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Complete Balalaika Book

By Bibs Ekkel

Balalaika - Beginning-Intermediate
Composed by Bibs Ekkel. Wire bound, Methods. Complete. Ethnic. Book/CD Set. 182 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc (MB.96213BCD).

Item Number: MB.96213BCD

ISBN 9780786624751. Ethnic. 9 x 11.75 inches.

The balalaika is most often associated with Russian folklore. In this comprehensive method book, concert and recording artist Bibs Ekkel shares his extensive knowledge of the balalaika as taught in Russia today. This 160-page book is divided into four sections: an extensive Foreword, the Tutor, A Brief History of the Balalaika, and a Repertoire Section. Unlike many Mel Bay books, the Complete Balalaika Book does not begin with the rudiments of music notation. Rather, the 20-page Foreword offer insights on the tunings of all the instruments in the balalaika family, hand positions, string sources and height adjustment, and chord shapes. The author even describes how to make a bass balalaika pick from shoe leather. The Tutor or instruction segment is written for the 'prima balalaika' which is correctly played with the fingers only rather than with a pick. The Tutor jumps right in with exercises and tunes in quarter, eighth, and sixteenth-note values with occasional dotted notes and syncopation. Perhaps half of the music in this section is shown in both standard notation and tablature. A glossary of musical signs and Russian musical terns is included. A Brief History of the Balalaika is well written and nicely illustrated. Very few Mel Bay books contain such a comprehensive historical overview of the subject instrument. The Repertoire Section offers a valuable resource of Eastern European folk tunes. All but two selections in this section are written in both notation and tab with suggested guitar chords, the exceptions being an arrangement for balalaika and piano, and a balalaika orchestra score. More than simple melody chord leadsheets, these are the author's own arrangements of tunes for solo balalaika and balalaika orchestra. A companion CD with selections performed by the author completes this highly effective instructional package.

  • A Cossack Crossed the Danube  
  • Akh, Nastasya  
  • Baa-Baa Black Sheep 
  • Dance, Dance 
  • Dark Browed, Dark Eyed Lad  
  • Daydreams 
  • Do Not Scold Me  
  • For Czar, Motherland and Faith  
  • Go Home You Gossips  
  • God Save The Czar  
  • Goin' Home 
  • I Loved You  
  • I Shall Go Down To The River  
  • I Was In The Garden  
  • In the Field a Birch Tree Stood  
  • It's Not The Wind That Bends The Branch  
  • Katiusha 
  • Leaf from an Album  
  • Moonshine  
  • Polosynka  
  • The Post Troika Hastens  
  • The Slender Rowan Tree  
  • The Ural Rowan Tree  
  • Two Guitars 
  • Under The Apple Tree  
  • Varyag  
  • Ratings + Reviews

  • 5

    Dolton IL
    Difficulty Level:
    Not sure
  • November 29, 2008 Great Instructional

    This book starts out from the beginner to advanced. It starts with tab until you are familiar with the position of the notes on the instrument. It shows every possible technique including a bit of stagecraft. Most excellelent

    15 of 37 people found this review helpful.
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