Folk & Acoustic Musical Instrument Specialists

Pipa Information and FAQs


4 stringed guitar-like plucked instrument from China with a pear shaped body. In the literature as far back as 2000BC. The name refers to the forward and back picking technique.


The Pipa is a Chinese lute with four stings which can be tuned to GDAE. The body is pear shaped with scalloped frets and a shallow carved bowl back. Like a lute the frets continue over the body of the instrument. Fingerpicks are usually used, and the instrument is held verticaly in the lap.


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The Pipa is one of the oldest Chinese intruments, dating back over 2000 years. The design shows common influences to the Oud.

Try the instruments for yourself! We keep a huge and varied stock of new and secondhand instruments.


Definition: west African harp lute, popular in Gambia and Senegal. It has a skin stretched across a large gourd, a wooden neck and gut or nylon fishwire strings stretched across a tall bridge. Played somewhat like a harp.
Read the full Harps FAQ Page.