The amazing bass balalaika and contrabass balalaikas.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BrandenSteele, Dec 30, 2012.


  1. BrandenSteele

    BrandenSteele

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    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

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    The super duper awesome contrabass balalaika:bassist:
    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

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    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
     
  2. azzyrazzy

    azzyrazzy

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Norway
    Is there any advantage to them being triangular in shape?
     
  3. BrandenSteele

    BrandenSteele

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    Yes. The entire shape it designed to give it a louder sound. Here is a picture of the back. All of the sound is directed to the sound hole with the curved back. The bottoms are not flat, they are curved to direct even more sound to the center. I think it also gives it a different sound than the stand up bass too to make it stand out from it.

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  4. OtisRocks

    OtisRocks

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto
    Would love to join your club but I just don't have any room left in my apartment :bawl:

    I heard one of these in a Russian restaurant in Helsinki, Finland. Awesome sounding instrument. :bassist:
     
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  6. BrandenSteele

    BrandenSteele

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    Its size if a pretty big problem. I remember playing in a metal band and having to play behind the guitarist. Transportation is also pretty tough considering it's heavy, and it's hard to fit into a car or onto public transit.
     
  7. bassybeenz

    bassybeenz

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Delta BC Canada


    the bassist in the Red Elvises (surf/alt?) uses one, and its AWESOME! p.s. everyone should see Six String Samurai its a great film!
     
  8. jbossolo

    jbossolo

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Well, I guess that ends the "best bass as a weapon" argument! Cool axe! I'd rock the дерьмо out of it!!!
     

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