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Blind Lemon Mike

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Reply with quote  #1 
I just stumbled upon an video of Nikhilda (which are rather rare...) where i was very suprised to see him use the third finger while playing tans. 

  

you can, for instance, clearly see it from 27:30 onwards. 

I see Kushal Das do this all the time, but i think i have never once seen Shahid Parvez use his third finger. Not sure about Raviji without checking... 

I have to look more closely at this. Is this a Gharana difference. I find it easier to play Krintan with the third finger sometimes, since it produces a nicer sound without the calluse on this finger. 

What is you opinion on this. Have you been thaught to not use the third finger and how do you treat this optic now... corious to know. 

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Blind Lemon Finger
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Tomek Regulski

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Reply with quote  #2 
As someone who has studied for some time in the Maihar Gharana, I can say that use of the third finger is accepted, basically "as needed". Generally speaking, I've been taught that the best practice is to of course limit yourself to first and second fingers as much as possible, but if including the third finger can make the phrasing smoother, go for it. Also, similar to your observation about krintan, since the third finger will likely not develop much of a callus, it is also the preferred finger to use for long slides, as the softer skin will produce a smoother sound across the frets than the first or second finger. I do believe Raviji made use of the third finger, but it has been a while since I have watched any videos.
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krttikaa

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Reply with quote  #3 
I know that Anupama Bhagwat uses her 3rd finger quite often; I do not recall, however,
seeing Budhaditya Mukherjee (same guru) do that (at least not obviously).

Mita Nag (not G-P, but Bishnupur) is another that uses the third finger extensively. One
could view some videos of her father Manilal Nag  to see whether he does the same.

I wonder whether it is a matter of some performers having smaller hands.
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barend

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Proctor
Ravi-Ji was the 'worst offender' for using third finger in any & ALL situations. Even when he could quite easily reach a note.

I NEVER use it & neither do any players of the Gandhar Pancham style, so far as I've seen anyway.
It's a bit lazy I feel.

Nick


Haha...I don't consider it lazy at all. And also not as an offending thing. That's a very limited and conservative view I think.

Yes Ravi used it. Anoushka uses it a lot. Nikhil Banerjee used it and many others. Kusal Das even plays meends with it.

Nothing wrong with using the 3rd finger. As long as you have a very strong technical base of using only first and second finger. So I wouldn't advise it for a beginner. But when you are advanced there is no limit and if it sounds better just do it.  It can come in very handy for pentatonic ragas with wide skips. It makes some unplayable things playable. There is no point in restricting yourself because of (gharana) 'rules' that others have inflicted.
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barend

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Proctor
HA HA OK that.
Does that make sense ?!?!? HA HA


Not really...[smile][smile]

I still think it is a very conservative view. "There is no real progress without deviating from the norm" to quote my hero Frank Zappa.

I can perfectly play meends and gamaks with the 3rd finger by the way and I do it sometimes when having big stretched that involve meend and krintan. I don't care if it's allowed or not....Other musicians besides sitar players don't care about these rules either. If it sounds good it is ok.

Check this Kusal Das video at 9:05 the Pa komal Ni meend with the 3rd finger. But I guess he is lazy! [wink]

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barend

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Reply with quote  #6 
Check this Anoushka clip from 0:50. She is using the third finger al over the place. Even throwing in some occasions third finger meend.
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barend

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Reply with quote  #7 
This VK stretch fingering looks really cool!
https://www.google.nl/amp/s/antaraschool.com/2015/08/29/sitar-knowledge-trick-for-long-middle-and-index-figure-stretch/amp/
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Sanjeeb

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Reply with quote  #8 

When I first started playing the sitar about 50 years ago I was told to use my first and second finger only. Tried that. But coming from a guitar and piano playing background it was sort of 'natural' for me to use my third and even my 'fourth / pinky' finger sometimes so I used them, and also seeing some masters use it, (though never the fourth or pinky).  

As you can see in this video of mine from about 20 years ago at 0.21 seconds from a public concert: 

Then starting to try to conform to my Gharana I started experimenting with the use mostly of two and didn't regret.

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Sanjeeb Sircar

http://www.sanjeebsircar.com

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povster

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Reply with quote  #9 
Proper form is essential for establishing a solid foundation. After one has gone through a suitable period of learning and reach a point of competency and a solid foundation, they can play with however many fingers is good for them. They do not need to be dictated to by others. I'd rather 3 fingers playing a beautiful Malkauns than 2 fingers playing a Malkauns with Pa samvadi!
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barend

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Reply with quote  #10 
Wise words Povster! Totally agree.

Talking about meend with third finger. Check out this video. She plays meends in the gayaki style with the third finger all over! Never seen it to this extent. But she sounds great. I wonder why she choose to do that because sometimes she plays the same meend with the third or the second finger. There seems to be no logic or system in which finger she uses. Any ideas?

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Tomek Regulski

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This is a beautiful video, thanks for sharing! I see some consistencies in terms of how she is approaching that Re/where she plans to go afterward when looking at whether she uses the second or third finger for meend from that fret.

I think Povster nailed it - once you've done the foundational studies, then you figure out how you play your instrument best. I do agree that it's best to limit yourself to the two fingers until that point, as there is some good logic there. 
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barend

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomek Regulski
This is a beautiful video, thanks for sharing! I see some consistencies in terms of how she is approaching that Re/where she plans to go afterward when looking at whether she uses the second or third finger for meend from that fret.


I don't really see the logic. Sometimes she uses the third finger for that Re, sometimes the second no matter where she goes next. Same goes for other meends like high pa.

It's an interesting video in many ways and raises some questions:
1) I have never seen anyone using third finger meends to that extent
2) I really wonder why she is using this and where she learned it?  Does she do it for physical reasons or efficiency or another reason?
3) Did she learn that from het teacher or did she figure it out herself?
4) I like it when players follow there own path. Especially when they use different techniques than the rest. We already have enough players that sound and play like the big names in my opinion.
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Tomek Regulski

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Reply with quote  #13 
I just rewatched the video, and at least for meend from Re, I see it as almost always being connected to a krintan to/from Sa. To me, this says that she prefers to play meend with a supporting finger right behind her leading finger, and so using the third finger seems to be her solution in these kinds of passages where she wants to keep an anchor on the preceding note. I saw really only a few times where she did this and there was no krintan to/from Sa, and I can only deduce that she was playing in the moment, and wanted to give herself that option, but then decided to go elsewhere. 

I have had several teachers recommend using fingers 1+2 together for meend wherever possible for the sake of control - a technique that can becomes clumsy in more agile passages. So, I see this as a logical solution to that, where bringing in the third finger to give that control support to the second finger, while allowing the first finger to be anchored in case you want to pivot the line/execute certain ornaments.

I do agree that in the area around Pa it seems less consistent, which could be a result of the frets being closer together up there. I noticed a few other inconsistencies as well, but they were very much in the minority. That's all my interpretation, though. 

I would not be surprised if this was her own innovation, given that I have not seen this particular technique before used so regularly by anyone else (then again, I don't watch that many videos). I'm with you - I like to see when skilled players try something new - it reminds us that this is a constantly evolving art form. 
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by barend
Wise words Povster! Totally agree.

Talking about meend with third finger. Check out this video. She plays meends in the gayaki style with the third finger all over! Never seen it to this extent. But she sounds great. I wonder why she choose to do that because sometimes she plays the same meend with the third or the second finger. There seems to be no logic or system in which finger she uses. Any ideas?



She learned from Budhaditaya Mukherjees father, I have a friend Ashim Chowdhury who study(s) with Budhaditya who also plays this way so maybe something in their way of doing things. I remember asking about it when we were hanging out a few years ago but I forgot what he said, I think it was something about getting a better balance for intonation....he was using it for meend as well very effectively. It may be a good thing to use for those with smaller hands probably, I was taught that it was ok to use but only if a specific method was applied and practiced according to how you wanted to add it. 2 fingers is fine for me, especially with my modified steel finger now!

Lars

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barend

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars


She learned from Budhaditaya Mukherjees father, I have a friend Ashim Chowdhury who study(s) with Budhaditya who also plays this way so maybe something in their way of doing things. I remember asking about it when we were hanging out a few years ago but I forgot what he said, I think it was something about getting a better balance for intonation....he was using it for meend as well very effectively. />Lars


Yes. But Budhaditya doesn't use the third finger at all I think. They both had the same teacher.
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