INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

Sign up Calendar Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Monica

Registered:
Posts: 52
Reply with quote  #1 
I have only ever worked with the Ravi Shankar style sitar tuning. To my western-centric mind, it seems a very logical arrangement, with each subsequent string allowing you to reach even lower notes, much like on the guitar or other western stringed instruments.

So I must ask, what purpose do the 3rd and 4th strings serve in the sitar systems/gharanas that don't tune the 3rd and 4th strings to the lower octave, and use really light gauges for those strings, (i.e. .020 for Pa/3rd and .013 for Sa/4th string)?

And it would appear that this question also applies to the VK-tuning people, and their 3rd string...

__________________
http://home.teleport.com/~monica/sitar/My_sitaar_SMALL.GIF
0
Sitarfixer

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,937
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi, Monica.
Quite a few ways of stringing your baby up. Following the traditional setups or engineering your own - you choose. For some years I swapped the 4th. string bass for a .011 steel. That left with with a low 3rd. string and the reamaining lot akin to VK setup. Best of both worlds. Got the comfortable extended bass blasts from the 3rd and also the "chordal" support from the rest of the rack. Worked great, especially wired for amps on stage. Arpeggio downwards strums ala Shujaat Khansahib also possible this way. Those thin steel guys offer the strum effect, also tune up to bolster primal notes within the particular selected. Example -

Bhimpalasi: Chik7= Sa@ 17th fret. Chik6= Sa@7th fret. String5= Pa matching 1st string 2nd. fret. String 4= Ma matching open 1st. string. String3= standard bronze lower Pa. Strings 2 & 1 are standard.

Bageshri: Change string 5 up to Dha, string 4 remains at Ma matching open first string, and string 3 down to Ma - octave below open 1st. string.

Various ragas will have key notes to push. Having these two strings (or three if you want to use all the available pegs) dials in some really tasty tunings. Play around with different combinations.

__________________
http://www.karaseksound.com/
0
Monica

Registered:
Posts: 52
Reply with quote  #3 
Hey Tony! As usual, you read between my lines.

Yes, I was indeed wondering about those strings with regard to the mini-sitar. Keeping the Ravi Shankar-set-up seemed overkill, and also out of character with what would have been used on historic instruments. (Even though wound guitar strings did give me a much richer bass tone than the .016 and .022 strings it came with)

Your suggestion of pushing vadi and samvadi notes is a very good one, as is tuning them to allow a downward strum--both otherwise impossible without sympathetics.

I'll definitely keep the 2nd string at standard tuning, to give me the full lower octave. But I am very interested to see how these other 3rd and 4th string uses work out.

Thanks again Tony, you're indispensible!

__________________
http://home.teleport.com/~monica/sitar/My_sitaar_SMALL.GIF
0
Sitarfixer

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,937
Reply with quote  #4 
"Mwaaaaa"!!! Thank you! Yeah! keep us posted if you come up with some good setups. The very nature of that little beast says to get the bass strings off but with wound strings, you could probably pull off some mid low range notes. Incidentally, I finally unearthed the box you sent. Love those horns! They're great! If there is ever a protest in Miraj regarding deerhorn, I'll champion the cause with these on my head. Thanks much!
__________________
http://www.karaseksound.com/
0
AbdulLatif

Registered:
Posts: 449
Reply with quote  #5 
My first sitar a cute lil Gayaki style had the same guage 2nd and 3rd string tuned to Sa a bronze 4th tuned to low Sa and a pa only on the 5th chikari. From ignorence I played it like that until I met my Ustad and he said it was a standard tuning for the khyal/gayaki style. He used Kharaj Pancham so we switched strings and moved the nut and bridge slots to accomodate the wider spacing and slightly heavier strings. I still like that tuning and if I ever aquire a smaller Lahore sitar I may revisit the style. Being able to strum those drones to beat the debbil was really fun. Within reason its fun to experiment and play with different timbre and other styles.
__________________
"Words are said to have a delusive nature (Mahamaya Matrika) because the word itself, although it may contain a reference to an object is often surrounded by clusters or Kulas of lesser Shaktis...."
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.