How to Buy a Charango: A Comprehensive Guide

Your Guide to buying the best Charango


The Charango is a small, ten-stringed South American instrument similar to a mandolin. In this buying guide, we'll provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing a Charango. We'll discuss the different parts, materials, and sizes of the instrument, as well as how to care for it and what accessories are available. We'll also provide tips on how to choose the right instrument for your individual needs. With this guide, you can be sure to find the perfect Charango for your playing style.

Key features

  • Type of Charango - The type of Charango to purchase depends on the style of music you prefer. Charangos come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, including traditional Bolivian Charango constructed from armadillo shells and contemporary Charango constructed from wood.
  • Sound Quality - Consider the sound quality and timbre of a Charango before purchasing. Different materials and construction techniques can affect the sound and tone of a Charango, so it is important to consider this when making a purchase.
  • Materials and Design - Make sure to check the materials and design of the Charango before purchasing. Charangos are available in a variety of materials, including armadillo shells, wood, and even plastic. Different designs can also affect the sound and playability of a Charango.
  • Price - Charangos range in price from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Consider your budget and compare different models to find the best Charango for your price range.
  • Accessories - Some Charangos come with accessories such as a case, tuner, or strap. Make sure to check what is included with the Charango before purchasing.

See the most popular Charango on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Unique sound - Charangos have a unique sound that is distinct from other string instruments like the guitar and ukulele. Its combination of a small body and metal strings create a bright and percussive sound.
  • Portable - The Charango is a small instrument, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. It's also light enough to be held comfortably while playing.
  • Versatility - Charango can be used to play a variety of styles of music such as Andean, folk, and Latin American. But it can also be used to play jazz, blues, and pop.
  • Affordable - Charango are relatively inexpensive compared to many other string instruments. This makes them accessible to more people and allows them to experience the unique sound of the Charango.


  • Size: Charango is a small instrument, making it difficult to play for those with larger hands or for those who have not developed their finger dexterity.
  • Sound: Charango can have a limited sound range, depending on the type of strings used.
  • Variety: Charangos can vary greatly in price and quality; it can be difficult to find one with a good sound and a reasonable price.
  • Repair: Charangos can be difficult to find repair shops for, as their construction is not as standard as other stringed instruments.
  • Availability: Charango may not be easily available in certain parts of the world, which can make it difficult to find one or buy accessories.

Best alternatives

  1. Ukulele - A four-stringed, guitar-like instrument from Hawaii, usually smaller than a guitar and with a higher pitch.
  2. Balalaika - A Russian stringed instrument with a triangular body and three strings.
  3. Guitar - A long-necked, fretted stringed instrument, usually with six strings.
  4. Banjo - A stringed instrument that has a drum-like body and a long neck with a fretted fingerboard.
  5. Mandolin - A plucked stringed instrument similar to a lute, with a fretted fingerboard and a hollow body.
  6. Vihuela - A guitar-like instrument from Latin America with five strings and a rounded back.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Strings - Strings are the steel, nylon, or gut used to string the Charango.
  • Frets - Frets are the small metal strips that are inserted along the neck of the Charango.
  • Bridge - The bridge is the wooden piece that holds the strings in place and can be adjusted to tune the instrument.
  • Fingerboard - The fingerboard is the wooden piece that runs down the length of the neck and is home to the frets.
  • Tuning Pegs - The tuning pegs are the small metal pieces that are used to tune the instrument.
  • Pickups - Pickups are the electronic components that are used to amplify the sound of the Charango.
  • Case - A case is the protective cover used to store and transport the Charango.

Common questions

  1. What is a Charango?
    A Charango is a traditional stringed instrument from the Andean region of South America. It has five courses of two strings each, tuned in fifths, and a body made from an armadillo shell.
  2. What is the history of the Charango?
    The Charango is believed to have originated between 500 and 1,000 years ago as a modification of a Spanish vihuela, which was brought to South America by early Spanish settlers. It was popularized by the Quechua and Aymara people of the Andes and is now a symbol of regional identity.
  3. What are the different parts of a Charango?
    The Charango consists of a body, neck, strings, tuning pegs, and pickguard. The body is typically made from an armadillo shell, while the neck is usually made of cedar. The strings are typically nylon or gut, and the tuning pegs are usually made from bone or metal. The pickguard is typically made from plastic or tortoise shell.
  4. What is the best way to learn how to play Charango?
    The best way to learn how to play Charango is to find a qualified teacher who can provide instruction in the traditional techniques and styles. It is also beneficial to study recordings of Charango music to familiarize yourself with the traditional repertoire and playing styles. Additionally, there are many online tutorials and resources available for free or at a reasonable cost.
  5. How much does a Charango cost?
    The cost of a Charango can vary significantly depending on the materials used and the craftsmanship of the instrument. Prices range from around $100 for a basic instrument to upwards of several thousand dollars for a high-end professional-grade instrument.


The charango is a traditional Latin American instrument that is believed to have been invented in the Andean highlands of South America as far back as 500 years ago. It is a small, stringed instrument that is believed to have been derived from the Spanish vihuela and is typically tuned to a higher pitch than a guitar. One interesting story is that the charango was used as an instrument of protest against Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. In an effort to imitate the sound of the Spanish vihuela, the charango was made with an armadillo shell as its soundboard. According to legend, the protestors would carry the charango and play it while marching in the streets to show their defiance against the Spanish rule. Source:

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.