Sitar – Q & A

in Q & A,Sitar

Sitar For Sale

What is the difference between playing a guitar and playing a sitar?

Though Guitar and Sitar use almost similar technique for playing, yet there are differences. The variations in the styles of playing both is mentioned as under:.

Instead of using a pick that is used for playing a guitar, a Sitarist uses 2 metal finger picks called mizrabs. One mizrab is placed on the index finger and the other on the pinky. The next difference lies in the positions it is played. Sitting positions in both are very dissimilar.

Third  difference lies in the tuning aspect of both the stringed instrument. The tuning of the Sitar is quite different from tuning the Guitar. And lastly the most dramatic difference in playing is the Indian Music System which is too complicated and a player is very likely to get all mixed up unless he has complete control over the classical raga and tala.

Unlike guitar frets, the frets of Sitar are curved and raised above the fingerboard & some strings actually run under them, and can’t be fretted. The curved frets bring more versatility when it comes to bending a note than what a guitar can produce.

What could be the possible variations in the design of Sitar?

There are a few variations on the design such as the single Sitar which does not have the sympathetic strings and the double Sitar, which does not have the gourd at the top of the neck. Then there are sitars more suitable for professional players and sitars for beginners. There is a double toomba Sitar available too.

Will you please explain what is `Bending a Note’ all about?

Bending a note involves pulling or pushing the sting. It is done with different positions on the fret, which results in tightening the string and helps in raising the pitch. The more the musician bends, the higher the note he can create. The sitar is played with a wire metal pick which enables the musician to play every level of strings at the same time.

The curved frets of Sitar bring more versatility in bending a note than what a guitar can.

My Sitar shows worn grooves on the bridges. What is the solution?

If there are grooves worn in the bridge, please consider the Jawari to be done which will give you an idea about what the instrument sounds like. The fact of the matter is that a cheap sitar with a top-class jawari can sound decent, but on the other hand a high quality sitar with a badly done or worn jawari can very well sound mediocre. So get things in order for your sitar to be able to produce the best sound

The jawari should be even over the whole instrument. Pull a note a third or fourth up on one fret, to check if it sounds same as the fretted note sound. Do this all up and down the neck. Strike a note on the fret, then pull a meend up a few steps and then back down. Do you come back to the exact same pitch?

Previous post:

Next post: