How to Play the Oud Instrument: A Free Tutorial Series with 7+ Videos

Oud, a fretless instrument, is in the category of stringed and plectrum instruments. Oud, whose sound range is 3 octaves, can be used with 11 or 12 strings. It is not a local Turkish instrument but a musical instrument that has been played in Anatolia for at least five centuries. Furthermore, the oud was used by many civilizations throughout history, including those in Central Asia, Mesopotamia, Iran, and Arabia.

The body of the oud instrument has a wide core structure. It is a deep, striped bowl made of light wood. The wood should be light because it has to resonate when the bowl is struck. The quality of the material used in making the oud is very important for it to sound good and to last a long time. For the body, hardwoods such as mahogany and hornbeam are preferred. It is made of 19 or 21 plates in the form of a circle with a curved back. The augers in the handle are arranged backwards. The tuning pegs of the oud are screwed to the pegbox. The pick is longer than other plectrums and is held between the fingers.

Introduction to the Oud: An Overview of the Instrument and Its Origins

In some sources, it is said that Farabi invented the oud. The main reason why Farabi is perceived as an inventor is that he is a musician who has mastered the oud and the tuning system he brought to the oud. Farabi, who was one of those who gave the most comprehensive information about the oud in his period, added the fifth string to the oud, which had been a four-string instrument until that time.

Türkiye Diyanet Foundation The first instrument similar to the oud was played in ancient Egypt between 19 and 29. It is thought to have been built during the dynasties (1320–1085 BC). An instrument that can be considered the ancestor of the oud is depicted on one of the clay reliefs from this period. The history of the ud until its re-emergence in the Muslim Middle East centuries later is not well known.

Oud Tuning: How to Tune Your Oud for Optimal Sound Quality

There are four basic techniques used in oud tuning.

1) The oud, which traditionally has a 5-string structure, is tuned from thin notes to thick; left, re, la, mi, re, respectively.
2) On the contemporary six-string oud (in the same order): sol-re-la-mi-re-la (Targan sometimes used this thick la as a bold Sol, depending on the piece he was playing);
3) The change made by Bacanos: sol-re-la-mi-si-fa;
4) The thickest "mi" in Cinuçen Tanrkorur's tuning system is left-re-la-mi-si-.

Various devices or applications can also be used for oud tuning. At this point, make sure that the tuning system is integrated according to the oud musical instrument. If it is not tuned correctly, you may get the tuning wrong. If you are not an expert on this subject, you can get support from your teacher or an expert at this point. In this way, you will learn the tuning techniques in more detail, and you will not have too much difficulty performing these operations from now on. Regardless, it will always be much more beneficial for you to listen to a subject from an expert first or learn from an expert after doing research.

More Detailed Guide: How to Tune Oud Instrument Easily

Finger Placement: Mastering the Fretboard for Fluid Playing

If you do not have enough knowledge on this topic, it will be very useful for you to learn with a teacher.

First, you need to learn the names and numbers of the oud strings. Next, you need to know the auger and wire pairings. If the tuned strings make sounds, you need to create a sound memory. With practice, this will become much easier for you. You can have information about the positions, the location of the strings on the keyboard, and much more. 

How to play the oud: Basic Oud Techniques for Beginners

Just at this point, after explaining the items you need to learn, we have prepared a training series on YouTube as Sala music for you. Thanks to the data and training accompanied by our expert teachers, you will be able to improve yourself wherever you are in the world. For more, you can review the products on our website and follow us on social media channels.


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.