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sitarman

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Reply with quote  #1 
When I listen to a good Gayaki style player I notice that the long meends and inbetween notes are not "deadened" by ringing tarbs. Is there a reason why, structurally, a well made GP sitar is able to do this?
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi. A "good gayaki sitar" is "good" made ! The neck will be thick enough to withstand a lot of heavy playing. Some models have a slightly deeper shape on the back of the neck. Mine certainly do. (the research continues). Ustad Shujaat Khan, for example, uses .010 wire for the taraf and chikari and tunes that dog up to 'D'. Scares the hell outta me but it works. The string gauge and oh-so-tight jawari take the offending overtones away - perfect for the gayaki style. If you are looking to match that effect, I'd go with the thicker (.010) wire but be very aware of the increased tension the neck will be subjected to. Monitor your sitar very carefully !!!
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sitarman

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Reply with quote  #3 
Good advice. Thanks.
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element-82

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Reply with quote  #4 
I find that the closed tarab bridge delays the response more than the fully open ones. Maybe it is just harder to get them to ring. I started with a fully open one on the latest sitar and found it too distracting. I closed it half way and it is much better. Thicker string is a good idea. My old surbahar had 0.10 strings and you have to work harder to get them to sing. I find them louder though.

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adunc069

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Reply with quote  #5 
My teacher gave me 12 or 13 gauge for the first string. yes it tore the crap out of my hand at first, but now I'm used to it. Anyways, I think if Ustadji is using such a heavy 1st string, that is probably why he gets such a good response. Oh yeah and almost 50 years playing the instrument probably helps getting to know your tarabs :-)
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sitarman

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Reply with quote  #6 
.012 is normal, is it not? At least every set I've seen.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #7 
Yep! .012 is pretty much the industry standard with .009 used for the taraf and chikari strings. There are all kinds of variables in gauge and material available. Some players also fit thicker taraf strings for the lower longer few. Your fingers, ears and sitar should get together and discuss what is the best combination. Cheers!
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