All About Yayli Tanbur

Yayli Tambur

Tips For Purchasing A Good Yayli Tanbur

While looking for the right instrument people usually focus on finding an extraordinary one. The search for the right instrument should be a search for the one that makes a magnificent sound. Although every instrument has an individual characteristic, yayli tambour has its unique voice with haunting drones and melodies. The yayli tambur is also notable for the fact that its frets are set up in microtones. So it allows you to play the tones in between the notes of a western scale.

Yayli Tambur Yayli Tambur

What is a Yayli Tambur?

The yayli tambur is a string bowed long-necked instrument. It is the bowed version of the classical Turkish tanbur and first developed by Tanburi Cemil Bey in the 1910s. Yayli Tanbur is derived from cümbüş and has the characteristic skin-head resonation of it. It has a long wooden neck. The fretted neck of yayli tambour can be between 104 to 110 cm long. The body of yayli tanbur is made of wooden strips. More affordable versions use metal or spun aluminum at the soundbox.

Yayli Tambur Yayli Tambur

You may also like: All About Persian Setar

How to Play Yayli Tanbur?

By holding the yayli tambour vertically between the calves or in the lap, the player can hold the instrument stable. Keeping position of the bow is quite important. It is hold firmly with the middle, ring and little fingers pressing the horsehair. At the same time, the index finger and the thumb should hold the furthest edge of the bow. The strings that places at the left, come together into a single course and they form a double string. This double string adjusts correct and uniform pitch. This is the place that all harmonious play happen. The other parts are from 4 to 6 numbered strings that are pitched to the octave fourth or fifth of the primary doubled string. Yayli tanbur has an unusual nature in which the neck of the instrument act as it is unfitted. But it normally has 24 to 34 frets. While playing to catch the same effect as stopping the frets, player can press on unfretted parts of the neck. This allows a continuous slide upward and downward between two notes and a slide from one note to another flawlessly. As a further matter, the frets can be repositioned for the taste and style of the player to catch the correct pitch of a suited makam.

Yayli Tambur Yayli Tambur

You may also like: 8 Popular Turkish and Persian Instruments That Work Best for a Violin Player

Where to Buy Yayli Tanbur?

If you have a local music shop with honest and knowledgeable help, has reasonable return policy and offers fair prices that sells yayli tanbur, you should also be considering their skills on an eastern instrument and be sure that the prices are fair before your purchase. If possible, ask a teacher or other music professional that are familiar with yayli tanbur for advice. If you want to buy yayli tanbur from Turkey you can easily check it on our website. As Sala Muzik, we have a professional team of Turkish musicians that are ready to reply all your questions about yayli tanbur and help you to get the best instrument at the best value.

For further information please see our Yayli Tambur Collection



  • Veysel Sala

    Hello Reine,

    We sent you an email. Please check your email.

    Thank you


  • Reine Fiske

    I have purchased a yayli tanbur with a bent neck, banana shape. Is there anyway of bending it back by heating it up or could I purchase a new neck through you? I want to record with the instrument pretty soon so a quick answer would be much appreciated.
    Take care in these hard times..
    /Reine Fiske

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.