Free Mini-Lesson: Kalinka
Popularized by the Red Army Choir and Russian figure skating pairs teams, this piece served as an ambassador for Russian culture during the international tension of the Cold War. To this day, it stands as a reminder that music can break down even the most stubborn cultural barriers.
Still a powerful symbol of Russian culture, this piece has become enjoyed and performed by people from many nations. Its bouncy tempo and lilting melody makes toes tap, instantly creating a festive mood. For that reason, “Kalinka” is a great piece for a guitarist to have in their repertoire as a crowd-pleasing encore or as a number that can loosen up the atmosphere at a party.
Written by folklorist and composer Ivan Larionov (1830-1889), Kalinka speaks about the beauty of nature and its power to ignite love.
Spot Practice Clip:
You may play the six-string chord seen here with your thumb, i,m, i-m, or any combination of i-m-a, depending on the desired volume and effect. After the chord, use 4 to play B on the second string, and then reach for C on the same string on the next beat. In the next beat, 2 plays the D on the first string. Do this only after you have released 4 on the previous note (B). There is no need to hold the B. In fact, it will sound unpleasantly dissonant if you do not release it.