Now – this is how you tune a Balalaika
The most common version of the balalaika is called “prima”. It’s tuned E4, E4, A4 – where the two lower strings are tuned to the same pitch. Sometimes it’s tuned in a so called “guitar style” G3, B3, D4. That’s the same way the three highest strings of the Russian guitar is tuned. However, the classically trained balalaika player would use the first one.
New strings can make a big difference
One of the most important things that affect the sound are the strings. It may be obvious, but old worn strings are also one of the more common reasons why a Balalika does not sound good. Proffesional musicians change strings after each gig to get the absolute best sound. If you don’t play so often, it’s probably enough to change after a few months. So, don’t forget to change strings on a regular basis.
One tip: To achieve a more “Prim-Balalaika sound” you can try to use a variant with 2 deep nylon strings.
Online 3 String Balalaika Tuner
Here are all the different sizes that are mostly used and how they are tuned. A total of eight – from Descant to Contrabass. Just play the audio files below, listen and tune your instrument.