The Laud belongs to the cittern family of instruments. Six double courses (i.e. twelve strings in pairs tuned in unison), similarly to the bandurria, but its neck is longer. Traditionally used in Spain together with the guitar. Citterns have become a huge part of traditional Celtic music, but have a harder sound. The Laud is based on the same method of construction as a Spanish guitar, so a bit more mellow than a Cittern etc. There is a Cuban version of the same instrument where we first came across the Laud. We tune it similar to a guitar in open tuning with a capo at the fifth fret, so it takes us way higher than a guitar pitch and works really well for selected songs and tunes giving a different sound from a Guitar, Cittern or Mandolin etc. The Laud we use was made by Alhambra Guitars in Madrid, Spain. www.alhambrasl.com Go to www.londonguitarstudio.com in London, if you want to try one without travelling all the way to Cuba or Spain !