Sign up Calendar Latest Topics Chat

  Author   Comment  

Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi members,
I have been on the sitar for 3 years now and just want a change of phase /sound /itch.. for a little while or in combination from one to the other. I am leaning towards the Dilruba or the Esraj but more towards the Dilruba. My question is the transition between the two i.e sitar to dilruba about the same? has anyone in the sitar forum tried both.
Any advice? Also where to buy

Posts: 513
Reply with quote  #2 
It's a completely different instrument, despite any visual similarities.
Bowing is tough, especially when you start moving the other hand around the neck, and especially when sliding a note.
The coordination between the two hands is a totally different concept than for sitar.
There's no reason not to go for it, but you'll have to put in a lot of ground work with the various techniques.

And yes, I have been playing sitar for 9 years and personally tried playing an ears once, about 3 years ago. I have decent bowing technique because of childhood violin lessons, but I don't play anymore, so my neck hand is worthless. As soon as I went to slide the note my playing fell apart. I know I would have to start from scratch with the simplest S/R, R\S, R/G, G\R, etc. exercises and work my way up, so I decided not to pursue. Of course, now that I'm gigging more, I look at all the smaller instances with ever-growing envy...

But I digress. No discouragement intended, I know several people who play both quite beautifully. They have worked hard at it, though.
Lars seems to have a nice one:
Good luck!!

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Posts: 1,225
Reply with quote  #3 
Interesting question! I have tried to bow my sitar a few times with my double bass bow just to see how it feels to play dilruba. I could get sort of a similar sound but the size and shape of the sitar was a problem for bowing. But you can do it just to get a feel. The dilruba has the same fret positions as the sitar but they don't move the frets and play in between the frets to get for example komal Re if I am correct. Also I am not sure if they really press down the string like on sitar or touch the string with the side of the finger like on sarangi?

I expect that dilruba is a bit easier than sitar because there are no meends. The sliding and especially the bowing may take 'some' time to get used to though.

Curious how it goes. Let us know!

Posts: 490
Reply with quote  #4 
I found it easy! You have to learn the touch and technique for bowing, and meends are different- you don't pull strings sideways on a dilruba. Basically you just slide up and down for meend.You don't fret with much pressure at all, you barely touch the strings at the fret.
And there are many things you can't do as far as mizrab razzle dazzle. but I think you exchange that for the wonderful 'vocal tone' of a bowed string.
I have a fine vintage dilruba to sell, it's maybe 70-80 years old, PM me for details on price/shipping.
if you're interested let me know and I can easily email pix.
best regards, Alan Suits

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 1,937
Reply with quote  #5 
Worked on Sitar Docs Esraj a week ago. In test driving that little beauty, I realized that with a bow, the timing between the two paws is different than with a plucked instrument. With the bow, the sound is immediate. With a pick / mizrab, there is a slight delay due to the required action of setting the mizrab to the string, drawing the string back and finally the strings release. Being used to the picking action, getting busy with a bow had me sounding out notes a tick earlier than the left hand fretting / positioning the notes. Horrible gulping sound. This synchronizing of the two paws will be essential if you are going to pursue playing a bowed instrument while transitioning from a plucked instrument. Enjoy regardless ! ! !

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Posts: 1,564
Reply with quote  #6 
I still don't mentally -get- the dilruba left hand technique, I think I'd have to actually play one to understand. What actually "stops" the string? Does the string actually make contact with the frets, or are they just there for spacing purposes? Because if you were pressing down enough that the string contacted the frets, I think the slide up wouldn't give you a continuous slide, but discrete jumps with each fret.

Or is it kind of a combined method, where you release some pressure as you slide up and down to reach notes (and no contact with the fret is made) and you lock down behind a fret once you land at a note?

Bowing is definitely a different animal, been a few years since I've played a bowed instrument (Western) and it does take getting used to. However, in my Jimmy Page Wannabe phase I did do the violin bow + Les Paul + Echoplex thing, heh.

But I'm just surprised that you can touch a note with your finger and bow and get a good clean sound (without the fingerboard or fret to stop against, or a hard slide). With most other instruments you get a mute effect if you just touch the strings and try to play (unless you're at a point for flageolets). Maybe someday I'll see one first hand and can sort out the mystery.

I understand the temptation though. I love the haunting sound of the dilruba...and its more challenging cousin sarangi. Definitely lends itself to a singing style, and the reverberation of the tarafs, awesome stuff.
Previous Topic | Next Topic

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.