View Full Version : My New Baglama

Mar-15-2004, 3:51am
Hi all!

Saturday I ought a baglama. It is carved from a single piece of wood, with an ebony fingerboard and a spruce top. It is unbelievably loud, and has a nice piercing tone. I'm starting to learn some rembetika tunes on it, and I'm doing some Irish jigs and reels on it. I figured, if you can use a bouzouki for Irish, why not a baglama?

For Irish it sounds like a really nice mixture of a banjo and a mandolin, because of it's piercing tone.

Are there any other baglama players out there?

Are there any websites that I must have seen?

btw, I posted a picture in the picture forum.


Mar-15-2004, 3:04pm
Congratulations, sellars. I have a few myself and play rebetika on them. Fun, fun instruments...

Mar-16-2004, 8:16am

Do you have any tips/hints/links etc how to start with playing rebetika?

Any comments on scales, modes, chords, written music would be most welcome!


Mar-17-2004, 9:09am
Well, I'd say that the notion of written materials, when it comes to the rebetiko, is a bit, ehm... out of place http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

You know what I mean: With a music so ragged, so rough-around-the-edges, any written materials would do it an injustice. My recommendation, instead, would be to get some old recordings (or reissues thereof) and start absorbing the style by osmosis, by listening and picking what you like to emulate.

I would recommend most highly the recordings by Markos Vamvakaris, one of the oldest rebetes to record extensively. I met Vamvakaris when I was 10 or so; a colorful character, full of stories, old (and looking much, much older than his real age), blind as a bat, poor man, from decades upon decades of hashish abuse (glaucoma?), and every inch a performer.

Tsitsanis was the giant of the genre and recorded hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of songs. I would, however, place little confidence in later, post-war stars such as Hiotisó virtuoso that he wasó as this was the era when the rebetiko became crassly commercialized and, naturally, ceased to be rebetiko at all.

Best of luck on this. If you come across "questionable matter", drop me a note for a candid, if also non-expert assessment. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Mar-17-2004, 12:36pm
there are some scales on a link- in another topic - in this forum. I think its the contemplating zouk thread...... skeevos or sceevos or something like that.
its similar to byzantine or gypsy scales. major keys use something like 1-b2-maj3-p4 , and then p5-b6-maj7 ... or variation of this.