Hello fellow bassists! I come to talk about two amazing bass instruments that are either unheard of or unappreciated in the Western World. The Bass Balalaika!
This is the Russian equivalent to an acoustic bass guitar. This is not me in the picture, it is from a guy from a website selling them
These beauties are much larger than the alto balalaika but much much smaller than the contrabass balalaika. They can be slapped, and played like a regular bass guitar but have that awesome Russian folk sound.
They can compete with acoustic guitars in jam sessions and in my experience have overpowered them a bit. They are tuned to EAD but can be tuned to alto-balalaika tuning as well.
Here is a video of a bass balalaika http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkpBuz5yAL4 The super duper awesome contrabass balalaika
These are the Russian equivalent to a stand up bass. They are loud, dorito shaped (they do not taste like a dorito, trust me!) and stand out in a music group.
They are tuned to EAD. I was once in a metal band where I played the contrabass balalaika and tuned it to DAD. It was fun, the eyes were always on my giant dorito bass.
Here is a video of someone playing the contrabass balalaika: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBT7OFQP1tY
Here's one more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXw__w-YdAw Playing techniques Many people will strum bass and contrabass balalaikas when they are doing solos the same way you strum a guitar. Many people play these as supporting instruments to keep the beat going or just doing a solo. This is demonstrated in each of the videos. Also you can slap these both. They are so punchy and percussive when they are slapped, but most of the time they will be played like a normal bass guitar. The contrabass however is often played with a leather pick. I am advertising these basses just because they are so fun and unique to play. I really would like to see other bassists playing them