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IstvanMedgyesi

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all, I'm a newcomer to ICM and have been studying sitar for the past 8 months. I'm currently learning my first Raga, Yaman. I was just wondering what you sitar players prefer to tune your taraf strings to for this particular raga? Just wondering for my personal experimentation. I'm learning in the Imdadkhani style, and it seems that when I hear recordings of performers in the gharana, the tuning of the tarafs are different from that of other gharanas. Is this just my imagination or does it just depend on the artist and/or gharana? I only see my teacher twice a month, and we haven't touched on the subject yet.

Righ now mine are tuned (low to high): S D N S R G M' P P D N S

Thanks in advance

Cheers

Istvan
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #2 
I count 12 strings on your tuning table. My sitars also have 12. Yemen, Yaman, Yeah Man, I tune them low to high like this:

N, D, S, S, R, G, M, P, P, D, N, S

A dozen other players will suggest a dozen different orders of notes. I dodge the longest string at Sa breaking with this method. It also takes some of the string tension load off the neck - a very good thing. Practice on and enjoy your sitar.

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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #3 
sitarfixer
spot on again...
Being of the Imdadkhani lot too we tend to finish with Dha or nearest equivalent & Ni Ni komal. NOT with SA as we use the chikari or the first opening meend to emphasise the SA.

Also string breaking is much minimised too. 8)

Nick
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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "trippy
NOT with SA as we use the chikari or the first opening meend to emphasise the SA.
Interesting! I had never considered that! Seeing as I study Maihar style I will continue doing as my teachers do, but that is a nice little detail to appreciate.

-Tomek
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #5 
CheesecakeTomek
Love that name!! Did you explain it once?

Re the Sa business, check out most Etawah artists & I'm pretty sure they do it like that. Ustad Shahid Parvez does, as does my teacher, his student.

Nick
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povster

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Reply with quote  #6 
The general tuning should be apparent by the raga. That is, you know the primary notesdto tune to. The specific tuning should be dictated by the instrument. On sitar you have usually 11-13 tarafs. So start with the overall pitches the particular raga dictates, beginning with Ni. In Imdadkhani, Ni will probably be the first taraf to allow certain rhythmic/melodic juxtapositions. In, for example, Maihar, Sa will be first followed by Ni and then Sa again.

Anyway - attend to your instrument. What pitches do your instrument really sound on a single taraf? What pitches does your instrument really need two tarafs to ring properly?

Jawari can be a definite factor here - both the main jawari and the taraf jawari. So if the jawaris are not performing properly get them worked on and re-seek the tuning with the ringing of the tarafs in mind.

If the jawaris are to your satisfaction then adjust the taraf tuning to accommodate how the tarafs ring. Double up on the weaker tarafs and let the singe ring tarafs be, well, one taraf for that pitch.

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Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM
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IstvanMedgyesi

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for the replies and explanations. I knew that a lot of Etawah players have their lowest taraf tuned to something besides Sa, that really clears it up. Up till now my teacher has told me not to worry about this matter, as I'm still working on technique, but I'm trying to work on my tuning by ear (being a guitar player for years, those electronic tuners really spoiled me ).
I knew that the notes have to be the notes of the raag being played, I just didn't know if there was different patterns for the various gharanas.
This site is a gold mine , it's really helpful to have many knowledgeable folks in one spot (in addition to a wonderful teacher).
Thanks again

Peace

Istvan
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