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11-stringed wing-shaped gusli, alto tuning, with piezo pickup

$565

(sold out, but you can order an instrument with a similar look)
(this one flies to Canada)


Contact the maker and order an instrument

Wing-shaped gusli [gusli with a wing element] is one of the most common types of traditional gusli in Latvia and Russia, can be found in Estonia, and it is also the only traditional type of gusli in Belarus. Although the tradition of playing the gusli in Belarus was interrupted, the instruments played by Belarusians can be found in museums and essays by ethnographers from early 20th century.

Body: alder.
Alder, as well as spruce and pine, is the most traditional material for gusli bodies of all kinds. Gusli with alder bodies are timbre/loudness ballanced. These instruments are strong and trouble-free.
Coating: wood stain and waxing. The symbol that is is carved at the wing element is created collaboratively with the customer.

Soundboard: spruce.
Spruce is the most tratidion wood for soundboards. The correct selection of musical qualities of a specific soundboard made from spruce and adherence to technology when glued — allows the instrument to expand timbre, adds warmth to the sound. And also the loudness of the instrument directly depends on a good soundboard.

Pegs: pearwood.
Pearwood is an ideal material for pegs. Pear is a very hard wood, but at the same time the surface of the pear is soft enough for the pegs to fit perfectly into the conical peg hole, smoothly spinning and perfectly being in tune.

Strings: plain steel strings, light tension.
Metal strings could have been already installed on the gusli of the 11th century, and are most satisfying for a modern musician. The tickness of the strings range is 0.026" да 0.013". The higher the tension of the strings, the louder the instrument. The weaker the tension, the more overtones in the sound of each string, the richer the sounds of the gusli. Of course, everything has its reasonable limit: too much tensed strings are often break (or deform the instrument), and too slightly tensed are not perfectly in tune. The proposed option is optimal for this gusli type.

Tuning: alto.

D-E-G-A-B-c-d-e-f-g-a

Main keys are: Am (A minor), С (C major), G (G major). This gusli sounds seriously lower than usual, though the diapason differs two new low strings only 1-D and 2-E.
For example here is a usual gusli tuning:

G-A-c-d-e-f-g-a-b-c'-d'

That's all with the difference. All the fingering, all thechnique are the same. It's like you use a capo on a guitar

Pickup:
many years of stage experiments with gusli brought me to this pickup model. An ideal sounded lows, typical for gusli, that usually can't be reached with mics because of a feedback on stage. An attack moment of a sound is bit rised up, but just a little - an usual problem of all alternative variants of pickup. I still more prefer mics on stage. Mics can show rich and variative gusli sound. But piezo pickup is much more convenient. I use piezo pichup on stage with the band. But the best variant is a mix of a piezo and a mic.

Softcase:
There is the framed bag case in the set. Outer layer is from the waterproof bag fabric. All the sides are laid with two layers of foam and a layer of hard plastic. It is the best comprehensive protection for the instrument from water, drops and shocks. There are comfortable shoulder straps for carrying, soft carry handles for horizontal and vertival carrying. Two outside A4 pockets, one inside pocket for small items.

A woven strap for playing in a standing position:
A traditional kind of a handmade woven belt.




An example of an alto tuning gusli sound:



Contact the maker and order an instrument


Alieś Čumakoŭ (Ales Chumakou/Aliaksandr Chumakou). Minsk. 2020.