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Thread: Balalaika? What type

  1. #1

    Default Balalaika? What type

    I have been given a balalaika from a friend whose father played it 40 years ago. It is a standard 3 string 16 fret, measuring 16” from the nut to the bridge and 23” nut to base.

    However these sizes don’t fit in with standard sizes.

    What type of balalaika would this be and what tuning would it be.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Balalaika? What type

    Hopefully one of our members that is familiar with Russian instruments can help. We don't have a whole lot of balalaika depth here that I know of.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Balalaika? What type

    Quote Originally Posted by witney1 View Post
    I have been given a balalaika from a friend whose father played it 40 years ago. It is a standard 3 string 16 fret, measuring 16” from the nut to the bridge and 23” nut to base.

    However these sizes don’t fit in with standard sizes.
    It's very close to my standard prima, which is (to compare with yours) app. 17 inch scale from nut to bridge and 21.5 inches from nut to base.

    http://www.mandolinluthier.com/balal...tm?LMCL=wUeo8F

    I've seen enough variation in balalaikas that yours could be a prima. With 16 frets, though, it's limited in range but can still play a lot of good tunes. You'd need to set it up with 2 nylon E strings and a steel A string if it is not already.

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