The Bouzouki

The Bouzouki is a member of the lute family.It orignates from Anatolia(Asia Minor) and was invented in the early 20th century.

The bouzouki arrived in Greece following the 1919–1922 war in Asia Minor and the subsequent Population exchange between Greece and Turkey. The early bouzoukia mostly had three courses (six strings in three pairs, known as trichordo) and were tuned in different ways, according to the scale one wanted to play. At the end of the 1950s, four-course (tetrachordo) bouzoukia started to gain popularity.

Bouzouki can have difference number of strings, neck length, width, height, depth of the bowl or main body. These differences affect the pitch and sound of each individual bouzouki. The size and type of the resonating body largely determine the instrument’s timbre, while the length of the neck, and by extension the strings, determines the instrument’s pitch range, as well as influencing the timbre. The quality of the wood from which the instrument is made is of great importance to the sound. For the construction of the bowl, mulberry, apricot, cherry, acacia, and elm are considered to be the best woods, with walnut, plane, and chestnut being slightly inferior. The wood must be solid and sourced from slow-growth trees.

The classic style of bouzouki, introduced around 1900, was used to play rebetiko music.

How do I play the instrument?

Tune the four-course bouzouki starting with the first set of strings (closest to the top of the instrument). Tune the strings to D, A, F and C, using your tuner. If you are using a three-course bouzouki, tune the strings to D, A and D. Form chords on the bouzouki with one hand on the neck of the instrument. Form the chords that you would normally play on the first four strings of the guitar. These will work on the four-course bouzouki. The three-course bouzouki uses a unique chord structure, which you can learn from specific bouzouki learning materials and/or teachers. Hold the plectrum between the thumb and index finger of your other hand. Use an up and down picking pattern to play the notes.

How long does it take to learn?

A few months

Is there special equipment needed for the instrument?

No

Are there any instrument silimar to this one?

The mandolin

Rock with a Star!

Let’s enjoy the sound of this instrument through this wonderful performance by Angelo avramakis

Angelo Avramakis is a Greek musician and bouzouki player. Born in Serres, Greece, he has spent most of his life in Australia. He is considered the leading bouzouki player in Australia and among the top bouzouki players in the world.