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Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?

Related threads:
Chanranga-how to tune and play (3)
Ronrocos, Charangos & Tipples (6)
charango ! (5)
Info on Churangos (8)


lamarca 22 May 00 - 06:27 PM
catspaw49 22 May 00 - 06:37 PM
catspaw49 22 May 00 - 06:38 PM
black walnut 22 May 00 - 06:41 PM
lamarca 22 May 00 - 06:53 PM
catspaw49 22 May 00 - 07:00 PM
Mbo 22 May 00 - 07:22 PM
catspaw49 22 May 00 - 07:29 PM
Mbo 22 May 00 - 07:32 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 22 May 00 - 08:14 PM
Bill D 22 May 00 - 08:40 PM
Bugsy 22 May 00 - 09:00 PM
Mbo 22 May 00 - 09:04 PM
Alice 22 May 00 - 09:22 PM
Alice 22 May 00 - 09:25 PM
keltcgrasshoppper 22 May 00 - 10:46 PM
Escamillo 22 May 00 - 11:38 PM
GUEST 23 May 00 - 03:16 AM
Grab 23 May 00 - 07:48 AM
lamarca 23 May 00 - 11:02 AM
catspaw49 15 Apr 03 - 09:51 PM
Dave Swan 15 Apr 03 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,Crazy Little Woman 15 Apr 03 - 10:36 PM
Mark Cohen 16 Apr 03 - 12:22 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 17 Apr 03 - 12:43 AM
lamarca 21 Apr 03 - 11:40 AM
Cluin 22 Apr 03 - 12:19 AM
Art Thieme 22 Apr 03 - 09:02 PM
katlaughing 22 Apr 03 - 10:21 PM
Matt_R 23 Apr 03 - 12:31 AM
Áine 13 Oct 03 - 06:50 PM
M.Ted 14 Oct 03 - 11:55 AM
Áine 14 Oct 03 - 12:29 PM
Matt_R 14 Oct 03 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Rob 06 May 12 - 11:02 AM
open mike 06 May 12 - 12:07 PM
CupOfTea 07 May 12 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Rob 08 May 12 - 03:22 PM
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Subject: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: lamarca
Date: 22 May 00 - 06:27 PM

I am the proud new owner of an old charango, for which I was the high bidder in a Silent Auction - I got it for $20. It's one of the nicest armadillo-back charangos I've ever seen (and I've seen at least 3...); the armadillo who gave his all for music was one of the smallish hairy South American kind. His little nose points up the back of the neck, and this one has reasonably good quality geared tuners for the 10 nylon stings. Unfortunately, the little fellow's bridge is broken, and so is one of his ears.

While losing one of the ears shouldn't affect the tonal quality much, I DO need to replace the bridge and re-string the thing before I try to teach myself how to play it. I've found a couple charango sites on the Web that give tunings and chord charts and such - does anyone know where I might get a new bridge for what is essentially a 10 stringed armadillo-bodied mandolin?

For the curious, look here or
here(back view) or
here(front view) or
here(silly view)

Mine is definitely NOT a "professional quality" charango, but I'd still like to try to play it sometime.

Thanks, Mary


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 May 00 - 06:37 PM

Read the Tiple thread. Sell it. Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

Seriously, do a Forum Search as kat had some decent charango stuff in a different thread. Is it reasonably "straight?" Got strings on it now? Is the action high or neck bent/wsrped/twisted? I'm sure there are a couple of 'Catters close to you (Bob or Bill) who could help set it up or take care of problems with the wooden bits.

Congrats........If nothing else, its one helluva' conversation piece!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 May 00 - 06:38 PM

Hey!!! Maybe you could trade it for a chalupa or a couple of tacos?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: black walnut
Date: 22 May 00 - 06:41 PM

Bruce Cockburn describes charangos as 'Alice in Wonderland' sounding instruments. He plays an electric charango, but says that armadillo charangos keep growing hair as they grow older. I can't help you with how to play it, but I'll be eager to hear if yours needs a haircut in the future....

~black walnut


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: lamarca
Date: 22 May 00 - 06:53 PM

Spaw, for your recipe file...

Mu Shu Armadillo
Perfect Possum

The charango is currently unstrung, as the busted bridge is dangling from its ten nylon tethers (it came unattached from the top - in two pieces). I forgot it over at BillD's house yesterday, where I'd brought it to a party for people to laugh at me, so I can't eyeball the neck to see if it's warped or not. The top is cracked in a couple places, and my husband has doubts about the structural integrity of the armadillo shell and the glue which binds the top to it. I know it's in bad shape, but hey, for $20, why not?


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 May 00 - 07:00 PM

Seriously lamarca, I'd hit up Bill to lend a hand. He has more than enough knowledge of wood and great wood working skill. I think I can figure a couple of ways to reinforce the shell a bit. I think bill would be a great asset here as far as repairing cracks and other problems.

Armadillo=Possum on the half shell

Thanks for the culinary delights.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Mbo
Date: 22 May 00 - 07:22 PM

Remember when I had my hairy charango way back in the Mudcat Cantina? What a great instrument...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 May 00 - 07:29 PM

Meebo this is kind of a family site. Nobody wants to hear about your hairy charango here. As I recall though, yours was VERY small, I mean its like really tiny isn't it?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Mbo
Date: 22 May 00 - 07:32 PM

Nuh uh Spaw! Mine was the biggest durn charango ever seen! All I will say is, they DO have armadillos at Los Alamos...

--Mbo (ANDEAN MUSIC RULES!!!!)


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 22 May 00 - 08:14 PM

I would like to hear one on hearme some night. What an intriguing instrument it is.. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Bill D
Date: 22 May 00 - 08:40 PM

*looking at the poor little thing as I type*...*sigh*...this Charango looks as if his strings had been really overtightened....the bridge is still attached to the strings, but lacks 2 inches meeting it's former glue place on the body..there are other chips and cracks that worry me, but I'll bet someone could make it playable. Bob would really know better than I..(the neck is pretty straight, as far as I can tell)...

Weird little thing...looks like a tiny Ovation guitar with hair & scales..(Rita had to tell LaMarca, *sigh*, that we were keeping it on a table in the hall, because the other instruments in the house refused to associate with it...perhaps it needs a Cleigh Possum as a roommate)


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Bugsy
Date: 22 May 00 - 09:00 PM

Whenever I see these things I get the feeling that you'd have to be a cross between Leo Kottke and Tiny Tim to play it.

However if you pull the soundboard off, they make great ladles.

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Mbo
Date: 22 May 00 - 09:04 PM

Bugsy, that last thing anyone wants is someone's hairy charango in the cock-a-leekie soup!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Alice
Date: 22 May 00 - 09:22 PM

The charango sound click here


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Alice
Date: 22 May 00 - 09:25 PM

well, that didn't work... anyway, go to CD Now and type in "charango" for Album Title in the search box, and you will be led to sound clips.


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: keltcgrasshoppper
Date: 22 May 00 - 10:46 PM

dulcermerdan, please,be super careful,I played mine in Amherst Ma. one fine sunny afternoon and almost got run out of town{fur people}I should have had some Pan pipe players with me just to be safe dan


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Escamillo
Date: 22 May 00 - 11:38 PM

Sorry, Lamarca. It would be relatively easy to fix the poor thing in Argentina, but the shipping costs would be much more than its value.
Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 00 - 03:16 AM

Oooh, I'm envious. I've wanted a charango for years. They don't play 'em that much in Hawaii. Maybe I can retool my ukulele...

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Grab
Date: 23 May 00 - 07:48 AM

What's the resonant advantages of an armadillo then? Has anyone done anything similar using some other similar creature? Are there turtle banjos out there? Or tortoise mandolins?

And on the fur people front, ask them if they'd complain about leather jackets. Chances are, the armadillo shell is the remains of someone's dinner...

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: lamarca
Date: 23 May 00 - 11:02 AM

Actually, Grab, the fur pople DO complain about leather jackets, and shoes and ... oh, well, don't get me started.

As I understand it, the armadillo shell was used by the native Andean peoples to try and imitate the Viheulo (sp?), a small lute/guitar brought over by the Spanish. Instead of trying to carve a bowl-shaped back out of wood to make their own instruments, the inventors of the charango said, "Hey, we have this tough, bowl shaped thing right here!" Nowadays, there are lots of South American instrument makers who make really gorgeous charangos out of wood (see the links I posted at the top), but I kindof like the funky traditional armadillo ones...

The Scots/Texan singer, Ed Miller, has a friend named Pipo Hernandez who plays charango backup on a lot of Ed's albums, and it has a real sweet sound.


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 09:51 PM

refresh for some one who asked


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Dave Swan
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 10:00 PM

Interesting that Spaw should have refreshed this thread. He recently sent me a chingaso which, according to him, is to be played while sitting on the instrument. Not sure what he meant.


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: GUEST,Crazy Little Woman
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 10:36 PM

Yes, Grab. We had an Andean band (Tahuantin Suyo)come to Kansas City, and one of the members told me that people eat the armadillos, then give the shell to the charango maker to make a charango. Recycling, if you will.


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 12:22 AM

I thought that was how they made Ovation guitars...only they use the institutional size frozen chili containers.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 12:43 AM

Cool! I want one. Don't wanna play the thing though. I just wanna hang it up in the garden as a warning to all the other armadillos:

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ROOT AROUND IN MY DAMNED GARDEN BEDS!

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: lamarca
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 11:40 AM

Well, I still don't know how to play it, but it sure looks nice on the wall with all the other instruments I've purchased over the years and never learned how to play... I particularly like its little hairy ears - how many other stringed instruments can hear themselves?


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Cluin
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 12:19 AM

What I'd like is a cuatro.


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 09:02 PM

A GREAT title for a song would be "I Bought A Cheap Charango In Chicago"

I bought a cheap charango in Chicago,
And then the stuff hit the fan,
Now that I've got my charango,
I won't need to get it from Stan.

Elderly Instruments is O.K., yes,
And Stan is a really good guy,
But going to Lansing for a charango,
Is like going to Mars for a moon pie.

Take it away, Mudcatters...

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 10:21 PM

LOL, great one, Art!!


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Matt_R
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 12:31 AM

When the call of the Hairy Charango sounds, one must follow it, even unto the endings of the world.

I am still the Grand Vizier of Hairy Charangos, of course. In a perfect universe, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Áine
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 06:50 PM

Ok, so I haven't bought one yet; but, I'm giving it serious consideration. Especially since I found this great website with fantastic charango MP3s.

So, I guess these are my two main questions (and yes, I've read all the related Mudcat threads):

1. Are there any 'Catters out there who actually play this instrument?

2. Can anyone recommend a reliable place to purchase a charango and charango strings?

All the best, Áine


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Oct 03 - 11:55 AM

I was talking with folks folks from the Peruvian band, Sukay at a party once years ago--they used a charango a lot, in fact, their basic sound was charango and panpipes- and they told me that the "real" charangos are crudely made, and not very good instruments--they had a charango that was made by a Northern California luthier with a body made from wood(I could name the wood, but I would be making it, it's been a long time) which they much preferred.

I haven't seen a "real" charango in a long time, but I remember that the shell has tufts of armadillo hair sticking out of it, making it both creepy and itchy--


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Áine
Date: 14 Oct 03 - 12:29 PM

Hey there, M.Ted!

Well, being a native Texan, and knowing how the population of our native nine-banded armadillo has been decimated over the past several decades, I would never want to own or even play, a charango made from an armadillo shell. I'm sure one with a wooden body would be just fine. And you're so right about the creepy and itchy!

All the best, Áine


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: Matt_R
Date: 14 Oct 03 - 03:55 PM

I'm glad to see this thread still going. Hairy Charangos forever.


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: GUEST,Rob
Date: 06 May 12 - 11:02 AM

I have a wooden one, trying to get an Armadillo one, but it's so hard!


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: open mike
Date: 06 May 12 - 12:07 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charango

save the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armadillo


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: CupOfTea
Date: 07 May 12 - 03:36 PM

Once you have yer charango wired up and ready to go, I have the rhythm section to go with it: a very nice set of llama toenails.

I have no idea what this do-dad is called in any Andean sense, but I've seen a number of South American groups use them. Llamas don't have hooves, they have toes with BIG toenails that must be clipped,and a group of these clippings get sewn to a cloth armband and are used to clatter against each other. It's the most peculiar and most ethnic-specific musical item I own.

As I type this I have Freyda Epstein's Midnight at Cabal Hall album, and I can picture her out at Fox Valley goofing around, holding the set of llama toenails (left behind by the Andean group) up like a bunch of grapes over Juel Ulven's open mouth.

So if your critterbacked instrument needs critter noise company...

Joanne in Cleveland

PS I love the reference to Ed Miller's blending of Scottish and TexMex. I've adored his music for years from a distance. Never heard him perform, know him firsthand only in late night sings long ago when Folk Alliance had some trad people participating.


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Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
From: GUEST,Rob
Date: 08 May 12 - 03:22 PM

Llamma's toenails...lovely...


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