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korizeugma

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This is my first post here though I have been a reader for a while. Starting off with a question on a particular technique employed in the following clip in Hamsadhwani.



Around 3:40 Ustad Shahid Parvez explains and demonstrates a method of pulling from dha without playing dha itself while executing the phrase GRSNP. Question is what is the thinking behind this technique, especially in a drut gat, and is this commonly employed in some pentatonics? Is the implication GRSN(D)P critical to Hamsadhwani?

Thanks for all thoughts.
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nicneufeld

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Great first post, and welcome!

At first I thought you meant he was stopping in a meend on Dha, which would seem (to my very casual, untutored knowledge) not to seem quite right but when I watched it, I understand...Dha doesn't sound at all, he's just using the fret and he releases with a pull-off to Pa without sounding Dha. I think the thinking behind it is one of pure efficiency and speed (something USP has certainly/obviously given a lot of thought and time to!). If he starts it from the Ni fret...pulling to Ga then down to Ni, then down to Pa, he would probably have to reposition his left hand to get down to Pa, but with the Dha fret, he can do the meend to Ga down to Ni with his middle finger and then just release to his index finger already at Pa. And while I have no doubt he could probably meend from Ga to Pa all on the Pa fret, better than most folks alive, anyway, using the Dha fret would be easier, and easier usually boils down to faster and more accurate.

So I think its a purely technical approach, to gain speed and accuracy, and nothing to do with any implications on the raag (AFAIK Dha has no place in Hamsadhwani). But I can't understand Hindi (and thus what exactly he said at 3:40) so I'm just theorizing really. But what a master of the instrument, such precision...
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Jojolefthishome

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I have a lot of practicing to do!
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"One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain" -Bob Marley
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barend

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The reason for that meend on Dha is simple; he is playing GRSN from the Dha fret because it is simply to high to pull from the Pa fret. There is no way you can pull that Ga from the Pa fret (no more room on the neck). For the Dha fret that G is the highest note you can pull. You could also play it from the Ni fret. That is much easier for the meend but then you have a large gap between N and P which is an awkward stretch for finger 1 and 2 if you want to meend from N.

Still I find it remarkable how he can can pull so high (a fifth) from the Dha fret when he is tuned in D. On my C# sitar I can do it. But when tuned to D the meend range decreases and I am not able to pull that high because there is not more room on the neck. Same goes for a (middle) M-S meend. That's a bit frustrating sometimes because of the psychical limitations of the sitar. I guess his neck is a bit shorter so he can pull that high when tuned in D?
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katyrow

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I've now put a .013 baaj on all of my sitars. I'm guessing from both the sound and the meend range that he is using a heavier-than-usual gauge on his sitars.
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barend

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Quote:
Originally Posted by "katyrow"
I've now put a .013 baaj on all of my sitars. I'm guessing from both the sound and the meend range that he is using a heavier-than-usual gauge on his sitars.
A heavier gauge will not give you more meend range I think. It gives less meend range. Also the heavier gauge will give extra stress on the hands and sitar neck when tuned in D and doing such big meends. Too much stress if you ask me.

I have been playing with this technique today and it can be very useful especially with pentatonic stuff.
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korizeugma

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Great explanations. Yes. I agree that pulling from Dha rather than Ni seems to be for optimal finger stretch. I also agree that the precision of Shahid-ji's meend based taans in vocal style bandishes is unbelievable.
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nicneufeld

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Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
The reason for that meend on Dha is simple; he is playing GRSN from the Dha fret because it is simply to high to pull from the Pa fret. There is no way you can pull that Ga from the Pa fret (no more room on the neck).
Thanks for clarifying...I was theorizing because Pa to Ga is a meend I've never come close to attempting, but it makes sense that that is beyond the range of a normal sitar anyway. A fourth is about as far as I go, on sitar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
That's a bit frustrating sometimes because of the physical limitations of the sitar.
Heh, I live in a blissful absence of that particular frustration because my limitations kick in way before the limitations of the sitar!
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katyrow

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
A heavier gauge will not give you more meend range I think. It gives less meend range.
Yes, correct. My bad.
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