Balalaika Part Names and Setup – Balalaika Lesson 1

Click here or on the image for a balalaika tutorial video. This is an abridged version, for the full HD quality, duration and sheet music, please consider becoming a member. For previous lessons please visit Archives.

Let’s learn the balalaika part names first and then we will talk about balalaika setup. We will start from the top:

1. Headstock

2. Machine heads/Tuning pegs

3. Upper Nut

4. Neck

5. Fret

6. Fingerboard, a thin plank on the neck where the frets are nested.

7. Pickguard

8. Sound hole

9. Soundboard

10. Bridge

11. Lower Nut

12. End Pins

13. Body

14. Ribs


In many respects the comfort of playing depends on the the neck and  fingerboard. Neck should be straight with frets of the same height. Frets must be thoroughly polished, and their ends should not stick out of the neck edge. Typically, the width of the neck at the first fret is 27-30 mm, 12-th fret – 34-36 mm, thickness – at the 1-st fret – 14-15 mm, 12-th fret – 16-17 mm. The height of the strings above the 12-m fret – 3-4 mm.

The tuning pegs should work easily and do not rattle during playing. The slots for the strings on a bridge preferably filed at unequal distance from each other: the distance from I to II strings more than from II to III (this is done so you would not accidentally catch second or third string while playing single or double pizzicato).

Click here or on the image for a tutorial video. This is an abridged version, for the full quality and duration please consider becoming a member.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Gin

    Thanks you for making this site it is helping me learn, where I live I can’t get help from anybody.

  2. Ev

    Thank you so much I very appreciate this videos to help me very very much

  3. Jolanda

    Thank you dear Alex for these wonderfull lessons, on how to learn playing the balalaika.
    I still be waiting for the song The volga boatmen.

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