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Where to buy a Fado/Portuguese Guitar

2020 Camino Guides

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
My oldest son is a music major, and his favorite instrument is guitar.

I'd like to purchase and ship a quality Fado/Portuguese guitar back home. I'll be in both Lisbon (three full days), Coimbra (one full day), and Porto (one full day). I'm looking for both quality and value (and I assume I'll get better of both compared to buying it in the US).

Are there recommendations for a shop? I would need a place where the English is strong, as there is no way I can have the kind of discussion in Portuguese that this purchase will require.

Also, I am finding two primary manufacturers of these --- APC and Artimusica. If anyone on the forum has firsthand experience with the fado guitar, I'd appreciate some insights as to quality and brand.
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Albertinho (on this board} is your man. He told me about a music store in Braga and I think they might . guitars there, too. Albertinho has become friends with these guys and I'm sure would be a good contact. I had hoped to take a side trip to Braga while walking the Portugues, but didn't end up doing that. Supposed to be a very nice, old city
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Here is what Albertinho wrote to me:

[[
Braga.
When you are at Fernanda's ,walk back to Balugães.about 3 kms
On your walk when you arrive at t he main road instead of crossing ,turn left and walk to the trafficlights at the crossing of the two main roads . The busstop to Braga is at the left side of the road you cross , almost at the corner so at the traffic light cross the road and there is your stop. ask Fernanda or Jacinto what are the times of the bus.
Once in Braga the bus stops at the bus station. It is about 5 to 7 minutes to the towncenter. Go to the touristcenter and ask where the bus is to the sanctuary Bom Jesus do Monte. The point you out. Ask for a nice stamp on your credential
The bus takes a out 10 minutes to the sanctuary
Once back walk into the center to the cathedral and ask for another stamp
Walk around in the center, have a coffee at A Brasileira with a pastel de nata.

I usually visit some musical friends there. Braga is the center of the world for a typical Portuguese,Brasilean, Cape Verdian instrument, the cavaco or cavaquinho
An stringed instrument as big as an ukulele .in Portugal they use it in Portuguese folkmusic but in Brasil it is a percussion instrument in the typical choro music (what I play)
There are 5 manufacturers of cavacos in Braga all related but they are no fiends of each other
When you walk out of the main entrance of the cathedral ahead is a straight street
20 meters at the left is the musicshop Som da Sé ( sound of the cathedral) with nice handcrafted Portuguese musical instruments. Give Luis Múxima -see picture- ,the owner, my regards and ask him to play a nice song. It makes your day ]]
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
I'll keep an eye out in Lisbon and let you know if I see a shop.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
Excellent! Thank you @JillGat, @jungleboy, and @SYates!

I suspected this would be more like spear fishing than net casting. I'll wait for @Albertinho. Also, I've been contemplating a side trip to Braga, so this would get two birds with one stone.

And, Nick, if you come across something there in Lisbon, please let me know. I found several shops there via Google, but my ignorance of instrument quality and appropriate pricing, to say nothing about the language, is such that I am fundamentally dependent on a recommendation.
 

Rex

Pilgrim Trekker
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago (2013)
Lisboa to Santiago (2018)
There is a Fado Museo in Lisbon (I loved it, but a couple of my non-musician compadres were unimpressed), right down near the cruise ship terminals. I spent an afternoon there a couple of years ago. They would most likely have some recommendations for you. There is also a thriving Fado music scene in Coimbra and I stopped and heard both fado and jazz (up on the hill near the University) while on my way to Santiago. Wonderful stuff. Good luck and bom caminho.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
@koilife, I can’t remember if we have already talked about going to visit Amalia Rodrigues’ house. It’s a shrine of sorts, but very interesting. Near the Rato metro stop.
It's already on my list of things to do for the day in Lisbon proper (not Belem or Sintra, each of which get their own day). I'll probably PM you on that, because I think I'm trying to put 50 liters in a 40 liter pack.
 

WalkingJane

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
Here is what Albertinho wrote to me:

[[
Braga.
When you are at Fernanda's ,walk back to Balugães.about 3 kms
On your walk when you arrive at t he main road instead of crossing ,turn left and walk to the trafficlights at the crossing of the two main roads . The busstop to Braga is at the left side of the road you cross , almost at the corner so at the traffic light cross the road and there is your stop. ask Fernanda or Jacinto what are the times of the bus.
Once in Braga the bus stops at the bus station. It is about 5 to 7 minutes to the towncenter. Go to the touristcenter and ask where the bus is to the sanctuary Bom Jesus do Monte. The point you out. Ask for a nice stamp on your credential
The bus takes a out 10 minutes to the sanctuary
Once back walk into the center to the cathedral and ask for another stamp
Walk around in the center, have a coffee at A Brasileira with a pastel de nata.

I usually visit some musical friends there. Braga is the center of the world for a typical Portuguese,Brasilean, Cape Verdian instrument, the cavaco or cavaquinho
An stringed instrument as big as an ukulele .in Portugal they use it in Portuguese folkmusic but in Brasil it is a percussion instrument in the typical choro music (what I play)
There are 5 manufacturers of cavacos in Braga all related but they are no fiends of each other
When you walk out of the main entrance of the cathedral ahead is a straight street
20 meters at the left is the musicshop Som da Sé ( sound of the cathedral) with nice handcrafted Portuguese musical instruments. Give Luis Múxima -see picture- ,the owner, my regards and ask him to play a nice song. It makes your day ]]
Braga is an interesting city. Many obvious things, others less easy to find, like perhaps this shop. Ask where you stay about things tourists might not look for, or simply meander. I lived there 2 years, before doing Caminos and enjoyed the stay.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Students at the University of Coimbre busking in the street to make extra college money in an all-male Fado band. Looks like three Fado guitars - one of which is quite small. Saw these guys on my Portuguese Camino from Lisbon which I did in the winter. Unlike Lisbon Fado where women sing and play, my understanding is that Coimbre Fado is all male.
IMG_0127.JPGIMG_0135.JPG
 
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koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Navarra!
In Porto you might like to look in at Porto Guitarra

I saw a beautiful cavaquinho in there back in 2015 and have regretted not buying it ever since - never thought to ask about having it shipped home. We were on Camino and I was worried it would get damaged.

Edit: there was a young man in there who spoke perfect English.
 

WalkingJane

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
Oh! Uma riqueza de Fado. Saudades....
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
Excellent! Thank you @JillGat, @jungleboy, and @SYates!

I suspected this would be more like spear fishing than net casting. I'll wait for @Albertinho. Also, I've been contemplating a side trip to Braga, so this would get two birds with one stone.
If you do purchase a local musical instrument buy a stout case or shipping box. You can then send it Post Restante to the Coreos Post Office near the cathedral in SdC. The Spanish post office has some great services for Pilgrims and I used the service when I did the Portuguese and posted a head unneeded clothes and a bag.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
If you do purchase a local musical instrument buy a stout case or shipping box. You can then send it Post Restante to the Coreos Post Office near the cathedral in SdC.
Indeed. I love my son, but I have no intention of schlepping his guitar along the Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Unlike Lisbon Fado where women sing and play, my understanding is that Coimbre Fado is all male.
Yes, and quite traditional. I haven't found any "new fado" male fado singers, to parallel the modern female fadoistas like Mariza, Ana Moura, Gisela Joao and my favourite, Carminho!

The guys are good, too, but a very different style.
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
The most virtuous guitarist (already deceased) was Carlos Paredes.
A modern one who also is really good is Luís Guerreiro.

 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Koilife,
Unfortunately my friend's family members bought their guitars in a store that has since closed -- the way of small music shops everywhere I suppose. But she sent information on the following three places -- though she has no personal experience, she has gotten recommendations from others. Hope this helps, bom caminho, Laurie

Salão Musical de Lisboa
Endereço: Largo do Carmo, R. da Oliveira ao Carmo 2, 1200-309 Lisboa
Horário:
segunda-feira - sexta feira 09:30–13:00, 15:00–19:00
sábado 10:00–13:00, 15:00–19:00
domingo Encerrado
Telefone: 21 319 3740
……………………………………………………………..
LISMUSICA
Endereço: R. José Falcão 8, 1170-088 Lisboa
Horário:
segunda-feira - sexta feira 10:00–13:00, 14:30–19:00
sábado 10:00–13:00
domingo Encerrado
Telefone: 21 812 2934
……………………………………………………………………………
Euromúsica
Endereço: Av. da República 56, Lisboa
Horário:
segunda-feira - sexta feira 10:00–19:00
sábado 10:00–14:00, 15:00–19:00
domingo Encerrado
Telefone: 21 761 3004
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
No, you asked, I speak some portuguese so I looked and found what was asked for. Also, I have played guitar for nearly 60 years.
Thank you.

I love the guitar; such a beautiful and versatile instrument. Sadly, I have the musical talent of a stoned chimpanzee, so I admire people with both passion and talent.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
My oldest son is a music major, and his favorite instrument is guitar.

I'd like to purchase and ship a quality Fado/Portuguese guitar back home. I'll be in both Lisbon (three full days), Coimbra (one full day), and Porto (one full day). I'm looking for both quality and value (and I assume I'll get better of both compared to buying it in the US).

Are there recommendations for a shop? I would need a place where the English is strong, as there is no way I can have the kind of discussion in Portuguese that this purchase will require.

Also, I am finding two primary manufacturers of these --- APC and Artimusica. If anyone on the forum has firsthand experience with the fado guitar, I'd appreciate some insights as to quality and brand.[/QUOTE]


I know APC and Artimúsica very well Both I visited in Braga. From both I have instruments. An APC gypsy guitar and from Artimúsica a Brasilean cavaquinho . Both great instruments.
The owners are family related as there are another five family related instrument builders.
From Artimúsica I have never seen a y Portuguese Fado guitars. I have been in their workshop and visited them several times at international music fairs in Europe.
So APC is a good company to buy your Fado guitar from. There are better ones but these instruments are handbuilt by luthiers with a small production.


In Porto are 2 major specialists for good instruments
First is casa da Guitarra
When you are at the Sé cathedral and you walk into. the direction of the famous bridge over the river the shop will be less than 100 meters from the Sé entrance .
On the way to the bridge where the metro goes to the other side of the river.
At the touristoffice next to the Sé the nrrance I found bussinesscards from Casa da Guitarra. They sell APC Portuguese Fado guitars and think they are willing to ship them

The competitor is Porto Guitarra https://portoguitarra.com/
They are based nearby torre de Clérigos in the center(the typical tower you'll see when you walk in a busy street opposite the São Bento ralwaystation. See the address on the website, linked in my answer.

Off course you can go to Braga to my friend Luis Múxima. In his shop Som da Sé he sells Portuguese Fado guitars . But these will be the same brand as you will find in the Porto shops mentioned above.
Braga is a beautiful town, worthwhile visiting and if you have time ,go there.
Coming out the main entrance of the Braga Sé cathedral you will find the music shop 30 meters ahead from there at the right side. Easy to find
Give Luis my regards
 
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koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
@Albertinho, thank you! Most helpful. I'm still looking for an opportunity to visit Braga. If I do, I will pass your regards to Luis.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
@Albertinho, thank you! Most helpful. I'm still looking for an opportunity to visit Braga. If I do, I will pass your regards to Luis.

This is the link to Luis' music shop in Braga


And here an idea of prices (btw SML is an Lisbon situated shop)
 
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Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
Yes, and quite traditional. I haven't found any "new fado" male fado singers, to parallel the modern female fadoistas like Mariza, Ana Moura, Gisela Joao and my favourite, Carminho!

The guys are good, too, but a very different style.
Rodrigo Costa Felix is a great and modern Portuguese fado male singer
!

Although not my style I can listen to it sometimes.to me it is too sad music.
I fancy more Brasilean music like choro,bossa nova and samba.
But I love Portugal and allways am happy to be back on the caminho Português or at private visits with friends and relatives.
 
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Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
Thanks for the tip, Albertinho!

Slightly off-topic, but if you like Brazilian music, you'll probably like what I'm listening to right now, Carminho's interpretation of Antonio Jobim's bossa nova classics!

Uau ! Tem gosto de mais ! Obrigado pelo compartilhar
Forte abraço dos Países Baixos
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
In Porto you might like to look in at Porto Guitarra

I saw a beautiful cavaquinho in there back in 2015 and have regretted not buying it ever since - never thought to ask about having it shipped home. We were on Camino and I was worried it would get damaged.

Edit: there was a young man in there who spoke perfect English.
I bought my cavquinho Brasileiro from the Artimúsica brand in Braga.
We stayed at Casa da Fernanda for anout two weeks and one day went to Braga to visit the town. I saw the instrument and bought it immediately.
Using it every week at a Brasilean music school, playing Brazilean choro music

By the way. A cavaquinho is not the same as a Portuguese fado guitar
A cavaquinho is family of the ukulele -difference is that the body is bigger and strings are made of steel instead of nylon.
A Portuguese guitar is more like a mandoline (bandolim in Portuguese) but bigger .
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
So, it appears that importing and shipping expenses are far more expensive than I was expecting. I might just send it by post to Ivar's in SdC and then bring it through customs. Appears to be much less expensive that way.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at anything so funny on this forum. I actually have tears. Brilliant doesn't do it justice. PURE GENIUS!

Thankfully, I'm flying American where their baggage handlers clearly care more. . . .
 

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