essentially retired from a long career of plucked instrument lutherie, Sr. Paredes now focuses his attention on violin construction. Daughter Anamaría and son José Alberto carry on the family tiple building tradition.

Tiples frequently make use of fan-braced tops. Although this construction is more commonly found in nylon strung instruments, it works very well in the steel strung tiple.