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Repairman77

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Reply with quote  #1 
Just yet another question; sorry to hog the board...

On strings 6 and 7 (top strings) there are two thin posts holding them above the neck to achieve C and the C octave. Whilst the one nearest to the bridge places the string height about right, lining up a little lower than the strings 1-5, the one towards the nut (octave) leaves the string about 4mm higher than the rest; I wonder if this is normal or am I becoming a little picky? (I'm used to setting up guitars where the nut and string heights are critical).

Also strings 6 and 7 don't seem to 'zing' as much as the others, especially compared to the sympathetics; would replacing the two posts with brass ones achieve a better sound or would that be a fruitless task; easy enough for me to make?

Thanks,

mike.
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #2 
Mike - strings 6 and 7 on KP style sitar are the "chikari" and give the "ching" we all love. The post for the low chikari should NOT be holding the string so high, just use a razor saw to file the string slot lower to match up better, no brass posts will not be likely to improve chikari zing, that is jawari (bridge shaping/curvature) and is best left to "Sitarfixer" who is the acknowledged master.
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Repairman77

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Originally Posted by "fossesitar"
Mike - strings 6 and 7 on KP style sitar are the "chikari" and give the "ching" we all love. The post for the low chikari should NOT be holding the string so high, just use a razor saw to file the string slot lower to match up better, no brass posts will not be likely to improve chikari zing, that is jawari (bridge shaping/curvature) and is best left to "Sitarfixer" who is the acknowledged master.
Thanks for that; I'll get right on to that. It just didn't look right the way it was.

Incidentally on another point I have to play sitting in a chair with the right foot on a stool support a few inches high, as it's impossible for me to sit in the lotus position, or the half lotus position, due to a dodgy hip joint. The leg will not swing that far, LOL. However that appears to work so I'm making the best of it.
Correct positioning of the left hand thumb is proving a mystery; should it be in line with the index finger at the back of the neck or pointing towards the nut I wonder?

Mike.
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #4 
Mike - comfort rules, when playing fast taans (runs) the thumb barely touches the back of the neck or not at all, the main use of the thumb is for a "base" to execute meend (pulling the string to the side), everything should be comfortable and hang naturally and move easily up and down the neck, once you start practicing scales it will all fall into place.......

http://www.last.fm/music/Shanta+Prasad/+images/27192853
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #5 
You know, I've never thought exactly about left hand thumb positioning, nor has my teacher instructed me on it. Usually the other hand positioning issues are so much more the problem that I guess as long as the hand is correctly positioned otherwise the thumb aiming direction is less important. Without a sitar here I can't verify how I do it but my guess is that my thumb rests at a bit of an angle, pointing towards the nut at a 45 degree angle or thereabouts. Critical things on the left hand are not clamping down on the neck or supporting it (guitarists first mistake...it was mine!), keeping your fingers naturally arched (at one point I had my fingers straight, almost locked, bad form and bad for meend), and using the first and second fingers only (using the second finger only when you reach the last note of the ascent...never use the second finger and then hit a higher note). I'm sure these "rules" vary by your teacher. The right hand positioning is also critical but much harder to describe so this beginner won't attempt it!

Before I knuckled down and forced myself into a floor seated position (I have no good excuse not to, I'm young enough, just not very limber) I was playing on a sofa with the sitar just seated next to me. It works quite well actually.

"I'm used to setting up guitars where the nut and string heights are critical."

It's a little less critical in this instance because the chikari (closest Western equivalent I can think of would be the 5th string on a banjo) are never fretted but they do need to be more or less in line (strings 5-7) so when struck they ring out together properly. Honing the jawari to get the right sound is a tricky task though. Plenty of reading material on that online. Do you see grooves on the bridge itself where the strings sit?
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #6 
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Great pic of the two of them...our two respective teachers! Wish I could find more of their jughalbandis, right now I have to make do with Raag Chandni Kedar. Which is itself a magnificent recording.
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kalyan

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi ,
Though the "zing" does come from the bridge or "jewari" properly slotted and height posts are critical. Often the strings will choke in the post slot because they are not angled correctly. The height of the post will change the angle that the string leaves the bridge thus changing the jewari so many times getting the odd string back to flat with the others will normalize the sound, also having one string higher will make that string overpower the others when they are all struck together. Getting the slots cut right can make a big difference to volume and sustain, the way to do this get a razor saw that is slightly wider than the string eg. .009" string use .010"-.012" saw and cut the slot at half the angle break that the string takes from the post to the peg, this will give you a clean leading edge for the vibrating portion of the string. The post should also be sturdy without the string on it, if it wiggles you can be losing amplitude at that weak point, so you would need to pull the post out and file it so the taper matches the hole and it can be pushed into place and fit snugly.

Jewari may indeed be where your problem is but in my experience, assuming the jewari was done ok in the first place the chicaris usually do not wear faster than the ma string with normal playing. So it is a good bet that if the rest of the strings sound ok that your issue is the posts. Brass would work fine but the existing bone ones should be workable as well.

Hope that make sense
Kalyan

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Kalyan

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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #8 
Very very good advice Kalyan, I agree 100% with every single item you address and indeed if all is corrected jawari may not be needed
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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Repairman77"
Quote:
Originally Posted by "fossesitar"
Mike - strings 6 and 7 on KP style sitar are the "chikari" and give the "ching" we all love. The post for the low chikari should NOT be holding the string so high, just use a razor saw to file the string slot lower to match up better, no brass posts will not be likely to improve chikari zing, that is jawari (bridge shaping/curvature) and is best left to "Sitarfixer" who is the acknowledged master.
Thanks for that; I'll get right on to that. It just didn't look right the way it was.

Incidentally on another point I have to play sitting in a chair with the right foot on a stool support a few inches high, as it's impossible for me to sit in the lotus position, or the half lotus position, due to a dodgy hip joint. The leg will not swing that far, LOL. However that appears to work so I'm making the best of it.
Correct positioning of the left hand thumb is proving a mystery; should it be in line with the index finger at the back of the neck or pointing towards the nut I wonder?

Mike.
Hi Mike,

I sit on the bed to play. As an experiment, I put the sitar in a tabla ring. Reason was, believe it or not, the less ornate the lower tumba is, the more it wants to slide/walk away from me. Secondly, I was amazed with the increase in tone by setting it in the tabla ring.

The way you and I play, by the time we get to R' and G', there is virtually no way to keep the thumb, forefinger.... in the same fret position. Having a plate in my wrist to start with, prevents it.

While I like and respect tradition, there is a time and place for it. I'm not always one of those, " well, that's the way we've always done it" kinda people. For me, I'm more concerned with the correct use of the right hand position, which can cause pain all up the arm and down, if not done right.

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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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Repairman77

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi OM GUY,

Sorry for the late reply, I forgot to subscribe to this thread. Getting the hang of the site now.

OK on your playing position and the problems.
I had a similar problem when trying guitar bar chords, I could never do it due to poor wrist rotation; broke them both at one time or another in my younger years. I had to adopt the wrap round style, but as several of the top players use this as well I don't feel embarrassed, even if the teachers scorn the practice.

I don't think it matters to be honest how we play as long as we can.

Better than sitting and admiring an instrument propped up in the corner of the room.

Mike.
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