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Steve T

Junior Member
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Everyone.
I imagine there is a thread on this subject but I am new to the forum. Can I ask what frequency you use for tuning your sitar. I am a musician of 50 years and have always used 440 Hz however I am very happy to explore different frequencies for the sitar. I know some instruments sound better when you find the sweet spot. I have my sitars tuned to D at 438 Hz at the moment.

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Senior Member
Posts: 2,223
Reply with quote  #2 
On western instruments I tune to A440hz, as they were designed and fine tuned to that standard. 
Seems logical to live in that tuning standard when using those instruments. 

I don't think it really matters for sitar or other Indian instruments, honestly. 
As long as the instruments are tuned relative to eachother, I think you should tune the sitar how that sitar sounds the best. 

I tune my Hiren Roy in D, minus -32 cents, so slightly lower than the D at A440hz.
Why?... Because it seems to sound best at this tuning. 
It blooms more and has a generally more inspiring tone. 

I tune my 1970s Naskar to C# (A440hz)
It is a slightly larger sitar, and feels a little strangled at D

I dont know for sure, but I am pretty sure that sitars are not "tuned" in construction as much as say, a Violin is.
I would bet that each sitar as an optimum tuning for that specific instrument.

I say experiment and see what sounds best.
I would start at A440 tuning standard, as it is just as good a starting point as any other, and it is easily repeatable for consistency. 

A lot of larger sitars are better at C#, but lots are being tuned to D these days, especially GP sitars. 
Depends on the instrument, and also how you want it to feel as you play. 

There are all kinds of theories about natural tones and mystical universal resonances, but I don't think it is any deeper than what sounds good to you, and what sounds good on an instrument. 


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Junior Member
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi, many thanks for your reply , appreciate it. Experimented this evening with the tunings. I have 3 sitars ( long story ) and normally have them in D at 440 Hz. Tuned them to C# and two of them I believe sound better back in D. I will certainly try your Hiren Roy set up and see what difference that makes.
Thanks again.
Steve UK.
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