Beginning Sarod questions

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AlamKhan
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Re: Beginning Sarod questions

Post by AlamKhan » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:15 pm

Plectum,

Loosening all the strings is a good idea. Don't worry about the temperature. Your fingerboard and skin should be fine. Just make sure that the instrument is packed securely. When you shake your case it should not move inside. You can pack some clothing or what not in with your sarod if you like to keep it from moving. That is if there is any extra room for your sarod to move around. Don't place anything under the neck of you sarod though. This should be enough if your case is strong enough. Good luck.


Alam

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plectum
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Re: Beginning Sarod questions

Post by plectum » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:27 am

Thanks Alamji
You know, music, art - these are not just little decorations to make life prettier. They're very deep necessities which people cannot live without. ~~ Pablo Picasso

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plectum
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Tuning the tarabs

Post by plectum » Fri May 01, 2009 7:52 am

When I practice with my sarod, I get a good response at the lower notes, in the mandra saptak, but as I go higher up, generally past the middle Pa onwards I get lesser and lesser response, and in the tar saptak there is only a faint, if any, response. Also for notes placed close to each other two tarab strings sometimes start to vibrate, like when I play middle Sa, the Ni string also starts to vibrate. Is this how it is supposed to happen, or am I tuning wrong?
You know, music, art - these are not just little decorations to make life prettier. They're very deep necessities which people cannot live without. ~~ Pablo Picasso

AlamKhan
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Re: Beginning Sarod questions

Post by AlamKhan » Mon May 04, 2009 8:32 pm

Dear Plectum,

I am not quite sure about this one. Yes it could be a tuning issue or there could be a defect in your instrument. It is hard for me to say without listening to it in person. As for the issue with sound level again I feel it is a mechanical problem with the sarod. Sorry I can't be more help to you. If anyone else has any suggestions please feel free to post a reply to these questions.

Alam

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plectum
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Tarabs

Post by plectum » Fri May 08, 2009 7:38 am

Looks like no one else will answer, so it is back to you again. :)

Anyway my point is that I use the tarab strings to determine if I have hit the correct note or not. When the string has maximum vibration, I judge that the note has been hit. Should I do that?
You know, music, art - these are not just little decorations to make life prettier. They're very deep necessities which people cannot live without. ~~ Pablo Picasso

arnabsarod
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Re: Beginning Sarod questions

Post by arnabsarod » Fri May 08, 2009 12:35 pm

When I practice with my sarod, I get a good response at the lower notes, in the mandra saptak, but as I go higher up, generally past the middle Pa onwards I get lesser and lesser response, and in the tar saptak there is only a faint, if any, response. Also for notes placed close to each other two tarab strings sometimes start to vibrate, like when I play middle Sa, the Ni string also starts to vibrate. Is this how it is supposed to happen, or am I tuning wrong?
Plectrum,

There could be multiple problems with your instrument, or one or more of the following:

1. The string action could be too high
2. The tarabs might not be at a uniform height away from the plate
3. The upper face of your instrument (including plate, drum, etc) could be very concave when viewed laterally. If this is the case, you might just have to put the sarode through a major surgery.
4. The sheet metal out of which your plate is built may not be the right gauge
5. There could even be a problem with the wood used to build your sarode (I hope not, for if this is the case, you might have to junk the instrument)

These are just a few of the probable causes I could come up with, off the cuff. Would it be possible for you to post pictures of your sarode? I would ideally want to see close-ups of the nut and bridge areas (both top and lateral views), a complete (lateral) profile of the sarode, and a top view of the plate. If major corrective surgery is needed (and if you are US-based), the best person to advise you is Aparajit Agarwal (he posts here as "aparajit").

Cheers,

Arnab

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plectum
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tarab strings

Post by plectum » Mon May 11, 2009 7:19 am

It is a bit difficult to post pictures becuz my PC is suffering from an acute viral fever. :( Anyway, it is a nabakumar kanji sarod, so i think that kind of major flaws may not be there. However there is always a chance.
You know, music, art - these are not just little decorations to make life prettier. They're very deep necessities which people cannot live without. ~~ Pablo Picasso

AlamKhan
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Re: Beginning Sarod questions

Post by AlamKhan » Mon May 11, 2009 11:04 pm

Dear Plectum,

If your jawari and sympathetic strings have been tuned correctly and your instrument is not flawed then you should be able to hear the resonance when the correct intonation is hit. If the tuning is off and or there are problems with your Sarod then they may be interfering with the response from your instrument. When is the last time your Sarod has had all the wires changed? You could always try this or adjusting the positioning of your bridge. The suggestions made by Arnab are also possible. It's just hard to tell without seeing or hearing.
If you are looking for advice or would like to speak with someone over the phone where you could play the instrument then I would suggest contacting Kalyan Godden at the Ali Akbar College of Music store. He personally fixes all of my Sarod issues that arise outside of India. He has also worked on my father Ali Akbar Khansahib's Sarod. He is very gifted and handles all repairs for the college store. He would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Contact info for the store is http://www.aacm.org/shop/index.html

This is my suggestion. All the best

Alam

earthsong
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Re: Beginning Sarod questions

Post by earthsong » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:46 am

I am a cellist wanting to start playing the sarod. If I were to play a sarod with my fingertips rather than with the fingernails, it would be very similar to a cello and thus easier to learn. Are there any sarod players who use their fingertips to press the strings onto the fingerboard? Would this significantly mute the tone quality? Thank you very much.

Jhaptal
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Re: Beginning Sarod questions

Post by Jhaptal » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:50 pm

Hi earthsong,
The nails are critical for correct sound production. They can still be short but are necessary. I don't know of a pratical workaround. This thread may help but the advice of possibly using callouses for sound production is in my opinion infeasible. Here's the link viewtopic.php?f=16&t=5859.
Good luck.

yussef ali k
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Re: Beginning Sarod questions

Post by yussef ali k » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:14 pm

Hi. Plectum:
If this's redundant, please ignore it.

The higher 1 goes on a string the less of it is in use = the less energy 1 gets out of it everything else remaining constant: that's probably part of the reason why on sitar any of these highs sound better by taking meend from a lower note (Here, not only the bigger string length but the pulling itself also increases tension further & therefore 'energises the note' so 2 speak).
Even response across the whole range is 1 of the signs of superior instruments.

Hope this's of use. Have fun.

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plectum
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Re: Beginning Sarod questions

Post by plectum » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:06 pm

Well glad to say that that problem has vanished. I think I was tuning the tarabs wrong, and also the sarod has really opened up in this interval, is much more responsive now.
You know, music, art - these are not just little decorations to make life prettier. They're very deep necessities which people cannot live without. ~~ Pablo Picasso

yaniv oud
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Re: Beginning Sarod questions

Post by yaniv oud » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:38 am

my teacher follows amjad ali khan gharana and uses only first and second finger. i am curious to use my third finger as well (as an oud player it is very easy for me). should i leave it and play as my teacher says? i fear it will create a patter which in the future will be hard to get rid of if i try.

also, when playing with third finger, what fingering is used for the third octave? my teacher plays it only with second finger. would you ever mix first and second or first and third in the third octave for easier playing, or do it all with one finger?

thanks

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