Your First Hurdy Gurdy

Which hurdy gurdy should you buy?

If you are looking to buy a hurdy gurdy and you don’t know where to start you are in the right place, I will guide you thru the process. But first lets talk about what to avoid.

Don’t buy Gurdies from Etsy or eBay!

Etsy Hurdy Gurdies DO NOT WORK ⚠️, for real, don’t waste your money buying a Hurdy Gurdy from eBay or Etsy, even if you find they look good and the price is cheap, the community calls them HGSO (Hurdy Gurdy Shaped Object) they can look like gurdies, but they’re not so… basically avoid:

  • Workshop Medieval
  • Galloping Gurdies
  • Fairygurdies
  • uGears

Those above are basically UNPLAYABLE and almost impossible to set up options, even if you think they sound decent on their demo videos, that’s just because you are not experienced enough with our beloved instrument and you will surely regret on the near future 😝

Affordable Hurdy Gurdy that works

Yes! The ‘cheap’ hurdy gurdy ✅ exists , nowadays there are some options that you can study with for less than 900€, obviously, you are not getting a very high-end instrument, but they will work for the first steps of your learning if you are on a tight budget. on this tier, you will normally have 3 string gurdies, 1 trompette / 1 chanter / 1 drone or you will have to build a kit yourself, let me show you the options we have

Nerdy Gurdy – Hurdy Gurdy KIT – 300~

  • Nerdy Gurdy V3 – 300€ (3 strings KIT gurdy / Plywood but it works)
  • Nerdy Gurdy V6 – 350€ (6 strings KIT gurdy / BEST OPTION 4 PRICE)

This is the cheapest option available in the market ✅ nowadays, it’s something that you have to put together, but only needs basic woodworking skills and tools, I have 5 students who own this gurdy and it does the job, it does not sound amazing, but it’s well designed. There’s also a group on Facebook called ‘Nerdy Gurdy Builders’ where people make mods, share the process of the builds and even help people with the problems they could have. This is the ONLY working Hurdy Gurdy kit, don’t be fooled by uGears it’s a very different thing.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Nerdy Gurdy by Jaap Brand

Vrabel (Hugary) – 500~

I was not really sure if I was going to add this one to the list… but well, I’ll explain my point, this is a very rustic instrument, everything kind of works but it’s the minimum quality that I would accept.

Around 500€, very rustic, very basic ⛔, it would do the job if you want to study the gurdy as a secondary instrument or if you are very tight in budget, they can sound good if you pay attention to the adjustment, but it’s not going to be an easy job and will probably be a bit frustrating for a beginner.

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Scott Marshall testing a Vrabel Tekero

Gordiy Starukh (Ukraine) – 720~

Gordiy Starukh is a very popular maker from ukraine, he makes a very interesting Beginner Hurdy Gurdy for around 720€, it’s basic with only 3 strings, 1/1/1 configuration – this means 1 trompette / 1 chanter / 1 drone, very solid 100% recommended ✅, if possible ask Gordiy to mount a wooden wheel instead of the polymer one, it’s proved to be a good upgrade, the waiting list for this one is around 15 months but message Gordiy to get the latest infos 🙂

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Gordiy Starukh review by Scott Marshall (Price went up)

Colibri by Henri Renard (France) – 750 ~

Small 3 strings instrument around 750€ with case, very low volume ⛔ which depending on your needs could be good or bad.

If you want to practice in your flat it’s cool, because you will not disturb anybody ✅ , but if you are planning to play with an accordion a bagpipe or even a bigger hurdy gurdy the volume will not be enough and you will have to use an amp and an external pickup

I have a student with one and the dog was a bit unresponsive⚠️, with some tweaking and advice you can make it “work”, I found the knob to be extremely small so it’s a bit uncomfortable, if you decide to go for this ask Henri Renard to make it bigger if you have ‘normal or big’ hands

The last one we bought was in stock, so we didn’t have to wait for any list.

IMHO the video sounds better than the reality, not bad but not great.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Official Colibri demo by Henri Renard

TPV by Joel Traunecker (France) – 850 ~

One of ✅ my favourite options ✅, it’s very small but amazing quality, Joel used to work for Siorat (a very good maker) so expect HIGH quality standards, again 3 strings but in this case it’s loud and can play with other instruments, I know he makes like 10 or 12 a year and he delivers at LSC festival, they are around 850€ and normally the waiting list for this model is around 12 months, VERY GOOD option as you will probably keep it as a second gurdy or as a travel instrument

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Scott Marshall testing a TPV