Lute Rental Program
In order to fulfill its purpose of advancing interest in the lute and its music, the LSA understands that it needs to help players, especially beginners, secure an instrument on which to learn. The rental fee needs to be low enough to encourage beginners to take up the lute and the instruments need to be of good enough quality such that the student is not hampered in learning by a poorly made or set up instrument. The LSA Lute Rental Program hopes to fulfill the needs of lutenists and aspiring lutenists by providing access to such instruments. LSA instruments are rented to LSA members only except for instruments designated for rent as stage props for productions.
If you would like to help us grow the collection through a donation of money to buy an instrument or the donation of an existing instrument you have, please contact the Rental Program Director, Michael Grant. If you would like to ensure that your instruments are donated to the Rental Program as part of your will or legacy, please download and complete the Lute Donation Legacy Directive and mail it to the address indicated on it. It will be signed and the original mailed back to you so that you can attach it to your will or use it in your own way to alert your family to your intentions to donate your instruments to the Rental Program.
How to rent an instrument:
Step 1: Become a member of the LSA if you are not already one by clicking on the "Membership" button below and following the directions and payment requirements for becoming a member.
Step 2: Once you are a paid LSA member, browse through the rental collection and pick an instrument you wish to rent from those listed as "Available." Unless you are already very familiar with lutes and your need for one, we suggest you contact the Rental Program Director, Michael Grant, to discuss your needs and which lute, of those available, will meet them best.
Step 3: Download and complete a Rental Agreement and send it via email, fax, or USPS to the Rental Program Director. This written agreement contains all the contractual items for which both you and the LSA are responsible and with which you and the LSA agree to comply. The Rental Program Director will sign the Agreement you send in and a signed copy will be mailed back to you for your records.
Step 4: Follow the directions at the bottom of the Rental Agreement to complete your payment of the required $300 security deposit and first and last month's rental fees.
When your security deposit/first and last month's rental payments have been processed by
the LSA (please allow 1-2 business days for this) the instrument you selected
will be shipped to you via Fed-Ex or UPS ground service delivery (please allow 1-7
days for shipping depending on the area in the US in which you live). You will be responsible for reimbursing the Lute Rental Program for the costs of shipping the instrument to you. A PayPal invoice for those shipping costs will be sent to you the same day the lute is shipped to you. You agree to pay that invoice upon receipt as your method of reimbursement. The Lute Rental Program will, in turn, pay for shipping from you back to the LRP when you are finished with the rental. For both shipments, you understand and agree that each shipment will include payment of insurance of the instrument and its case for their value listed in the description of each instrument on the Rental Lute Collection page. We will ask you, when you ship it back to us, to insure it for that same value. You will be reimbursed for shipping the instrument/case back to us via a check that will be mailed to you from the LSA Treasurer. In order to be reimbursed, we will ask you to send us the shipping invoice and you will be reimbursed for 100% of that invoice total.
Step 5: Enjoy learning to play the lute!
Inside the instrument case you will find written instructions for its care. Please follow these instructions carefully and keep them inside the case for review. You will also find, in the case, a small sheet of paper detailing each string specification on the instrument. Please keep this information in the case. Should you need a new string, please contact the Rental Program Director and he will arrange your purchase of a new string with the LSA approved string vendor.
If you are a beginner we strongly recommend
that you establish a relationship with a lute teacher. You will not be
successful in learning to play the lute if you try to teach yourself using a
book tutor alone. A list of lute teachers is available here. If a teacher with whom you can meet in person is not
available in your area, locate one who offers lessons via Skype or webcam. Although we do not strictly require that you have a teacher to rent a lute or other instrument in our rental collection, we do require, if you are a beginner, that you have at least had an initial discussion with a teacher about taking lute lessons with him/her. The lute is not a DIY or self-taught instrument. You will be most successful and avoid being hampered by bad habits if you work with a teacher who can instruct you in correct technique.
We have put together a Beginners' Guide to the Renaissance Lute that will answer many of your questions, esp. if you are a complete beginner. The guide is to take away the frustration a beginner would feel if s/he received a rental lute but the beginner's first meeting with his/her teacher was several weeks away. When you get a lute from us you want to tune it up, play around with it, explore it...all hard to do without information to help you make that experience fun and successful. The Beginner's Guide will help make your first contact with a lute or your rental lute a great experience. It is available as a free downloadable PDF. It has lots of pictures and is a large file (about 6 Mb) so be patient...it is worth it!!
If you are interested in buying a used lute, check out Wayne Cripp's lutes for sale webpage here. If you would like to commission a luthier to make a lute specially for you, check out the list of US and Canadian luthiers here. There are also super luthiers in other countries and by typing in "lute luthier" in an Internet search engine, you can find all of them who have webpages. Click here for lots of great tips regarding what to look for if you are buying a lute.