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How The Balalaika Chord Charts Work

Each chord chart has three sets of numbers listed vertically. They represent the three stings of the balalaika as they would appear if you were to look at it from the angle displayed in the picture to the left. Each number represents the number of the fret on which the string is pressed down.

In the first column shown for the C Major chord, the 3 displayed for the first string means that the first string is pressed down on the 3rd fret. The 0 shown for the 2nd string means that no fret is pressed for that string. The 3 for the 3rd string means that the third string is pressed down on at the third fret.

The third string is quite often fretted with the thumb. Each time when the note is fretted with the thumb, we will have the number underlined. For each chord, we have 3 different ways of playing it. That's why you will find 3 columns for each chord. In the picture above, we've also shown the tuning for the prima balalaika, which is E, E, and A. the Two E strings are the nylon strings and the A string is the steel string. the E strings are actually the same pitch as the high E string of a guitar.

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