If you’re new to Lisbon, you’ll be intrigued by the Portuguese guitar, a beautiful “alaúde”-style guitar that resembles a sitar on the first strumming. It’s delicate and magical but will make a room vibrate with it’s old, melodic, Arabian-like sound. If you’re a musician like me, this is heaven: one of the oldest musical instrument shop in town, my favourite playground!
I could easily spend half a day inside testing new instruments while smiling like a kid with cotton candy. If you’re not a musician? Don’t worry – you’ll become one! There are instruments out of this world: check a Portuguese Fado guitar, with a very unique orientalish sound with a kind of natural delay that will echo in the streets. There are also other Portuguese traditional instruments like Cavaquinhos, a small 4-string guitar that was born in the North and travelled the world and the seven seas, to distant places like Cape Verde, Brazil, and ended up in Hawaii when it changed his name to Ukulele.
Ask Carolina, the grand-daughter of the founder, what you’re looking for, and she’ll help you in no time. Besides the Portuguese traditional instruments, there are electric guitars and basses from the major brands, flutes, drums and all sorts of accessories.
If you want to try something rare and exclusive, forget about the mandolins; get your hands on the Campaniças and Amarantinas traditional guitars and you’ll easily lose your head for a new sound and a perfect souvenir of your loving stay in Lisbon.