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dhruvsodha

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi All,

I will be playing the Sitar with a singer that is comfortable singing in G#. I can tune my Sitar to C# and then use Pa as the tonic. That should be OK..

What is confusing me is what to do with the Jod String and the Chikari strings. Would you suggest I keep the Jod string to C# (I won't be playing on it much) and the Chikari to C#-C#-G# (Sa-Sa-Pa)?

Any advice appreciated.
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barend

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Reply with quote  #2 
can't he sing in G? a half tone lower shouldn't be a problem. That would things much more comfortable for you.
Then you have to options:
1) tune your sitar to D pitch and tune the pa strings to Ma. Ma is your tonic now
2) tune your sitar to C pitch. Pa string is tonic now. Tune your Sa chikaris to Re (D) and the second string to D as well.

If he really can only sing in G# (which I doubt). You can do the same as the second option but then tune the Sa chikaris to D# and clip your second string (can't use that now). But one of the above solutions is better. I use option 1) a lot. Sitar in C# is very unpractical when playing with other (western) musicians.

off you go!
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #3 
I agree with barend but personally speaking (since I have a finicky sitar and wouldn't want to risk raising it to D) I would see if he could go down one more half-step, a whole step down from the preferred key to F#. Then its a very easy transition for you on sitar. If you are 7-string / kharaj pancham then all you do is lower your Pa kharaj by a whole step, and your Pa chikari by a whole step. Then instead of the usual Ma-Sa-'Pa-'Sa, Pa-Sa'-Sa'' tuning (that's from main string to top chikari) you have a logical equivalent of Sa-'Pa-'Sa-''Pa, Sa-Pa-Pa'. If you have gandhar pancham, all you change is your ga/pa chikaris (tune to "ma" and they become transposed Sa, as above).

If he's using other instruments or recordings or just has a really restricted ideal vocal range, you may be out of luck there, in which case I would just rein everything in as a player, not a lot of chikari strikes if any, avoiding jor string or muting/hooking it possibly. Good luck!
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dhruvsodha

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you very much for the advice! I had played with the singer today in G# and had played Jog.

Had the Sitar tuned to C# and played from Pancham. I found it easier using Pancham as the tonic instead of an open string (Ma).
The Chikari worked well in G#-D#-D# (Sa-Pa-Pa) instead of the usual (Pa-Sa-Sa).

Someone needs to invent a scale-changer Sitar (acoustic)
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #5 
Back in better days, I had assorted sitars in different lengths. From Sur-Bahar to the tourist 1/2 size, I could accommodate any recording gigue in any key on demand. Not practical in most cases but it worked then.
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