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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #16 
Of course the sitar sounds bad with only one string on it.
The Jawari is carved to sound good when all strings are up to tension and the neck is pulled into the correct position.
If you only have the Baj string on the neck will be bent backward a bit and the jawari will be useless.

Go buy a set of strings and tune the sitar correctly.
It will never sound good if you don't.

Also, you do not tune the string by how tight it feels.
If you do it that way you will always tighten it too much and break the string.
A sitar strings are no where near as tight as guitar strings.
It is the nature of the instrument for them to have a little slack in them so you can bend them for Meend.

The sitar should be tuned to C# or D.
That means the second string (the one that broke) is tuned to C# or D and the Baj (Ma) string is tuned a fourth above it.
Then the other strings are mostly tuned to the root (Sa)(C# or D) and the others to the Fifth (Pa) (G# or A).
Ghandar Pancham sitars has an extra chickari that is tuned usually to the third or minor third or other tone unique to a particular raga.
Some sitars are big enough to tune to C, but almost every sitar in the universe is tuned somewhere between C# and D.
They are built to be tuned around there. Any less and the strings are too loose, any more and they are too tight and break.

There is no reason to wait until you can play before you tune your instrument.
In fact you should learn to tune your instrument first.
I am surprised that your teacher advises you to play on a one string sitar.
That is a little nutty.
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #17 
Hee!! Back to the Saz, or Sehtar, which only had 3 or 4 strings and from which (so the story goes) the insanity that was the sitar has sprung... some crazy dudes in Agra (Etawah) went completely over the top.....

Teacher may be a gem, playing on one string? It depends on your devotion.

Tension on bajtar (main melody string) should be 11-12 pounds, others similar:

http://wahiduddin.net/calc/calc_guitar_string.htm
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #18 
FYI My post above sounds pissy on reading it back.
That tone was not my intention, it just came out that way.
Sorry, it was meant to be helpful, not pissy.
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povster

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "cwroyds"
FYI My post above sounds pissy on reading it back.
That tone was not my intention, it just came out that way.
Sorry, it was meant to be helpful, not pissy.
Such is the way of text (aka ASCII). Even the emoticons (aka "smilies") may not convey the intent. What CAN convey intent is the posters prior posts. And in that, CW, you have been rather helpful. So fear not. Gollum is not leading you astray! (sorry - just finished watching the LOTR Trilogy this week.) ops:

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...Michael
Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #20 
Thanks kind Sir.
Appreciated.
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #21 
Well put Pov - as for LOTR, what an awesome work, thought they did a splendid job on the movie. Like so many great works of art, the LOTR trilogy may be a vision of what is to come.... sorry to go off topic!

With modern metallurgy, proper string slots and correct string tension broken strings should be pretty rare.

Even on strings that are abused in the worst way possible (sitar). I cannot think of another instrument that is so hard on strings as the sitar is. Many years of development went into the Ultra to achieve absolute tuning stability, including several iterations of the carbon structure, the tuning methods/machines, and the strings themselves. The result is a sitar that can accept a 5 note meend without any sag in pitch on the drone strings whatsoever. It is a dream come true for me as a player.

D'Addario has been wonderful about making up custom string sets for us, and if you are wondering they really are not suitable for the acoustic as they are all ball-end strings. I gave up on loop-ends (the manufactured ones) after having several pull completely out. Tony is on to something with his special loop-end method. I would use his strings on the Ultra but the system we ended up with requires ball-ends for both taraf and main. The custom ball-ends D'Addario makes for us are soldered for the entire length of the winding by the ball-end.

We use wound steel strings for the Kharaj since for one thing bronze is not magnetic, but if there are strings on the classic acoustic sitar that are susceptible to breaking the bronze would be them! Can one substitute wound steel for bronze on the acoustic? Do so at your own risk and only after careful calculation for correct string tension (see link above). Do not go above 11 pounds under any circumstance. The sound is different and may not appeal if you are used to the sound of bronze, and of course the instrument was designed for bronze ergo the proviso "do so at your own risk". GF
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #22 
Oh - the only wound steel loop-end strings long enough for a sitar are some banjo strings, I say some because the length varies quite a bit from manufacturer to manufacturer and I forget who makes the longest ones. But that is the way to go once you have calculated the correct string gauge to keep the tension at or below 11 pounds, if you want to try wound steel for the kharaj.......
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