- J. Richard Haefer
Small guitar, used in Spain and Latin America. In Spain the instrument is strummed. In the Colombian Andes it has four courses of strings, tuned d–g–b–e′ and played with a plectrum. Requintos in South America tend to have a deeper body than Mexican ones while the depth of Spanish ones is equal to that of a classical guitar. The Mexican requinto (requinto mexicano, requinto romantico) is about 18% smaller than a standard classical guitar. It is built with a cutaway upper bout for ease in playing the highest pitches on the 19 metal frets (the fingerboard, with the highest seven frets, extends onto the soundboard). The string length is 54.5 cm, and mechanical tuners are normal. It is tuned a 4th higher than a standard guitar: a–d′–g′–c″–e″–a″. The soundhole has decorative circular inlay but usually there is no purfling, though more expensive models might use nácar (mother-of-pearl) inlay. The requinto is the solo instrument in the ...