sitar newb

This is for general discussions of Indian music and dance.

Moderators: povster, s1owpoke, cabernethy, coughcapkittykat

User avatar
nicneufeld
Posts: 1553
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:59 pm
Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Re: sitar newb

Post by nicneufeld » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:59 pm

Wait wait wait...Ravi Shankar only uses two chikari strings?! No pancham chikari, just two Sa chikaris? This is news to me!! Is this a recent preference change or the way he has played for decades? Or did I completely misread?

User avatar
povster
Site Admin
Posts: 2466
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: sitar newb

Post by povster » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:18 pm

nicneufeld wrote:Wait wait wait...Ravi Shankar only uses two chikari strings?! No pancham chikari, just two Sa chikaris? This is news to me!! Is this a recent preference change or the way he has played for decades? Or did I completely misread?
You did not misread. He only uses the two highest Sa chikaris. I know this has been going on for a long time and is not a recent change. Using only the 2 chikaris give a characteristic "crispness" to his playing, and is rather noticeable in his jhalla.

Tony K goes back a long time with Ravi Shankar and may be able to give some history on this.
...Michael
Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM

User avatar
Sitarfixer
Posts: 1935
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:27 am
Location: Merrillville, IN USA
Contact:

Re: sitar newb

Post by Sitarfixer » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:31 pm

That is correct. Raviji only has the two chikari and leaves the 5th. string next to them off completely. I strung all his babies up that way from 1997 - 2000 and can only assume he still maintains that stringing setup choice. The gauges for his babies were and probably still are:

.009 for all taraf and the two chikari; .012 steel for the 1st. string. ( MA, the main beater ); .016 bronze for the 2nd. string; .022 bronze for the 3rd. string ( low PA-MA ); .028 bronze for the kharaj (Reely low SA). Also maybe of interest - the wires he used for a long time and were his preferred choice came from some company in England. He said these particular gauges were just a tad thicker and liked them a lot. A "Pyramid" string rep came to the house (Shankar-La) and dropped off a sampler pack of all kinds of sitar suitable strings including flat wounds, round wounds, plastic coated, just all kinds of fun stuff. Raviji didn't like any of them and gave the lot to me ! ! "Bhodt Shukria, Panditji" ! ! !

User avatar
Sitarfixer
Posts: 1935
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:27 am
Location: Merrillville, IN USA
Contact:

Re: sitar newb

Post by Sitarfixer » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:36 pm

I had been a staunch supporter of the .009 gauge club for many years. This last Summer I got turned on to the .010 setup. It reely opened up my ears. Less cheeze and more sand !!! Great strong solid sound with no noticeable strain on the neck. When I got back home, I restrung Golden Boy and my Shujaat spurned sitar with the thicker setup. Wheeeeeee ! Totally exploded sound. Balls to the wall !!! Transformed both of them from reeeely good sound to FMR quality sound ! I highly recommend trying this rigging out.

User avatar
nicneufeld
Posts: 1553
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:59 pm
Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Re: sitar newb

Post by nicneufeld » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:57 pm

LOL, well I learn something new every day! So both PRS and UVK were ultimately six-stringers! I feel mildly abashed that I never picked out the lack of a pa chikari in his playing, but then I never was listening for it, I just assumed it was there.

Chikari tone varies a lot for me depending on mizrab style. Maybe its the gauge of steel, or how the fit affects my hand technique, but when I lost my wire-wrapped deep-fitting mizrab and switched over to another plain one I had on hand, the sound changed dramatically, a lighter, crispier sound, more zing. I ended up preferring it.

Tony if you land in Missouri or Kansas again let me know!

ric
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:36 am

Re: sitar newb

Post by ric » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:45 am

Many thanks indeed! :)

So it looks to me that the heaviest string on my sitar has been placed one position up, one place nearer the Ma side than it should be, and consequently the number 10 gauge Pa string is also in the wrong place. These strings need to be reversed.

I know from re-stringing guitars that these strings (which are old now) will break if I swap them over & re-tighten them, so I am going to have to wait for my new string set to turn up.

..............................


How do I extract what is left of the broken 'N' tarb please, and how do I thread a new one - all I can see is a mass of light strings looped(?) around the end pin?

Ric

User avatar
povster
Site Admin
Posts: 2466
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: sitar newb

Post by povster » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:17 am

ric, AACM Store has a youtube video on how to change a sympathetic string. When you first try doing it the process may seem a bit intimidating, and it way take you several tries to fish the string out through the hole.

The video is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCo-jpBgwPM

I make the little hook out of a large paper clip. I unfold it and take a needle nose pliers and make a small hook at the end. You don't need to have a wood handle on it like in the video.

As far as extricating the string from the loop end? If you are lucky it is the top string. Most of the time it isn't. So you have to essentially slide the loose string out from under the frets and gently pull it upwards to reveal as much as you can at the base. Then snip it off with a wire cutter. I use a filed chopstick to kind of tuck in that little extra end that is still buried under the other strings. This just helps prevent the inevitable little cuts and punctures one gets when playing around with the tailpiece end of the sitar.
...Michael
Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM

ric
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:36 am

Re: sitar newb

Post by ric » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:26 pm

Many thanks :)

And this tuning chart will be very welcome when the new strings turn up!

http://www.aacm.org/shop/images/Sitar_M ... olor_1.jpg

Can I get tuning beads in the UK. I only have the swan for fine tuning, there were no beads on my student sitar at all. That makes fine tuning rather difficult at times.

Ric

User avatar
cwroyds
Posts: 2081
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:06 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: sitar newb

Post by cwroyds » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:32 am

Just go to a store that sells any kind of bead.
They don't have to be specifically made for sitar.
My teachers beads are all really beautiful glass ones he found at a craft store.

ric
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:36 am

Re: sitar newb

Post by ric » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:01 am

cwroyds wrote:Just go to a store that sells any kind of bead.
They don't have to be specifically made for sitar.
My teachers beads are all really beautiful glass ones he found at a craft store.
Thanks, this is good news indeed! :)

trippy monkey
Posts: 4280
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:36 am
Location: Lancs UK

Re: sitar newb

Post by trippy monkey » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:00 am

ric
Where are you in the UK? I'll be back from India on the 4th april.

Nick

User avatar
ragamala
Posts: 1730
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:37 am
Location: UK?ITALY/INDIA
Contact:

Re: sitar newb

Post by ragamala » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:12 am

povster wrote:
I make the little hook out of a large paper clip. I unfold it and take a needle nose pliers and make a small hook at the end. You don't need to have a wood handle on it like in the video.
I find a crochet hook perfect for this.

User avatar
ragamala
Posts: 1730
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:37 am
Location: UK?ITALY/INDIA
Contact:

Re: sitar newb

Post by ragamala » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:13 am

trippy monkey wrote:ric
Where are you in the UK? I'll be back from India on the 4th april.

Nick
Lancashire lock up your daughters :wink:

ric
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:36 am

Re: sitar newb

Post by ric » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:02 pm

trippy monkey wrote:ric
Where are you in the UK? I'll be back from India on the 4th april.

Nick
Ta Nick - south London.

trippy monkey
Posts: 4280
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:36 am
Location: Lancs UK

Re: sitar newb

Post by trippy monkey » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:48 am

We'll make contact when I get back if you like.

N

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests