Tips For Purchasing A Good Baglama Saz
Among all the Turkish folk music instruments, Baglama is one of the most important ones and plays an immense role in the traditional Turkish music and folk stories. It is sometimes referred to as Saz which simply means “instrument” in Persian. Baglama and Saz are used somewhat interchangeably in Turkish. Although it has somewhat of a sorrowful sound to it, Baglama is also used as an entertainment instrument across Anatolia. The ancestor of Baglama is Kopuz which is repeatedly mentioned in old Turkish tales. Having a history of more than 1500 years, Kopuz is played by Turkic Tribes of Middle Asia and brought into Anatolia by minstrels. Over the time, Kopuz evolved into Baglama, which is a fretted instrument with a pear shaped body. The standard sizes of a Baglama is still not decided upon, so the body and the neck can vary according to the expectations of the Baglama player. Material of the body, length of the neck, fineness of the workmanship can be parameters when purchasing a Baglama.
Basically, Baglama has seven strings that are divided into three courses that are played together. A Baglama has three main parts; the bowl (tekne), the sounding board (göğüs) and a neck (sap). Frets are tied to the neck with fishing line, which allows them to be adjusted. The Baglama is usually played with a 2.5 cm long flexible pick which is similar to a guitar pick. In some regions it can be played with fingerprints or fingernails.
What Makes A Good Quality Baglama?
No matter which type of Baglama you are planning to play, there are few features to look for before you purchase your instrument. First, you have to make sure that the instrument doesn’t have any fractures or scratches. The neck of the Baglama should definitely be straight and it is also really important that the strings don’t touch the frets but at the same time, they should not be very far away from the frets. Ideally, the gap between the strings and the frets is 3 mm. The wider it gets, the harder it is to play. Material used in the making of a Baglama is also very important. There are different types of tree trunks giving different types of sounds but generally mulberry wood, juniper, beech, spruce or walnut are used in the making.
Which Type Saz Should I buy?
There are different types of Baglamas deriving from various regions of Anatolia but when it comes to choosing the right Baglama for your music taste or playing techniques, the first question that comes to mind is whether it should be a long neck on short neck Baglama. These two types might have important roles on your style. The best advice for a Baglama learner to give is that he or she should know the differences between these two types of Baglamas.
Long neck Baglama is the traditional type and is played by many well-known Baglama players. It has 23 frets. In 70’s it has shortened into 19 frets which concludes a short neck Baglama, allowing the performer to play easier, since it eliminates the obligation of making big leaps when playing a tune.
Depending on the length of the necks, the sizes of the bodies of Baglamas vary. Also, the thickness of the strings change. The length of a body of a short neck Baglama changes from 38 to 42 cm. Long neck baglama’s body length may vary from 41 to 45 cm. Short neck Baglamas have strings of 0.18 mm, whereas long neck Baglamas have strings of 0.2 mm.
Whether it’s long neck or short neck, no matter what your style is, we provide you with handmade Baglamas of the fine workmanship. With our wide range of Baglama options, we guarantee that you will find the perfect Baglama or Baglama related items for your taste and style.