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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi to one & all

Nice short post this time :wink:
While I'm at Broadlands in Chennai I dropped in on Dawood's music shop just around the corner. Some of you will know him.

Anyway, I took my black gayaki to show him & he commented on the 'roundness' or curvature of its frets. He maintains that, to aid a better meend, the fret should be quite flat. I seem to meend quite well already but what do we all think of this subject?
Maybe this is why some have a problem getting accurate meends.

Nick
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AbdulLatif

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Reply with quote  #2 
Frets flat space curve.
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Andius

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Wow, AbdulLatif, your reply to Nicks post blew me away! very deep. There must be some great cosmological insight there! :wink:
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povster

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Quote:
Originally Posted by "Andius"
Wow, AbdulLatif, your reply to Nicks post blew me away! very deep. There must be some great cosmological insight there! :wink:
It is the sound of one hand clapping.

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AbdulLatif

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<----------Duhhhh Hyuuuuuh..I'm a marooon
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coyootie

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sorta makes sense...since the bridge is flat.some may recall a post a bit past of a sitar with a curved bridge that matched the profile of frets.since all the sitars i ever saw have arched frets, it's a mootish point, but if the sitar with arched bridge plays well/better, it would follow that less arch would be optimal for a flat bridge, nahin?????
mr Tonywallah, what's your thought if you're out there?
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povster

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Quote:
Originally Posted by "coyootie"
sorta makes sense...since the bridge is flat.some may recall a post a bit past of a sitar with a curved bridge that matched the profile of frets.since all the sitars i ever saw have arched frets, it's a mootish point, but if the sitar with arched bridge plays well/better, it would follow that less arch would be optimal for a flat bridge, nahin?????
mr Tonywallah, what's your thought if you're out there?
Well the bridge actually isn't flat but curved length and width in a way to accomodate an even travel off the bridge (best I can describe it). Look down at the sitar (physically, not emotionally) and pull a long mir. Compare the travel of the string across the fret to the travel of the string across the bridge. We are talking almost orders of magnitude in difference, which is what makes jawari so exacting: trying to be precise over such a short travel range.

It is like a space launch where they are off by a couple of degrees calculating trajectory but by the time the rocket gets to its destination it is off by thousands or hundreds of thousands of miles. (well, kind of like that. In a way. Sort of.)

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Andius

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You're not a marooon AbdulLatif, u bluue me away :wink: By the way, love the pic
Regarding Nicks question re: curvature of frets. On a straight fret the string is pulled directly away from its starting line; on a curved fret the string moves away at an increasing angle. Seems to me you can get more accuracy on a curved fret, specially on the steeper curve towards the edge of the fret. Whoever thought of the curved fret idea is a GENIUS! I may not (do not) have much playing expertise but the more I discover about the sitars construction and design (incl.curved frets) the more I think its absolutely brilliant. How lucky we sitarists are!
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TK

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Reply with quote  #9 
Don't know if this is true... a famous sitar maker (Chuck Yeagermeister Khan) once told me that the curvature of the frets is to help reduce drag on the neck, thereby creating more lift, which makes it easier to hold the instrument for long periods of time.
TK

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povster

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Reply with quote  #10 
I have a difficult time conceiving of playing a sitar, in the standard position, with flat frets. Try to simulate a perfectly flat fret. Maybe lay a pencil across the neck and try, holding the sitar nortmally, to simulate pulling some long mirs. What is your wrist and hand position like. How about the alignment of your grooves to the string from start to finish. Notice the muscles and tendons in your hand and wrist as you try to mir across a flat fret. Very different than when miring on a curved fret. The curve actually seems to simulate and accomodate the mir-motion.

Now I appreciate the rudra vin has flat frets, but the fret hand approach is different, as is the angle of the neck/frets to the body.

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Anonymous

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Reply with quote  #11 
hey all,

povster, you brought up the bin so i'll toss this bit of Peter Row knowledge out at you. on a curved fret the string, as you said, is being moved in a direction which is not exactly opposing the force of the string. its like walking up a ramp as opposed to walking straight virtically, which one is easier? you're distributing the energy required to move in opposition to the force over a greater distance. so for example, insted of moving vertically one foot, you move at a 45 degree angle for 2 feet, or what ever the math turns out to be. get me? physics, phasinating stuff!

the bin, as you mentioned has flat frets, and because of that one can't pull as far as on the sitar. the biggest meed possible without falling off the end of the fret or breaking your fingers on the bin is about a 4th, or from sa to shuddha ma.

enjoy your dream machines!

joshf
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sitarman

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Reply with quote  #12 
May I help clarify the last post? (At least it seems clear to me! :roll: )Yes, on a flat fret you are moving the string the distance between the starting spot on the fret and where you end up with your meend. But with a curve, you are adding the distance that the string goes down to reach the curvature. Does that make sense? So in essence you are stretching the string more over that same horizontal distance. More stretch equals more pitch change.
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Lily

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Reply with quote  #13 
Look at the tapering curve on this. Starts with a steep arch then tapers, strange that it's not uniform. Is this a Rikhi Ram invention? Wonder how it is to meend?

http://sitarsetc.com/rrimages/rrgptun/rrgtmidneck.jpg
http://sitarsetc.com/rrimages/rrgptun/rrgtnckjnt1.jpg
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Anonymous

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Reply with quote  #14 
hi lily

yes those are Rikhi Ram frets. they have their own thoughts on curvature. my teacher here in Boston told me he had his sitar refretted by them and the curve is actually tapered. the frets down near the nut end of the neck are more symetrical and the frets toward the jawari side are more asymetrical. dont know why they do this, but it seems to work. ive heard different things about the high arch- some people say its to meend farther, and others say it doesnt affect it that much. . . i would think each sitar has its own ideal curvature dependant on string lenght, string gage, set up (VK vs RS) and sa pitch.

best,

joshf
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sitarman

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Reply with quote  #15 
Lily, That is pretty common. The frets on sitars are not like western frets which are uniformly curved.
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