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Oud Lessons


About the Oud

The oud is a pear-shaped stringed instrument with 11 or 12 strings grouped in 5 or 6 courses, commonly used in Persian, Arabic, Greek, Turkish, Jewish, Byzantine, Azerbaijani, Armenian, and Spanish (Andalusian), Somali and Middle Eastern music.

Construction of the oud is similar to that of the lute. The modern oud and the European lute both descend from a common ancestor via diverging paths. The oud is readily distinguished from the lute by its lack of frets and smaller neck. Alongside the lute, it is considered an ancestor of the guitar. The oldest surviving oud is thought to be in Brussels, at the Museum of Musical Instruments.

Notice the difference between the Arabic oud and the European lute in the figure images.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The most important types of Oud are the Arabian Oud and the Turkish Oud where the Arabian Oud is mostly known for its soft tone unlike the Turkish Oud which is mainly known for its clear and sharp tone. It’s also worth knowing that that the wood type, that the Oud was made of, has an effect on the quality of the tone as there are plenty of wood types used in manufacturing the Oud and the most popular of these are: the Beech, Oak, Indian Sag, the African Blissender, the Palestinian Oak and the Egyptian Wood including the olive tree wood and the lemon tree wood.

The measurements are the most important element in manufacturing the Oud and must not be underestimated. There are also some modifications that has been applied on the oud such as the moving Farasa (bridge).

As for the most popular sizes for the oud they are: 1, ¾ and ½.

One of the reasons that makes the oriental music more intricate than the western music is that the oriental music includes the notion of microtones (divisions smaller than the semitones in the western music; for example: you can find the ¼ tone and the 1/8 tone which do not exist in western music) and that makes it more enhanced and more affluent than the western music in terms of the many more music scales it includes; and because the oud is an oriental instrument, it has the ability to play western music in addition to oriental music.

In Finoon, there are typically 8 progressive levels for the oud (assuming the music school is oriental) through which the student studies certain musical compositions with a special focus on technique and practice. The duration of each level depends upon the comprehensive capabilities of the student and their regular attendance to classes.

First, let’s establish that no magic can make you a player overnight, mastering any musical instrument takes time. The most important thing however is, the number of hours per week that you actually invest into practice. Practice strengthens your muscle memory so that your body knows what to do without you even thinking. Make sure that you practice at least 3 hours a week, but it is recommended to practice for an hour (uninterrupted) daily.

It normally takes approximately 6 months to be able to nicely play moderately-hard musical pieces and songs. Nevertheless, it takes more time & practice to play in a professional way.

For the variety of the oud’s measurements & sizes a great advantage for supporting the ability to learn & play for a wide range of ages. All that matters is the ability to control the instrument in a way that helps you play properly.

The curriculum covers several exercises for playing by fingers as well as using the picks on the strings. Equipment such as a working metronome helps to enhance your rhythm which in turn helps you play better. Some metronome apps are also there on the internet to work on your mobile phone to aid such purpose.

  • Ensure regular cleaning using a piece of clean and dry cotton cloth
  • Keep it away from heat as this affects the oud’s tuning
  • handle the oud with gentle care as it is a fragile instrument

The oud can contribute in all types of music and this depends on the score written for the instrument to leverage the nature of the instrument in a better way. However the oud can still be played in all types and genres of music.

Yes, Finoon can buy the instrument on your behalf and this rids you of a lot of effort if you’ve just started your musical journey. Finoon can also sell instruments on your behalf, if you’re looking for an upgrade, or provide technical support and guidance for purchasing used and new instruments.

There aren’t exactly specific brands/trademarks for oud instruments; however, there are some manufacturers well-known for their talent and craftsmanship in manufacturing the oud. As for the accessories, there are many, but the most important are the pick and the oud’s case/bag.

Yes, for to play, you need the tips of your fingers directly over the strings and that cannot happen with long nails; so it’s strongly advised that you keep your nails cut regularly.

Well, there is a wide range of accessories out there to buy and they are all there to make your job easier, but for the most important part a pick and a good case are needed to get you started. Also you can buy a tuner or download a tuner app over the internet to make the tuning job easier on your part. A metronome device/app also helps you to stay on rhythm while playing.

There are basically 2 ways to tune the oud instrument:

First: There are a bunch of tuner apps, which you can download over the Internet and a lot of them are fortunately free. These programs will use the microphone on your computer or mobile phone to listen to the sound of each string and indicate its current tone, and based on that you can increase the tension on the string or loosen it a bit to get the desired tone from each string but beware of straining the strings too much as they could get torn.

Second: the oud can be tuned depending on another musical instrument such as a piano, and a person can compare the tone of each open string to the tone on the piano and adjust by increasing the tension on the string or loosening it a bit to get the desired tone from each string.

Some professional musicians can tune the oud by just using their auditory skills.

11 years and above should normally be good, and there is no maximum age as long as you can control you upper body. Some people start at a younger age than 11 if their musical talent allows it.