Rabab could have a variety of shapes. Freeze on the one that you are looking for. Decide whether you’d like to go with an Afghani Rabab or some other. What is the tonal quality you are expecting it to produce? What budget do you have in mind? Your buying the instrument will also depend upon the fact whether you are a student or a professional performer.
If you are a student, do not buy the instrument on an impluse, take a teacher along to buy your Rabab. If you are planning to buy it online, look at he recommendations and testimonial page to check out what do the customers have to say about the site and about quality of instruments they supply and how soon does its help desk wakes up to your needs.
A good Rabab is made of a walnut soundbox and has an elongated oval shape. The top has an upper part covered in thin copper sheet, decorated. The lower part is covered with goat skin.
The neck will have two large keys to hold two sheep gut strings that will pass over a reed bridge. Fingering is obtained by laterally hooking the string which does not have any direct contract with the fret-board. The bow will be curved and made of horse hair. Rabab has a nasal tone and should give richly harmonic sounds.
If you are buying the Rabab and plan to learn to tune it yourself keep a few things in mind. I will explain the scales in detail for your convenience. Some Rababs come with 3 strings and some have 4. What you have to do it to learn to tune the thickest string to C. Then take the fourth note of the scale which is F.
Tune the next string to F, then starting at F take the fourth note of the scale, which is Bb or you can call it A#(same notes). Hereafter start at Bb, take the fourth note which is Eb or D#. So if your Rabab has 4 strings you would get C, F, A#, D#….this way you can tune as many strings, all you have to keep in mind that that you follow the fourths D.