Playing the Bouzouki
- Learn how to tune the instrument and keep it in tune. Tune it (before) every time you play it.
- Hold the instrument on your lap (don't hug it tight or you'll deaden the sound), or get a strap and adjust it so that your arm is horizontal from the elbow.
- Find a pick (plectrum) that you are comfortable with (light to medium is normal but it's a matter of preference - try several different grades).
- Hold the pick lightly but firmly resting on your first finger between the first and second joints and clamp it with your thumb (pointy end towards the strings!).
- The Bouzouki (in Irish music) is mainly an instrument for accompaniment although melody runs can be quite effective.
Going to local sessions is a good way to learn. The tunes get into your head and you start picking them out after a while. Listening to tracks (The Bothy Band is essential listening) of the tunes you'd like to play is good for this too.