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theteacher

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,

I'm having a constant problem with a loud friction clicking during meends. Especially longer ones like Pa-Sa or Re-Dha for example. Sanding the bridge to make is smoother lasts only about 2 days or so. I don't live near any sitar fixer and I was wondering if there might be a better angle for the jawari that might help eliminate this problem or something else I don't understand. Any help would be appreciated.

Randy - FL
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chrisitar

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Reply with quote  #2 
It could be that the leg of the bridge with no strings above it is moving slightly when a big meend is pulled. If it is make sure the leg fits perfectly flat on the tabli and put a dot of shellac there. It could also be an uneven ma string notch on the bridge. If it is just use a file to smooth it out. It could also be the tuning bead(swan) moving or the string moving inside the swan. Put a non stick pad (leather, rubber) under the swan and wrap the part of the string that goes through the swan in tissue and poke it through. I've had all these problems so I feel your pain. Playing 'find the sqeuak' is no fun. Hope this helps.
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Dspeck

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Reply with quote  #3 
I had a lot of trouble with scratchy sounds at first, but my teacher insisted that it was my poor technique and not my sitar. Of course it was hard to believe him, until he tried to show me how it was right and wrong, and failed producing any scratchy sounds on my sitar at all. I think, when I do scratchy minds, it is mostly the index finger pushing too hard while doing the mind with my middle finger. It also matters how closely I follow the round of the fret. When I pull the string "into" the fret, it scratches more often.

Of course I don't know how good you are on sitar, but bad technique is definitely a possible reason for scratching noises.
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #4 
If it is a loud click from the bridge it is probably the string getting caught in the string slot at the back of the bridge.
It is a common problem.
You can even hear it on a few Nikhil Banerjee recordings.

I had that problem.
The permanent fix is to slightly enlarge the string slot. (a teensy tiny bit)
BUT there is a good temporary fix.
I took the plastic wrap from around a pack of cigarettes, cut a small piece and slipped it under the string over the slot.
I am not sure if it makes it slide easier or makes it tight in the slot, but the effect is that the click is gone.
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theteacher

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "cwroyds"
If it is a loud click from the bridge it is probably the string getting caught in the string slot at the back of the bridge.
It is a common problem.
You can even hear it on a few Nikhil Banerjee recordings.

I had that problem.
The permanent fix is to slightly enlarge the string slot. (a teensy tiny bit)
BUT there is a good temporary fix.
I took the plastic wrap from around a pack of cigarettes, cut a small piece and slipped it under the string over the slot.
I am not sure if it makes it slide easier or makes it tight in the slot, but the effect is that the click is gone.

Dead on right!! My sitar sounds better today than it has in months. Thank you for the BIG help. Feels like new instrument! Heading off now for a few hours of practice, thanks. - Randy
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12thfret

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Reply with quote  #6 
cool trick, I've also heard/read somewhere about 35mm film or is that only to preserve your jawari? :?
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #7 
Yup, you can put a piece of film or acetate under the strings on top of the jawari surface to preserve the jawari.
My teacher does this when he is doing repetitive riyaz such as practicing bols, or paltas etc.
It sounds terrible, but if you practice a ton it takes a lot of stress off of the Jawari surface.
Practice such as Bols does not really require a full sound for success.
When you practice playing Raga you remove the film and practice with full sound.

It also helps to rub a pencil under where the string hits the jawari surface.
You make a little triangle that runs right along the string and the fans out to cover where the string pulls during meend.
The graphite is a sort of lubricant for the string.
It reduces the friction between the string and the bridge surface.
Certainly extends jawari life.
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #8 
I'd like to add that in addition to the cig wrapper technique you can rub pencil lead on the bottom of the string right where it sits in the slot. You can use a dab of finger oil also but that'll cause dirt buildup, I use the pencil. I'd use the cigarette wrapper but too tempting as I quit quite some time ago!

Lars
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #9 
Anything that stops that damn clicking is good.
It is so unnerving.
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #10 
It seems to be a lot more common with the synthetic fittings which is now all there is....

Lars
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sitar_shah

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Reply with quote  #11 
I use small clear plastic bag pieces folded into squares and put it under the main string slots. I've been using it for the past couple of years now. I have it under the main string slot on the main bridge as well as the bridge (patri) on the peg side .. anything that makes the squeaking go away.

There is something with Lars' line of thinking about this happening with synthetic bridges and fittings. I didn't have this problem with my natural bone bridges but it started when i started using synthetic ones.
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barend

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Reply with quote  #12 
My Hiren Roy sitar had the same problem when I got it new a few years back. I immediately put a small piece of plastic under it. That plastic is still under the main string slot.
It works.
But does anyone know a permanent fix?
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