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The oud may not be the most well-known stringed instrument in North America, but those who love the unique musical styles that come from the Middle East are more than familiar with its pear-shape design and rich, delicate sound characteristics. The oud is considered by many in the Arab world to be "the king of instruments" - in fact, both the lute and the guitar are descendants of it. If the oud is something you're thinking about taking up, this is definitely the section for you. Top stringed instrument manufacturers like Godin put a great deal of hard work and passion into every oud they design, and you can see that right here in this selection.

Before diving right into your options, let's have an overview of some of the oud's more defining qualities. Consisting of 11 strings (10 paired together with the lowest string remaining single), this fretless instrument typically has 1 to 3 oval-shaped sound holes and a body that sports a staved, bowl-like back. In the past, ouds were hard to keep in tune, but that's no longer the case. Just take a closer look at their MultiOud Encore Nylon SG Acoustic-Electric. Featuring an EPM Quantum 1T electronics system with undersaddle transducer, custom machine heads and even a built-in chromatic tuner, this oud's impressive enhancement will ensure your performance sounds great from your first song right through to your final encore.

Another Godin oud that you need to check out is the MultiOud Nylon Acoustic-Electric Oud Natural HG. This version is the result of Godin taking the MultiOud to a recording studio and testing a variety of mics. Once they found what they liked, they modeled the tone into the preamp's circuitry, and voila! Featuring custom voiced electronics with bridge and microphone options through an onboard preamp with built-in tuner, this oud can be played live and loud with absolutely zero feedback.

Considering the oud dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries, it's pretty safe to say that the instrument won't be waning in popularity any time soon - especially in Arabic and Turkish music scenes. A great musician should never limit their influences, and learning how to play the oud is a great way to expand your musical horizons.