This instrumental virtuoso is evolving this tiny, traditional Brazilian guitar – and jamming with Steve Vai provided the inspiration

Igor Hereda's Bahian guitar
(Image credit: Igor Hereda)

Electric guitars, acoustic guitars and bass guitars are some of the most recognizable instruments on the planet. Though there are numerous distinguishing features – make, model, specs, finishes and more – most people will be able to identify a guitar when they see or hear one.

There is a type of guitar, however, that is overlooked by Western listeners, and which many will be unable to name. It doesn’t conform to the scale length, tuning and six-string norms we’re accustomed to, and is instead another beast altogether – an incredibly small, pint-sized beast at that.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer,

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.