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StVitus

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Reply with quote  #1 
I want to try replacing my low Sa for with a fourth chikari tuned to Ga. Should I use a #1 or a #3?
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #2 
Not sure this is the "correct" answer so to speak but I usually just use the Ma string gauge...works fairly well. Going lighter weight would be too loose, for me, I think...its only a couple notes over your bronze jora string so you don't want it too light gauge.
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sason

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Reply with quote  #3 
Same wire gauge as for the main string. It is not always tuned to Ga. The tuning depends on a raga.
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StVitus

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Reply with quote  #4 
I used the same #3 wire I used for the ma string. Works great, gives me a big rich mellow chord.

Does anybody cut bridge and nut slots spaced evenly with the other chikari slots for the fourth chikari? I find that having it spaced like the sa slot requires me to strum a little harder to hit all four strings. And that forces me to play louder overall.
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #5 
I never recut any slots (both of mine have been kharaj pancham to gandhar pancham conversions). Well on my surbahar, once but that was for a different reason... On sitar I just used the bass string slot and it worked fine for me. You don't want TOO much of it, just a hint is right, IMO. And yes, not always Ga. Ma and Pa are common. I used to assume you'd tune it to komal ga for those "minor" type raags, but my teacher would always go to Pa instead, or if Pa-less like Malkauns, Ma....komal ga doesn't work too well for the 4th chikari when I've tried it, ends up sounding too muddy, overemphasis on the darker sounding interval there.
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barend

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "nicneufeld"
You don't want TOO much of it, just a hint is right, IMO.
I agree. Too much of that ga (both komal and shudh) is too distracting for me. I only like it for open string arpeggios and effects (SGP or SGM for example). In jhala I don't like it so much when they strum all four strings. Most people are trying to avoid the Ga string in jhala. So I guess you don't want the string too close to the third chikari.
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #7 
Also, if you glance around at the pics on raincitymusic.com, specifically the GP/ Vilayat Khan style ones that are purpose built for the fourth chikari, they all have a similar spacing for that string...not equal distance that the other chikaris have, just a little tiny bit further out.

Compare the 4th chikari slot on this "factory" GP:
http://raincitymusic.com/mohanlalvksitar/mohanlalvktabli.jpg

To the kharaj slot on a KP:
http://raincitymusic.com/mohanlalfulldectunsitar/mlfulldectunfulltabli.jpg

Pretty similar, which makes the conversion pretty easy. Didn't have to touch jawari in my case, but I tend to like a good closed sound.

Other thing that comes to mind when you first start using a gandhar chikari...it's hard to say tuning is more important, because yes, its all paramount...but you really have to get that perfect interval ratio between Sa, Pa, and Ga just right or it will sound ever so slightly...not right. Just a bit harder to get that right than just Sa/Pa, so take the time to get it dialed in. But when its tuned just right the instrument seems to come alive...my teacher referred to it as a built in tanpura.
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StVitus

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Reply with quote  #8 
Funny enough, I’m already considering taking the extra chikari back off because a four-note chord just sounds too cute. I may play with other tunings first.
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #9 
You can try tuning it to Pa, like the 3rd chikari. Has a very strong sound, lots of authority. Enjoy tinkering, anyway!
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