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TablaPlayer22

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Reply with quote  #1 
What is the most productive way to learn the fretboard----Without looking at it.

I do pretty good ascending but kinda struggle between ni and pa. my fingers get confused.

anyway, should i just practice alankars and dont look? or is there a better method?

Thanks
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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'm not sure exactly is the most productive way, however I made up a chart with a fret board on it. That way I could constantly refer to it while playing or not. Playing scales and singing them out is one way that I've heard of.

When I first started, I learned the middle saptak from my teacher. As I experimented at home with the sitar, I sounded the notes along the fret board according to their octaves. You can also use this method to move your frets slightly to tune them. It sounds rather simplistic, but try seeking the notes out that way. Pretty soon, with the charts, singing, thinking the notes through, the "bulb in your head will go on" and you will have that "oh yeah" moment.

Another way for me to learn the notes was to watch a long video on you-tube of a sitar player and try to call out the notes mentally as the player plays them.

Best of luck!

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povster

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Reply with quote  #3 
Also practice in front of a mirror. It may sound counter-productive but it isn;t. It also gives you a chance to gauge your posture, fingering and see if you are making unconscious faces!
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yussef ali k

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi, all.
TP22,

What you're asking is taboo!!!

Now seriously, I've thought of that many times: how does one ever learn a fretboard where the frets are constantly changing (=changing their positions relative to each other), and worse, you're unable to look at it !
... & (supposing) if a player of a 17fret ever learns it, does that mean he can play a 19 (20, 21, etc) one?

Good question! - I'm equally eager for the coming answers, let's hope!

Cheers + have fun!
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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "povster"
Also practice in front of a mirror. It may sound counter-productive but it isn;t. It also gives you a chance to gauge your posture, fingering and see if you are making unconscious faces!
Good idea, I forgot all about that. Especially the hand technique.

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Let's hope 2016 is less violent and that people discover the soothing influence of ICM. Hari OM!
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povster

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "OM
Quote:
Originally Posted by "povster"
Also practice in front of a mirror. It may sound counter-productive but it isn;t. It also gives you a chance to gauge your posture, fingering and see if you are making unconscious faces!
Good idea, I forgot all about that. Especially the hand technique.
And the faces I didn't realize I was making! ::shudder::

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Surbaharplayer

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Reply with quote  #7 
My only excersise I do is murchana; after doing it for awhile I tend to get "into the zone" and I just play with my eyes closed. It really builds your confindence.
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TablaPlayer22

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Reply with quote  #8 
Everyone had such awesome enthusiasm with this post. I'm delighted.

Well, all these replies were fantastic! but no one method really sounded with me.

I think i'll continue playing the Alankaars and trying my best to visualize the fret board in my mind. And where I stumble, is where I need a better mental picture and better muscle memory. I find that very helpful and rather meditative.

Best to everyone!
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #9 
I'm sure there are tricks to optimize the speed of learning, but what has always worked for me is just the brute force method of time and sweat. I'm still in that process on sitar but other fretted instruments, years of playing just gradually bring a level of familiarity where you know where the notes are. Of course, anything to shortcut that a little bit is probably welcome!

I'm just postulating, but perhaps as a supplement to written, static exercises, spend some time playing melodies either that you improvise, or known melodies that you pick out by ear. Playing improvisationally or by ear can be helpful because it actively engages your brain a little more on what the notes should be, and then where to find them on the neck, whereas the pattern exercises focus a little more specifically on muscle memory and precision (you could do some of these exercises without ever knowing what SaReGaMa are or mean). Gradually you get to the point where someone could sing a melody, and you can play it back without having to parse it note by note.
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yussef ali k

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi, all.

TP22,
There is a comment related to this Q (see 'Sitar in Rural settings' here).

As there are some very knowledgeable players posting here, let's still hope for their views.
Anyway there IS a 100-plus year old tendency for more frets, which cannot be thought of as a shortcut. It has a bearing on many other things (maintenance, etc.).
All best... & fun!
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mayer141

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Reply with quote  #11 
One of my sitars has the extra Re & Dha frets, I practice on this quite often as it stops you from looking at the visual 'gaps' in the frets.
But I feel there's no quick way of getting round the fret board.....just practice practice practice!
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #12 
No shortcuts, it just takes time. No musical instrument is more awkward initially, and none is more responsive to practice than sitar. Per usual, make certain you are not practicing bad habits in hand position left or right. As long as you are putting in the time be certain you are practicing good hand positions and stroke technique, not the wrong ways that will not serve you in the long run.
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chefothefuture

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "fossesitar"
No shortcuts, it just takes time. No musical instrument is more awkward initially, and none is more responsive to practice than sitar. Per usual, make certain you are not practicing bad habits in hand position left or right. As long as you are putting in the time be certain you are practicing good hand positions and stroke technique, not the wrong ways that will not serve you in the long run.
Ditto.
The best way is just riyaz. Riyaz, Riyaz, Riyaz....(Practice etc....)
"Spaced repetition" is the best way to create the nerve path in the brain.

And yes, have fun :-)
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anasthezia

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Reply with quote  #14 
I agree that playing the scales and singing the notes out helps a lot.
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #15 
When I was learning in the 1980s some put little white sticky paper spots on, say, Bilawal scale's fret tying strings & they could then also gauge the other scales from this one.
To be taken off as quickly as possible , of course!!

Nick
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