What Is the Best Irish Bouzouki for Sale Under $450?
The McNeela Irish Bouzouki is the best premium bouzouki on the market today. It offers superb quality at an unbeatable price. This is an 8 string, 24 fret, Irish style flat back bouzouki – perfect for playing traditional Irish music.
Whether strumming chords or plucking tunes, this versatile instrument offers a rich, resonant tone with plenty of volume. Whatever your style of playing, this premium bouzouki has something to offer. Hear it in action in the video below in the hands of Conor Lyons of The Bonny Men:
Crafted from quality materials, the McNeela Premium Irish Bouzouki features a solid spruce top with rosewood back and sides; rosewood fingerboard with dot inlay and floating bridge. This is a highly resonant instrument with plenty of sustain. The flat back design offers that unique Irish bouzouki sound with a rich, resonant low end and clear, bright high register.
The low action and flat back design combine to offer a comfortable playing experience that will help you play for hours on end. It’s also available as an electro acoustic option. You can view the McNeela Electro Acoustic Irish Bouzouki here.
How Much Does a Bouzouki Cost?
If you’re looking for a good quality Irish bouzouki for sale, it will cost upwards of $350 or €300. The materials and craftsmanship required to produce a quality bouzouki are reflected in this price. Overly cheap bouzoukis aren’t worth your time or your money as they won’t sound good and will only hinder your playing.
What Is the Difference Between an Irish Bouzouki and a Greek Bouzouki?
The bouzouki first became popular in Irish music in the 1970s. The so called Irish bouzouki is an adaptation of the much older original Greek folk string instrument. There are three main differences between the Irish bouzouki and Greek bouzouki:
The shape of the body
The length of the fingerboard
The tuning of the strings
Greek bouzoukis are typically slightly larger instruments with a longer scale length of approximately 27 frets. They feature the traditional rounded back, and can be either three course (6 string) or four course (8 string) instruments. The string sets or string pairs on a Greek bouzouki are usually tuned to octave intervals. Standard tuning for a Greek bouzouki is CFAD.
Irish bouzoukis typically feature a shorter scale length of approximately 24 frets with a shallow, flat back that some players find easier to hold. Irish bouzouki string pairs are tuned in unison to GDAE or GDAD. This tuning lends itself well to accompanying Irish folk music.
What is the Difference Between a Mandola and a Bouzouki?
Irish bouzoukis and mandolas are both crafted with flat backs. However, the crucial difference lies in the scale length.
The neck on a bouzouki is longer than that of a mandola. Naturally, this affects fingering, with a greater stretch required between frets. As a result, mandolas are generally preferred for playing tunes or melodies, and bouzoukis for chordal accompaniment. This is not a hard and fast rule however.
Another difference is the tuning of the two instruments. Mandolas share the same tuning as violas, CGDA, while Irish bouzoukis are most commonly tuned to GDAE or GDAD.
Many also argue that bouzoukis produce a clearer, brighter tone than mandolas.
Is the Bouzouki Easy to Play?
Like any string instrument the bouzouki requires finger dexterity, hand coordination and fine motor skills. Similar to the guitar or violin, many beginner players find that pressing on the strings hurts their fingers when they first start out. After a while, callouses will develop as your fingers adjust to the pressure and friction of the strings. With a little patience and perseverance you can make great progress on the bouzouki in a short amount of time.
The Advantages of a Floating Bridge
Floating bridges are more versatile than fixed bridges and can be easily adjusted. This allows for ease of adjustments to intonation and string height. The floating bridge is one of the main features that helps to create the bouzouki’s characteristic biting sound, creating a bright top-end sound with plenty of attack.
For more information on Irish bouzoukis, check out my handy Irish Music Blog.
Browse Irish Bouzoukis For Sale
If you’re feeling inspired and want to take up the Irish bouzouki, why not check out the McNeela Instruments Online Music Shop where we offer a range of bouzoukis, alongside an extensive selection of folk string instruments including Irish Tenor Banjos, five string Banjos, Irish Guitars, Mandolins, Mandolas and of course, Irish Bouzoukis.
There’s something for everyone!
In addition to our own brand instruments we also stock a range of instruments by Koda and top Portuguese maker, Antonio Carvahlo.