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coughcapkittykat

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Reply with quote  #1 
Does anyone have a method for getting komal ga? I can never get it sounding quite right.

I've been trying to tune exclusively by ear and have more or less cracked it for most of the notes but komal ga remains elusive. Is there another note that is a 3rd, 4th or 5th to it?

Even when I tune to the Harmonic Visualiser (http://www.dharambir.com/indian-classical-music-research/indian-music-softwares) it sounds a bit dead and slightly off on my sitar, I don't know if it's my sitar or my hearing.
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ragamala

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Reply with quote  #2 
I've no real easy answer, since to my ear komal ga feels a very common and oft-heard note. I am disregarding different shades of ga.....
Try and find a kafi gat which goes something like SRg,MPMP to get a better feel to it.
It may just sound off whatever you do because you haven't set up the tarafs accordingly? It'll never sound just right on a sitar or any other taraf instrument without fixing taraf as well.

But here's another idea, komal ga, M P is like SRG do re mi. ie pa is komal ga-s third.
If you can get gMP sounding major normal then g is in (roughly) the right place...
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anju831

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Reply with quote  #3 
You should really ask your teacher to tune it for you...but if not, you can always:

1. Get you highest quality sitar recording out there where they play a raag with komal ga.

2. Tune by ear your Sa to their Sa; pretty easy in the alap section.

3. Tune by ear your ga to theirs when they start to explore it in alap.


And there you have it lol, hope this helps.
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #4 
Cough
Is your sitar one of those that has its 'dead-spot' at Komal GA? I find it's normally around MA though. It's where the sitar seems to go THUNK rather than twing!!!

Nick
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #5 
Maybe your sitar is an optimist, and thus refuses to sound that dark, sad sounding minor third!
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #6 
1. Use a drone (the I-tanpura ap for phone works GREAT) and tune all of the tarafs against the drone FIRST.
2. When tuning Komal-Ga taraf. if you cannot hear it (against the drone) keep searching until you find it with your EAR.
3. Then make sure all of your drone strings are perfectly in tune !! Use the drone, and your SA taraf to accomplish this.
4. Tune main melody string (MA) perfectly. Use the harmonic at the SA fret to be absolutely certain your MA string is spot-on
4. Finally, move your Komal-Ga FRET so that when you play Komal-Ga on the melody string it triggers the Komal-Ga Taraf.

Once again - if you cannot HEAR the correct pitch for Komal-Ga yourself, what difference does it make if you used a digi-tuner to set it? The ONLY way to train the ear is to USE IT. If the Komal-Ga you settle on is "wrong" (and who is to say??) at least it will be YOURS !!
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coughcapkittykat

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Reply with quote  #7 
Ragamala, I have been setting the taraf. Your suggestion sounds like a good one, I will try to get against the ma pa.

Anju, I had thought about trying that but just not got around to it.

Nick, I think that could be a big part of the problem. I had read about that on here somewhere and haven't noticed it anywhere else on my sitar but it does seem to go thunk rather than twing. I suppose I should be thankful that it's not on ga or ma really. Is there anything you can do about it?

Fosse, I do all the steps you say. It makes a difference to use a digi tuner because I'm not used to using komal ga so instead of going around in circles trying to get it right and doubting myself, it's sometimes good to use the tuner to see where it should be. I'm not complaining that 'my' komal ga is wrong compared to the tuner but just that no matter what I do I just can't seem to get it quite right and that it sounds pretty dead compared to the other notes (i don't mean because it's not in tune with the taraf).
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #8 
ANOTHER SUGGESTION: TRY TUNING 2 TARAF TO KOMAL GA
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yussef ali k

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi all. Cckk, hope that I understood your reasoning ... and that this'll help you:

(Auboux 2003: L'Art du Raga): within the 8ve, 3rd's & 6ths are especially hard to tune because our ears are said to have a wider tolerance threshold for these ranges: even in harmomic mus. systems, a lot of sounds are made using that sort of aural ambivalence (Ex: the third in blues: easy to verify w/ a slide).

Like above said, tuning it so that g-M-P sounds major is a telltale clue of pitch-correctness. But then so is relating it to the drone Sa, which is the reference pitch (I mean, kGa=O, i.e., it does NOT have a meaning of its own until its pitch is compared to the Sa:
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #10 
And of course - as I am sure you are aware Yussuf - ANY keyboard is going to be TEMPERED, IE intended to be "a little bit out of tune" on every note but C. K-Ga is one of those off-notes that has (I believe) little support in the overtones of any drone strings and therefore it may be beneficial to have double taraf on this note, just as we are finding (on the electric) that it may be beneficial to have double NI (or at leats another an octave higher) for the same reason........
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coughcapkittykat

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Reply with quote  #11 
I will try doubling the taraf on that note, that's a good idea.

I've just tuned up to Bhairavi and I have to say kGa is sounding much better, still a little dead but more fitting. It could be that I'm so used to the notes of yaman that a kGa sounds inherently out of place at the moment.

But I was reading this post (third post by neela sangeeta) - http://chandrakantha.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1688&start=0 - which mentions relative notes that you can tune to. I've found it very useful for getting kGa in Bhairavi (I was playing Bhimpalasi before so didn't have the kDha or kNi to compare to).
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ragamala

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Reply with quote  #12 
I managed to find a version of the Kafi gat I was recommending, although of course in Kafi the ga comes down from the ma the basic pakad is clear in this gat. A variety of this was taught to my wife by Gurdev Singhonce upon a time and it has stayed with me as the quintescence of Kafi.

I'd have suggested Bhimpalaisi but know you're already up to speed with that and the Ghulam Hussein Khan (not)/Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan (almost) version we've talked about recently. To my mind that is great for the purpose of fixing the komal ga /ma/pa in the mind.

If the sitar just doesn't sound as sweet on komal ga as it does on other notes that's an issue I can't really address, as I last played sitar many years ago, but I think the advice to check your other notes, particularly ma and pa, is sound. But playing, practising and ignoring slight perceived problems with the instrument itself is important. Playing in an unaccustomed thaat will always be a bit of a strain on your relationship at first, but I think the sitar will follow your will once you take control of the raga.

end of pompous post = here's the link

http://www.mediafire.com/file/4zd2wpyupvwgwxu/Mahmud%20Mirza%20-%20Kafi%20-%20Gat%20in%20teental%20vinyl%201976%202of2.mp3

PS. You've probably realised already that as komal ni is in Bhimpalasi/Kafi (and indeed Bhairavi) that a fifth test between these is possible. I'm not sure, though, that that is necessarily the best test for placing ga against sa and ma/pa.
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gillo

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Reply with quote  #13 
... and then there are ragas that use a slightly flatter komal ga

such as alap in Darbari Kanada with andolit around ga played from Sa or Re - amazing!

http://swaratala.blogspot.com/2007/05/raga-darbari-kanada-tonal-geometry-of.html
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