gra_is_stor (gra_is_stor) wrote,
gra_is_stor
gra_is_stor

an attempt to tune the gadulka

I don't think I ever actually posted it here, but a couple of weeks ago, I finally got my gadulka, yaaaayyyyy!  And it arrived in a box that had been smooshed and took more than twice as long to get here as the longest estimate given, and a piece had come out during travel (a sound post).  So, I took it to get repaired, and the repair guy actually set the soundpost for free.  I have sent my roommate over to the same guy now with his viola, and will be sending 2 of my bandmates over there with an oud and an antique violin. :)

And then the gadulka sat on a chair for a while.  My roommate thought that was precarious (he's right), so he made a thing for me to be able to hang it, and all of its pieces (bow and tuning thingie), on the wall next to where I have my computer.  I should note my harp is behind me in this arrangement, so they can now gang up on me, and both try to drag me away from the computer more. ;P  Or I could even say 'harps' - my 'cruit' (Anglo-Saxon lyre replica-ish) is also behind me, above the clairseach (the clairseach being the one in my profile photo, and on my CD's).  The computer and I are getting outnumbered here.  I think this actually is as it should be, though. :)

But tonight was when I finally took the gadulka down and tuned it.  Well, attempted to tune it.  Which I had not done in the time that I've had it so far, and stringed instruments generally need to be tuned down for shipping.  And oh it was down - most of the strings were down by a 5th or so, some by slightly more than that.  I got them all up to within a third or second of where they should be (after looking up a tuning chart online, since the book I ordered from Bulgaria never got here either - what is it with shipping from that country to this one?).  I decided to leave it there to let all the strings and wood adjust, and I *might* try again tomorrow, or not.  I've also got a miserable housemate with a migraine the VA refused to treat, and band practice tomorrow, so the gadulka may fall off the priority list, depending on whether I need to take further care of the roommate, which would affect whether I even go to band practice. If I don't get to it tomorrow, I'll try again Wednesday or Thursday.

But yay!  I've at least started getting a bit more acquainted with the instrument.  Of course, once I got all the strings at least into a musical range, I did in fact try again making noise with it -- I wouldn't call it music yet, but I was going for deliberate noise, as opposed to "oops!" noise.  I got a little further in figuring out how this thing works.  Our band's drummer suggested we start taking a portion of our time at upcoming practices for each of us to practice with the instrument we are most paralyzed on, since each of us has primary and far less primary instruments -- 2 of us have brand new ones (my gadulka and the bass-player's oud), the drummer feels rusty with bass, guitar, and other things he plays, and the keyboardist could join us with her antique violin, after she gets it fixed. :)  And then maybe help me figure out good bow technique, since I've never done this before, and she has played bowed instruments since at least the age of 12.

Yay musical developments. :)

And since I don't have an account that can post photos, I'll just post a link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BULGARIAN-GADULKA-Rebec-instrument-13-strings-Antonov-/220537864565?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instruments&hash=item335914c175#ht_1633wt_650 . If you want to see what a gadulka is, it's there. :)
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