How to learn to play the balalaika
How to learn to play the balalaika

Video: How to learn to play the balalaika

Video: How to learn to play the balalaika
Video: The Film That Changed South Korea | Video Essay 2023, September

Balalaika is an ancient musical instrument, a recognizable symbol of the Russian people. Her timbre is amazing and gives an amazing effect in an orchestra.

Now you rarely see people playing this musical instrument. More popular is the guitar. But would you like to learn how to play the balalaika? Would you like to surprise your family and friends with a new skill? How can you learn to play the balalaika from scratch? Very simple, your desire and the availability of a tool will be enough.

Balalaika magnet
Balalaika magnet

Components of the balalaika

Balalaika includes more than 70 elements. But the most basic are:

  1. Vulture. It has frets (16–31 pcs.).
  2. Headstock.
  3. Strings (3 pcs.). The top string is melodic, and the bottom 2 are buzzing.
  4. Deca (triangular body).

In different production practices, these elements may be called differently.

Russian balalaikas
Russian balalaikas

Types of balalaikas

There are 2 types of balalaikas:

  1. Traditional. The musical instrument is designed for amateur independent play. Metal strings are installed here, there are many settings. There are traditional balalaikas with 4, 5 or 6 strings. A feature of the instrument is the doubling of one of the strings or all the strings at once, to obtain a more spilling and soft sound. Learning to play the traditional balalaika can be done quickly and easily.
  2. Academic. A musical instrument suitable for professional playing. Nylon strings are installed here, there is a fixed tuning. To learn how to play the academic balalaika, it will take a long time, a music school or a musical tutorial.

How to tune the balalaika

In many regions of the country you can find a variety of options for balalaika settings. The following will be considered the most popular of them:

1. Balalaika system. The easiest and oldest way. Almost until the twentieth century, it was the most popular among the people. Until now, he is widely known among village musicians in many regions of Russia. Tune the balalaika as follows:

  • 1 string adjusted to a suitable pitch;
  • the middle is clamped on the 5th fret and pulled up to sound in unison with the 1st;
  • the third is adjusted in the same way as the middle one;
  • the result is 2 strings, the same in sound, and 1 high, 5 frets higher.

How to play the balalaika this system:

  • D D G (low);
  • E E A (high).

2. Guitar system. It is by far the most commonRussian folk version of balalaika tuning. It coincides with the tuning of the first three strings of a seven-string Russian guitar. Milestones:

  • 1 string is also tuned to a suitable pitch;
  • the middle is clamped on the 3rd fret and pulled up to sound in unison with the 1st open string;
  • 3rd is clamped on the 4th fret and adjusted to the open middle;
  • as a result, the balalaika produces a slender major chord.

How to play the balalaika guitar tuning:

  • C E G (low);
  • D F A (high).

3. Rare settings. They are not used very often. They are mainly used to diversify the musical repertoire, to add originality and novelty to it.

How to play the balalaika rare tunings:

  • D E G – discord;
  • D F A / A C F – minor;
  • E G C - reverse.
Russian balalaika players "Kodiak"
Russian balalaika players "Kodiak"

Basics of playing the balalaika

First of all, to figure out how to play the balalaika, you need to master the correct fit and hand position. Before starting the game, you must:

  • sit on the edge of the chair;
  • bend your legs 90°, keep your back straight (while holding the neck with strings in your left hand, and the balalaika between your knees);
  • press the tool body with your feet;
  • try to play relaxed.

Basic sound techniques

There are many ways to play the balalaika, but here are the most common ones:

  1. Rattle. Striking all strings with your index finger. On thepaper is indicated by: ^ (hit up), v (hit down).
  2. Tremolo. The sound is produced by tapping frequently with the index finger.
  3. Pizzicato. Thumb Pinch: The body of the balalaika is grasped with the fingers and a string is struck down with the thumb.
  4. Vibrato. With the right palm, lightly press on the strings, at the same time, the sound is extracted with the thumb using the pizzicato technique. Vibrato can also be played with the index finger.
  5. Fraction. On paper, the abbreviation "Dr" is written and a wavy line is drawn in front of the chord. The sound is produced by alternating blows from bottom to top and top to bottom.
  6. Flageolet. On paper, a circle is placed above the note. The sound is produced by weightlessly touching the string with the pad of your finger, and then instantly pulling it back after striking the string with the fingers of the other hand.
Balalaika game
Balalaika game

A few tips: how to play the balalaika correctly (for beginners)

  • Exercise every day for 1.5-2 hours.
  • Tune your instrument properly.
  • Play relaxed in a comfortable position.
  • Practice different game techniques.
  • Do the exercises.
  • Degrease the strings after each session.
  • Keep your balalaika in a case.

This is how easy it is to learn how to play the balalaika. Good luck to you!