"On the magical sounds of the Saz we are carried away
to realms of deep emotions"

Welcome to Barak Saz & Baglama.

World 1st Online Course In English for Long Neck Saz-Baglama

Now you can Learn Online by Video. At your own Pace, WHENEVER you want and WHEREVER it is suitable for you. During the course, you will learn how to develop musical improvisations and special rhythms that exist only in this genre of oriental music. You will study special picking techniques used all over Central Asia. The melodies you will learn in the course, emphasize Turkish and Kurdish music, but You will learn also about Greek, Mediterranean & Central Asian influences. You will also learn how the Saz can be used to enrich Western music skills.

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Learn How To Play Saz Baglama
playing saz since
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Teaching Saz since
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'Beginner to Advanced Level'

Learn how to play Saz with Master Musician Yochai Barak

Lesson 1

A comprehensive introduction to playing the saz

How to approach music in a new way. A coordination exercise to connect both hands. how to choose and tune the instrument. Instructions for the left handed. Maintenance of the instrument and changing the strings. We will also learn a picking technique.

Lesson 2

Development of basic skills

Basics: how to hold the instrument and the pick. First musical scale exercise. The first four steps that will serve us throughout the course.

Lesson 3

Speed ​​and Style

Second important exercise: developing speed and different playing styles on the neck. We will practice the speed and movement of the fingers of the left hand. We will learn a new movement that will serve as the foundation for playing songs and improvisations later on.

Lesson 4

Mountain music, first song

Mountain music is an easy, beautiful and accessible song from the Middle East. This lesson teaches us how to move with the pick and the left hand fingers. Hosting: children saz groups , ages 5 to 10.

Lesson 5

A song of master Ross Daly

Song by Ross Daly: teaches one of the leading and fascinating playing techniques of the saz. The practice will help perfect one of the special fingering techniques of the saz. Hosting: fretless bass guitar , Rani Lorentz

Lesson 6

Turkish song

Turkish song: A charming song suitable for beginners and advanced students. A simple beautiful melody. Hosting: Turkish vocalist , Tzipora El Rei

Lesson 7

Turkish song in a new scale

Turkish song: this song consists of quarter notes and chords. We will learn to play this Turkish song on a different scale. This practice will help us obtain new skills for playing a scale with quarter tones.

Lesson 8

New Sounds and Scale Developments

Emotional melody from Ross Daly: An exciting and delicate song which teaches new sounds and more musical and scale developments. Hosting: guitar , Tuval Cohen / adult saz group

Lesson 9

Unique rhythms and improvisations

Rhythms and improvising: A lesson of unique rhythms. Learning built-in improvisations in a variety of rhythms. Hosting: percussion , saz and kanun : Eyal Luman, Naama Agmor

Lesson 10

A song from East turkey

A Turkish song on a different scale: In this lesson we will learn to play a song from Eastern Turkey with inspiration from other regions in Turkey and the mountains of Kurdistan. Hosting: lyre, Nimrod Peketch

Lesson 11

A song from Lebanon

A song from Lebanon: A traditional famous, rhythmic folk song from Lebanon. The Saz has the ability to connect different musical traditions, different melodies and musical expression. Hosting: Persian vocal and nay, Amir Shahsar

  • The short-neck Saz has 19 frets, high and unique sounds, and a special tuning method that is only played with a short neck Saz. In addition the playing style on a short neck Saz is rich in chords and has special rhythmic musical movements. The Saz is played in a circular manner on the neck using all the strings from top to bottom and bottom to top.
  • The long-neck Saz has 23 frets, deep bass sounds and a tuning method that is special to the long Saz. In addition by learning the long neck tuning you are open to more options. There are different and varied additional tunings derived from the basic and traditional tuning for the long Saz.  The style of playing on a long Saz comes from a tradition of hundreds of years and extensive knowledge. There are varied melodies and the playing is mainly done horizontally along the neck of the Saz in a special movement from right to left and left to right on the neck.
You can start playing both, the course for long-neck Saz and the course for short-neck Saz are built for beginners and both have all the necessary knowledge to guide you and teach you how to play correctly.
If you already have a Saz then you should start with what you have (short, then proceed to a short one / long then go onto a long one).
If you don’t have an instrument, our recommendation is always to start with the long neck.
The tuning and tension of the strings is different between a long neck Saz and a short neck Saz because of the length of the neck. The length changes the tension of the string and also the unique tuning of  each of them is different.  Each course is designed for the size of the instrument, the strings will break or be too loose when you try to adjust the long course to the short course and vice versa.
There are specials deals on our website for buying an online course and an instrument together (long or short) with a discount.
If you finished the course for a long neck (or a short neck) – congratulations 😊.
This means that your foundation is already in place, that you liked the music and the study and that you completed the entire course – it is highly recommended to also take the course for a short neck Saz Baglama (or long neck if you finished  the short neck one) . Taking the second course will give you a completely different perspective on the Saz. Suddenly you will learn how to play in a circular way instead of horizontally (and vice versa) , and make completely different melodies in a new and exciting and inspiring tuning. All  the new material will come to you relatively easily because the basis of playing is the same and you have already learned it in the previous course. The instrument, the specifications, the scales, and everything you have already learned is yours, and now you can absorb new  things without dwelling on the basics. The new course is built for 3 different levels – beginners, advanced and very advanced.  In each lesson there are 3 levels of study and each time you can learn more and more.
– Of course, all of the above also holds true the other way around . Those who took the course for short Saz and want to know if it is worth taking the course for long neck Saz it is  as well highly recommended. It will be a musical experience and give you new inspiration to see all the music from a different aspect. Even for those who have already finished one of the courses to continue learning more and more will be a gift!
There are 11 lessons in the long-necked Saz Baglama course and 14 lessons in the short neck Saz Baglama course,
Each course has enough material for usually almost a whole year of study.
Both courses have the same amount of materials.
In Turkey there is no difference between the Saz and Baglama.
(Saz can also mean some times : musical instruments in general).
In Turkey they will say for example:
Short neck Baglama, or they will say long neck Baglama.
They will also refer to the same instrument as the Baglama when they say :
Long neck Saz or short neck Saz. Both names refer to the same instrument.
Electric saz: as with the electric guitar, there is also an electric saz (usually long neck) that is often played especially in a certain style of music (Arabesk / Arabesque). The basic study of how to play the electric saz is the same as for the regular acoustic Saz so the course is suitable for the electric and acoustic saz. It is always recommended to start learning first on an acoustic Saz so you know the origin of the instrument, The natural sound of it and the traditional knowledge that is played on the acoustic Saz. Afterwards you can switch to the electric instrument.
If you only have an electric Saz you can definitely take the course with it
The teaching for Cura is exactly like the teaching for the long/short neck Saz online courses.
The Cura is most suitable for taking the short neck online course.
lower the strings just for the time you’re taking the course , it could sound a bit loose but it’s OK. You can take the course with it and after you finish the course you can bring the tuning back to it’s normal position.
The Cura is usually tuned:
A (la)
(bottom string close to the floor)
D (re) middle string
E (mi) upper string close to the ceiling.
To take the short neck course you should lower the strings, so your Cura will be tuned on:
E (mi)
(bottom string close to the floor)
A (la) middle string
B (si ) upper string close to the ceiling.
Saz Baglama is considered an easy musical instrument to learn how to play.
It’s really a relatively easy instrument to start learning with. It’s comfortable to hold, it has frets and you can play songs on it relatively quickly.
Unlike a wind instrument like a Nay or a bowed instrument the sound from the Saz is heard from the beginning and is easy to produce.
As you progress you will see how much the sound improves. There are special rhythms and scales which create depth in the music. There are also different and special tunings which are fascinating to learn as you progress on.
Regarding how quickly you learn and progress, it is personal. Each person starts from a different background, some have a previous musical background, some have none at all.
So everyone progresses at their own pace.
What is certain is that it is relatively easy to play the Saz, and songs are usually played on it faster than other musical instruments.
More important than talent is patience and persistence.
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About Master Saz
Musician Yochai Barak

Yochai Barak is a musician, teacher, producer, and musical director. He has been playing and teaching for over twenty years. He has taught more than 3000 students, both children and adults, in private and group Saz lessons. ‏Yochai has been a teacher for many years in all the major oriental music schools in the country. Every year he creates new workshops, together with masters from Turkey and other international musicians and he is the creator and producer of the famous Saz festival Yochai studied in Turkey for many years, with Master Mehmet Ernler, and Ross Daly. He has performed with noted musicians such as Okan Murat Ozturk, Ross Daly, Mark Eliyahu, Kelly Thoma , Kutla Khan and more... He is the founder of the international band Diwan Saz and has performed at the biggest music festivals in the world, SXSW, Gibraltar, etc.

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