Making music

Russian music

As and when time allows, I’m practicising on my balalaika. I don’t have too much free time, unfortunately; there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Anyway, I’m using the teach-yourself book which I bought in a music shop on Nevskiy Prospekt.


balalaika book


I’ve been doing a lot of work on scales and individual notes, but as I can’t read music I’ve kind of reached a block when it comes to the strumming exercises and simple tunes; I just can’t connect what I see on the page with what I’m supposed to do with my hands…

balalaika book 2


So anyway, luckily, I’ve come across what seems to be a really good series of lessons on YouTube. I’m much more of a visual learner, anyway. Even with all of my martial arts, I learned best when I could repeatedly study videos, then mimic what I saw until the concept became clear. That’s the approach I’ll have to take with the balalaika, I think; the good thing is that these lessons give the names of the songs, so I can learn them through imitation, and then understand the sheet music much better. There seem to be some associated websites, which I’ll have to explore.


That’s the plan, anyway…


Image credit: Russians sing and Dance by user Dmitry Boyarin on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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