What is Vocal Tanpura?
Vocal Tanpura is of several types: Female, pitched above male is usually tuned around G or G#. Male Tanpura is tuned lower, usually between C and D. Vocal Tanpuras are bigger in size than Instrumental Tanpuras as they have to develop volume enough to keep up with the human voice.
Instrumental Tanpuras are comparatively very small and accompanied with sitar, sarod, veena and other stringed instruments which, compared with the human voice, are relatively quiet. The larger vocal type needs to be played carefully at a lower volume as otherwise the instrument may not be audible.
What are the Features to look For while buying Tanpura
A 4 string Tanpura is considered to be a standard tanpura. Generally Tanpuras are naturally tuned to “G”. Make sure the one you are getting is. Does the instrument allow tuning to 1 note up or down? Screen the quality of wood. And finally are there bridge threads and ivory beads to tune your Tanpura to get the perfect sound
What are instrumental Tanpura?
The instrumental Tanpuras are between 95 and 115 cm in length and are the smallest Tanpuras. These are stringed with 5 thin steel strings & comparatively, have a flat wooden resonance box and neck.
The sound is clear. The typical tuning of an instrumental Tanpura involved tuning it around middle C. Instrumental Tanpuras are popular in Indian music scene in Sarod or Sitar concerts.
How Can a Tanpura which limited key range (depending on whether it is a female or a male Tanpura) be tuned to E to accompany Bansri?
If you were using instrumental Tanpura this would get much simpler to resolve. But if you are using a male Tanpura –try using lighter gauge strings or if you are using the female Tanpura use heavier strings. However you are likely to face the roblem regarding jawari if the instrument wasn’t initially setup for your key. The best option is to tell the person you are buying it from that it is for E