Information

BALALAIKA GROUP

Putting a different angle on 3 strings.

Members: 16
Latest Activity: Sep 27, 2015

Discussion Forum

Double bass balalaika, alto and strings

Started by Deedee Jun 8, 2014. 0 Replies

Hi.I found this site http://www.thomann.de/gb/thomann_double_bass_balalaika_m1083.htmIt's the first time I ever found a…Continue

Domra construction sheet

Started by Deedee. Last reply by Deedee May 21, 2014. 2 Replies

HiApart from the balalaika I also like the domra.I would like to build one. Does anyone know where to get a construction sheet?Continue

Comment Wall

Comment

You need to be a member of BALALAIKA GROUP to add comments!

Comment by BUGGY (C) on June 15, 2015 at 3:43am
I know that feeling.
Comment by k0k0peli on June 15, 2015 at 1:15am

Deedee: Thanks for the tuners offer. As I mentioned, it'll be some time before I start building. That will happen after I do a lot more research, and also rebuild my workshop (which has degenerated into a storage closet, alas).

Comment by Deedee on June 12, 2015 at 4:05am

Really curious.

I won't kill you with my comments.

If you need tuners (the original Russian ones), let me know. I still have some.

Comment by k0k0peli on June 12, 2015 at 2:13am

Hi, all. I plan to build something balalaika-like in a few weeks. (I'm on a long road trip right now.) I built dulcimers long ago and my lutherie skills are rather rough now so my products may be more of like tin-can domras. Yes, plural; I have various stringings in mind: standard EEA; open GBD; and fifths GDA. I have a scheme for building hollow necks and the GBD might have sympathetic strings inside.

Will these be pretty? Nope. Will balalaika hardliners want to murder me and destroy them? Probably. I'll take that risk. ;)

Comment by Henry Strat-o-varius Lowman on May 21, 2014 at 7:05pm
I play alto balalaika with the WASHINGTON BALALAIKA SOCIETY. The instrument I use is on loan to me, though I have since purchased a prima balalaika that I have used at solo open mics, though not with the orchestra.

I am using standard guitar tuners, and am basing my instrument on the one I'm using, with my own modifications, many due to my rudimentary lutherie skills. :-)
Comment by Deedee on May 21, 2014 at 4:43pm

Hi Henry

That sounds real cool. That's the first time I hear about someone building an alto balalaika. Do you also use the Flynn book?

And did you already find the right machine heads? I haven't found any here in Europe.

I found alto machine heads in the shop where I usually order from. http://www.emuzin.ru/Netshop/machineheads/mkba5/

My friend goes quite often to her family in Russia, and then she asks them to go to Emuzin in Moscow for me.

btw, do you have pictures? I have the building process of my balalaika and other instruments I have made on handmademusicclubhouse.com (also profile deedee) 

Comment by Henry Strat-o-varius Lowman on May 21, 2014 at 3:43pm
BEAUTIFUL work, Dee Dee! I'm finishing one myself, my second electric acoustic alto balalaika, this time with one of Elmar's flatpups and a tone control. We'll soon see how it turns out. :-)
Comment by Deedee on May 21, 2014 at 2:31pm

Hi

Just posted pics of my latest work, a bass balalaika. I used the Flynn book for the measurements and it sounds great. As usual the machine heads were the biggest problem, but I managed to get them with some help from my contacts in Russia.

Pictures of the building process I have put on handmademusicclubhouse.com

Comment by Rooster Reaves on March 10, 2014 at 10:20am

Thanks Rand, I'll give this a try.

Comment by Rand Moore on March 10, 2014 at 8:00am

Hi Rooster Reeves,

The calculations for fret spacing for balalaikas is basically the same as for any other 12TET instrument. You need to know the scale length and the number of frets you want, then go to your favorite fret calculator program like the Stewart MacDonald Fret Position Calculator. A prima balalaika usually has a scale length in the range of 17" to 17.75" (more likely 430mm to 450mm). Here's what I got:

These numbers agree with those given on page 42 of J.H. Flynn's book called "Building the Balalaika", which is a free download off the Internet. In Flynn's book, he calculates the fret positions using two different constants: 17.835 and 17.817. Apparently, the Stewart-MacDonald calculator uses the 17.817 factor.

Unfortunately, I can't recommend any particular cigar box for a balalaika as I have never made one. I'd say pick a box with a large internal volume (space) so you will get better resonance, and as thin a lid as possible (perhaps replacing the cigar box lid with a thinner piece of plywood veneer). I'd also recommend reading thru Flynn's book with the idea of adapting as many specs and features as you can in your CBG version of the instrument to better emulate the real thing. Things like a narrow neck, and string specs should also be important. But, I think the most important thing in making a cigar box balalaika sound like a real Russian balalaika is your playing style/skills. So, study those balalaika videos on Youtube, etc.

-Rand.

 

Members (16)

 
 
 

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

 

Recommended Links & Resources

Featured Instrument Video

Discussion Forum

Domra construction sheet

Started by Deedee. Last reply by Deedee May 21, 2014. 2 Replies

Latest Activity

BrianQ. left a comment for Beto
"Welcome to the nation Beto, check out the Resources tab for simple build info as well as…"
3 minutes ago
Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear liked Poorness Studios's video
3 minutes ago
BrianQ. left a comment for Michael Mohan
"Welcome to the nation Michael, plenty of info in the Resources tab as well as glen watt & del…"
6 minutes ago
Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear liked BUGGY (C)'s video
7 minutes ago
Slow Blues Dani & Ol' Grey Bear commented on BUGGY (C)'s video
Thumbnail

Swampy Sunday

"Loved the playing Buggy, and the video! Totally want some of whatever you’re taking because…"
7 minutes ago
BrianQ. left a comment for Nick McCarty
"Welcome to the nation Nick"
8 minutes ago
BrianQ. left a comment for Mark
"Welcome to the nation Mark, plenty of useful info in the Resources tab "
8 minutes ago
Daniel Walter commented on Hippy Chip's photo
Thumbnail

Finished

"hey hippy. nice work. hard to beat, and with a piezo, you can beat the box."
9 minutes ago
BrianQ. left a comment for Tim Mackenzie
"Welcome to the nation Tim, go to the Resources tab or glen watt YouTube channel to get started on…"
9 minutes ago
Jeff 'Bones' Reilly commented on Jeff 'Bones' Reilly's photo
Thumbnail

all ready for the Hobart Blues & Booze & BBQ’s

"Cheers AGP I will enjoy don’t you worry I’ll have few for you hey ..."
10 minutes ago
BrianQ. left a comment for Dennis Danner
"Welcome to the nation Dennis, open all night "
10 minutes ago
BrianQ. left a comment for Yo Vinnie
"Yo Vinnie, welcome to the nation. Plenty of info in the Resources tab "
10 minutes ago

Music

Loading…

© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->