The Lute Online Resources Portal (LORP): Teaching Materials


The ideal in learning the lute is to have reasonably regular lessons with a teacher. But the following should be useful either as a supplement to lessons or as an alternative where regular lessons are unfeasible.


Many beginners want to hear how easier tablature pieces sound when played, besides the materials listed below, it is often worth just going to and similar sites and typing in the name of the piece you want to hear, to find a recording.

An 11 part series created by luteplayer80 providing an introduction to playing the lute and discussing differences between the lute and guitar, Renaissance and Baroque, and different tablatures.

Youtube channel: David van Ooijen has a channel with numerous performances, including the complete contents of Lute Society’s ’70 Easy to Intermediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute’ (available at go to:

Youtube channel: Luteduo have made lessons on baroque lute. The first one is

Stefan Lundgren has made ‘six short lessons for lute’ on his Luteonline webpage,

Alex McCartney has created an online lute tutor, a subscription service, with videos of performances and live support by email

Liz Pallett's online lute tutorial, with recorded examples, play-along accompaniments, historical advice etc:

Jacob Heringman has recorded the entire contents of the Lute Society’s ’58 Very Easy Pieces for Renaissance Lute’ (available at free to hear at He has also recorded videos at at: The films can be found individually 1., 2., 3., 4., 5., 6.

Rupert Waddington has recorded a number of easier pieces from our student books on Youtube; subscribe at

There are currently no lute grade exams, but to ‘shadow’ guitar grades syllabus worklists, Martin Eastwell has suggested grades for pieces in the Lute Society’s student books, and the works of Francesco da Milano and John Dowland, at:

There are some useful teaching materials and tablature with sound files at Igor Varfolomeev’s lute and guitar site,

Lute Continuo basics, on Arto Wikla’s pages:

David van Ooijen, continuo on baroque lute:

'How to play the vihuela according to Juan Bermudo', free download of John Griffiths' 2003 book:

Gus Denhard's thesis on realising cavalier song:

Ralph Meier, on dedillo technique:

Sting on how to play the lute, BBC film clip:

See also frequently asked questions which has links to pages on aspects of technique.

Lynda Sayce's lute lessons for beginners, archived from back issues of Lute News, often with links to online recordings of the same pieces, can be found at the Lute Society website:

Gerard Rebours, syltistic Youtube tutor on playing Robert de Visee prelude in 4 versions:

Gilbert Isbin, The Improvising Lutenist, free download at

Peter Croton A Method for the Renaissance Lute, with a Supplement for the Archlute, from Le Luth Doré, with support materials on the author's youtube channel: (playlist renaissance lute method). The specific link for the tutorial is:

Several playlists from Martin Shepherd’s channel thoroughly discussing lute performance tips and lute building information.

Beginning Lute Tutorials by Barbara Lyle; An 11 part series that provides an introduction to playing the lute and reading French tablature

Dr. Ruey Yen's Lute Lessons contain 13 lessons for the lute, vihuela, or ukulele. Lessons in Chinese.

Lute 101 with Nigel North from the WFMT Radio channel

Brandon Acker’s Introducing: The Renaissance Lute

Brandon Acker’s Introducing: The Baroque Lute

Lute lesson 101: How to Tune a Renaissance Lute from Kenneth Kam’s channel

Rob Mackillop’s webpage devoted to learning how to improvise preludes on the baroque lute:


Renaissance lute

Diana Poulton, A Tutor for the Renaissance Lute (Schott):,42138.html

Stefan Lundgren, Method for the Renaissance Lute (Tree Edition): under M for Method, in the downloadable catalogue

Stefan Lundgren, New Method for the Renaissance Lute (Lundgren Edition):

Andrea Damiani, Method for Renaissance Lute (Ut Orpheus Edizioni):

Pascale Boquet, Approche de Luth renaissance (Société Française de Luth)—in French, full of easy pieces:

Xavier Cauhépé, Les Secrets du Luth, huge and thorough language tutor, available in French or English in two volumes, with 300 pieces fully fingered throughout, from beginner's to advanced levels, from Music from the course is performed online at

Peter Croton A Method for the Renaissance Lute, with a Supplement for the Archlute, from Le Luth Doré, with support materials on the author's youtube channel: (playlist renaissance lute method). The specific link for the tutorial is:

Alain Miteran, Methode Pour Apprendre a Jouer du Luth, published by Robert Martin,

Marco Pesci, Renaissance Lute Technique, a video handbook; with video support online

Companion books to the study of the lute: Not exactly tutors but graded selections intended to accompany study, Stephan Lundgren's Lute Calendar is a graded collection of 365 pieces, one for each day of the year; Brian Wright's Lutecosmos is 5 graded books of new rather than historical material, intended to develop musical feeling and expression from the very first one-string exercises, while The Lute Society offers a collection of 8 generous anthologies of easier pieces to accompany the first years of study,

Baroque lute

Toyohiko Satoh, Method for the Baroque Lute (Tree Edition): under M for Method, in the downloadable catalogue
(The same author has contributed a serial of short papers entitled ‘Baroque lute; easy instrument’ to Nostalgia the newsletter of the Lute and Early Guitar Society of Japan.):

Stefan Lundgren, The Baroque Lute Companion (Lundgren Edition) is, as the title suggests, a (generous) graded anthology rather than a method, but has a brief introduction on technique.

Miguel Yisrael, Method for the Baroque Lute (Ut Orpheus Edizioni / Luth Dore) very extensive at 356 pages:

Franz Julius Giesbert, Schule fuer die Barocklaute (a very old book, regarded as a historic text, but still available):,33643,s.html

A Method for the Baroque Lute based on Historical Sources, by Peter Croton (Le Luth Dore),


Francesca Torelli, A Tutor for the Theorbo, (Ut Orpheus Edizioni):

Basso continuo

The standard work on the subject is Nigel North, Continuo Playing on the Lute, Archlute and Theorbo (Indiana University Press):

'Initiation a basse continue' published by the Societe Francaise de Luth:

L’Armonia Practico all’arciliuto, Marco Pesci, Aracne Editrice

New book published by Marco Pesci: Continuo Player in 24 Steps: Beginners to Advanced According to Italian Lute Sources

Plus some online pages:

On Arto Wikla's website, continuo school:

Other useful essays:

In Lute News, issues 52, 53, 81, 90,
In Nostalgia, newsletter of the Lute and Early Guitar Society of Japan, issues 32-36
Figured bass for classical guitar, by Peter Croton, published by Amadeus:
Cadenze e passaggi diversi intavolati per Tiorba, edition of a 17th century theorbo manuscript, Ut Orpheus Edizioni:


Performing Baroque Music on the Lute & Theorbo; a practical handbook based on historical sources, Peter Croton, Amazon/Createspace


A number of publishers publish albums of pieces specifically intended for beginners:

The Lute Society (graded albums of easy pieces from original sources, a book of duets, and 'Lutecosmos' a series of newly-composed pieces):

Tree Edition (under E for Easy in the downloadable catalogue):

Societe Francaise de Luth (some actually marked ‘facile’ many volumes contain easy pieces):

Lundgren Edition (including a ‘Lute Calendar’ of 365 graded pieces)

Anthologies for children:

Societe Francaise de luth (‘Les petites Muses’ series):

Lundgren Edition:

Christine Gabrielle, 'J'apprends a jouer le luth':