7-string guitarists talk about Dino

Major reference to anyone who's into the instrument, Dino 7 Cordas has influenced generations of musicians along his 60-year career

Nana Vaz de Castro
Raphael Rabello
"The 7-string guitar was devised by 'Tute' early in the 20th century. Tute was the guitarist for the group 'Os Oito Batutas', led by Pixinguinha. Within the choro style, the guitar usually plays the counterpoint, usually on a descending scale, where the lower strings are more used. That's where the name "baixaria" comes from. Tute felt that he needed lower notes, and that's how he came up with the idea for an extra string. He devised, developed and played the 7-string until 1950, when he passed away. By that time, guitarist 'Dino', a member of Benedito Lacerda's group, decided to pursue Tute's ideas. He developed a pretty personal way of playing it, almost reinventing the instrument. Dino was the main promoter of the 7-string guitar. He influenced different generations of guitarists. Along with Meira, he formed the longest lasting guitar duo in Brazil (45 years together). I belong to that dinasty: from Tute to Dino and from Dino to Raphael."

(Text written by Raphael Rabello by the time he was 15 or 16 years old. Manuscript kindly offered by Raphael's sister, Luciana Rabello)

Mauricio Carrilho
"Dino gave the greatest contribution to the seven-string. He definitely established the role for two guitars in regional groups. Dino took up playing the 7-string during the 1950s, and I think that he developed that language, which peaked in the 1960s. There's a recording that I particularly regard as a turning point. It is a 1964 album, by Altamiro Carrilho, called Choros Imortais. The repertoire features many Pixinguinha songs, and Dino does the counterpoint, in a way that I consider to be remarkable. Back then, he used the seventh string in a sweeter manner, less metalic."

(Mauricio Carrilho was a member of the Camerata Carioca, currently playing with O Trio, and is one of the few to tune the seventh string as a C)

Paulão 7 Cordas
"Dino has to be a reference because he played with everyone, from Francisco Alves to Zeca Pagodinho. He made up the way to play the instrument. With seven strings, there's not much of a method, if you wanna play it, you gotta listen to his recordings. Dino's importance is fundamental to all guitarists. The rhythmic variation, such as on Orlando Silva's Dama do Cabaré or Receita do Samba, from the album Vibrações [Época de Ouro and Jacob do Bandolim]. When people ask me how they should study the 7-string, I say that they should listen to Vibrações, Choros Imortais I and II [Altamiro Carrilho] and the two Cartola albums. Everything there is to know is there."

(Paulão 7 Cordas is Zeca Pagodinho's and Velha Guarda da Portela's musical director)

Luiz Otávio Braga
"Apart from his undeniable talent, Dino managed to create a curious school, based upon the auditions of his recorded material. His greatest credit is for having established the seven-string in the Brazilian music, because of how he did it. Dino established the shape through recordings, in a non-official fashion, straight perception only, thus fixating a whole choro school. He is the person who best understands the function of the 7-string in a regional group, and is one of the last guardians of such tradition. I reccomend that my students listen to Vibrações and to the Cartola albums, because there, Dino takes on the responsibility. Those albums carry everything you need to know so as to play the 7-string."

(Luiz Otávio Braga is a six and seven-string guitar college professor)

Luis Filipe Lima
"To talk about Dino 7 Cordas is to talk about the very history of the instrument. See, what makes a seven-string - whose origins are obscure and not appropriately investigated, probably coming from the russian gypsies that dwelled on Rio in the 19th century - is not the extra string, but the unique way in which it should be played; the main characteristic is the use of the "baixaria", improvised counterpoint phrases that are utilized in the samba, choro and other genres. So Dino is the main creator of that style, due to the invention of a new, bold language for the instrument, highlighting it in the Brazilian music. Dino, who played the guitar since 1935, took up playing the 7-string only late in 1952. From then on, he made it popular, and Dino became the most important reference to generations of instrumentalists that came after him. How many musicians have spent hours listening to his recordings due to the lack of a method? Master of the masters, Dino remains as our main matrix."

(Luis Filipe de Lima is a guitarist and researcher)

Carlinhos 7 Cordas
"I grew up listening to Dino's recordings, always willing to go after his bass lines. He's a mirror to other guitarists, six or seven-string specialists. He was the one who created a language for the 7-string, making the instrument more visible. And the most amazing is that, seeing him play today, it still seems like he's got one more surprise to go. When you think you know all about him, that you can predict what he's gonna do, he goes and does it differently."

(Carlinhos 7 Cordas is a member of the group Toque de Prima)

Marcello Gonçalves
"To me, Dino's greatest lesson is that he manages to stand out without ever invading the space of other instruments or vocals. On the opposite, he adds to them. His recordings are classic, not only because he is a virtuoso, but because he makes other musicians play and sing better."

(Marcello Gonçalves is a member of the group Trio Madeira Brasil and has recently recorded with cavaquinho master Henrique Cazes)

Lucas Porto
"I started studying the 7-string while making transcriptions of Dino's guitar from Cartola's albums. His importance is major, because the history of the instrument is intimately related to his personal history."

(Lucas Porto is a member of the group Galo Preto)