How many strings does a Swarmandal Use?
Swarmandal does not come in standard sizes and number of strings varies from 21 to 36. The musician chooses the number of strings depending upon the raga he is going to play.
How is Swarmandal tuned?
Tuning Swarmandal is very simple, if know two things. What key that you sing in and the raga that you wish to perform. Now you can start the Swarmandal’s tuning with the lowest string and find your way up. Start with the lowest string and go on tightening it until the tension feels comfortable. Once you find the comfort zone, look for the nearest note which is in the rag and tune to it.
Then tune the next string, and continue until you reach a point where the strings are getting too tight. At that point you can double up on the tuning. That is to say that you tune two or more strings to the same note. Then again you go up the scale. Again you reach a point where it is getting too tight. Again you double up the Swarmandal’s tuning. Repeat this until all the strings in the instrument are in tune.
What are the peculiar features of Swarmandal?
The most peculiar thing that sets swarmandal apart from other Indian musical instrument is that there is no such thing as a standard tuning for Swarmandal. Then there is no standard size for a Swarmandal. Different vocalists sing from different keys. The musician or singer will tunes the Swarmandal to the rag, every one of which will be different
What about Digital Swarmandals?
Electronic or digital Swarmandal is the latest innovation that has proved to be a boon for vocalists. No frequent changing of strings required; no long stretched jobs of tuning and re-tuning each string; offers 24 touch-sensitive strings over 3 octaves; easy tuning of each string to preset notes; fine-tuning facility for each note; mute facility for strings; sustained notes can be adjusted