Thursday, February 12, 2009


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.