Thursday, February 12, 2009

balalaika

I just bought this at a charity shop for about £8 ($12) for my collection of cool instruments. It's a Russian folk instrument called a balalaika . I thought you might find it interesting. This one's not top quality and has some water damage to the bottom right but it's a nice little thing. I was interested to notice how much it has in common with my cbgs. Three strings, small soundhole, simple moveable bridge, no truss rod, string anchorage over the bottom.


Apparently it is normally tuned to EEA - the two Es in the same octave. At the moment it's only got one steel string but even so I've had a lot of fun with it. The string is under very low tension so I can get some really big note bends. I've tried it with a bottleneck too. I can get some really buesy sounds out of it, though that's not how they are normally played.

4 comments:

Wood Finery said...

I have been enjoying Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar music as of late. Was able to catch a free Sunday evening show by Slack Key master Martin Pahinui while on Waikiki Beach. Beautiful sound, laid back folks.

David said...

Now you've done it. Never heard of Slack Key music but I have to find out now. Can you tell us something about it? Why is it called slack key? Thanks for the comment.

Wood Finery said...

Here's a really good link on what slack key is and a bit of history. Enjoy!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slack-key_guitar

David said...

Many thanks for this, a new direction to explore.