INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: sitar bass strings note

 

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sun
sitar bass strings note May 03, 2002 09:30 a.m.


hi friends
i want to know if you play on your other strings on the sitar beside the main string
i heard ravi shankar cd and it sounds very deep sound that isnt possibale on the main string
i tried to play like him and it dosent sound good
[on the bass strings , like that i play on the main string]
i hope that you understand
please some replay me
thanks bye b ye
sun
Re:sitar bass strings note May 03, 2002 09:44 a.m.


hi guys
i forgot to say that the raga that i heard that ravi and other sitar masters play with the bass srtings is the malkauns raga
peace
jerry
Re:sitar bass strings note May 04, 2002 01:11 a.m.


Hi Sun
I thought someone with more knowledge than me would have stepped in by now. Here's what I know. Others will have more detail.

'Are you seriously trying to suggest coconuts migrate?' Oh no, that's another thread. Sorry.

Ravi (and Nikhil Banerjee and many others) use the 2nd and 3rd string in the development of the alap. As I understand it, this harks back to the time when alap would be played on a surbahar (a kind of bass sitar) and gats on the sitar. Ravi is emulating the surbahar as he explores the full range of the raga.
An artist like Vilayat Khan believes it's wrong to do this, refering to the (classically correct) theory that sitar should only play melody on its top string.

Of course, all of the above could be pants, as we say over here. Someone will tell us if it is, complete with a couple Monty Python quotes.
All the best
Jerry

peterc
Re:sitar bass strings note May 11, 2002 06:57 p.m.


"Gin and dog t--d please"

Hmm, I do remember hearing much bass (4th) string work on my first Ravi Shankar LP of raga Lalit and Khamaj back in the '60s.
Yup! Here it is... EMI Music from India series No. 4 EMI number ASD 2341, copyright 1967.
Anyone know where one can get a decent copy of this? Mine is very shagged out.
To my mind this era was when Ravi was doing some of his finest work and his trademark was to use that big 0.0285"/0.032" brass Pancham string.
At that time one seemed to hear a lot of Ravi doing this, but he seemed to use the 4th string less as time went by. Virtually every note has to be pulled to get in tune on this string so it is a very skillful thing to do.
It is said that his Nodu Mullick sitars were built with the Surbahar in mind as Ravi was very interested in being able to enulate both instruments with the one sitar. A. Devi, his first wife, is said to be a very fine Surbahar player so it is logical to suppose that they both had an interest in Surbahar. It seems from the photo. that the bottom tumba may be larger than normal in the cover shot on this LP, but this is hard to tell as Ravi is actually quite a short person physically so any sitar tends to look very large on him.
In fact I have had quite a number of people phone me up and ask for "A really big sitar, like Ravi's" as they don't realize how small he is - about 5'3" or so I've been told.
One can get an idea of his stature by looking at photos of the late George Harrison as in these George looks like a giant beside Ravi!
At any rate it seems that the fabulous 4th string is what you may be hearing fom Ravi and if you find his earlier recordings you'll probably hear a great deal more of this on them.
For those who would appreciate much low string work perhaps try Italian sitarji Adalberto Zappa on his CDs Om Shanti and Yantra (thanks Lars for the first MP3 sample). These are available from MP3.com at about $7.00 or so and he tunes his sitar down to about "B" as Sa.
For about a year I had my sitar tuned down to "A"and this was very interesting for me... big fat bass strings!
Also, when in "A" the 2nd string becomes almost cello like.
He uses quite a lot of delay and his music is very, very, relaxing to listen to.

"Is this REALLY a cheese shop?"

peterc
Re:sitar bass strings note May 11, 2002 09:16 p.m.



jerry (May 04, 2002 01:11 a.m.):
Hi Sun
I thought someone with more knowledge than me would have stepped in by now. Here's what I know. Others will have more detail.

'Are you seriously trying to suggest coconuts migrate?' Oh no, that's another thread. Sorry.

Ravi (and Nikhil Banerjee and many others) use the 2nd and 3rd string in the development of the alap. As I understand it, this harks back to the time when alap would be played on a surbahar (a kind of bass sitar) and gats on the sitar. Ravi is emulating the surbahar as he explores the full range of the raga.
An artist like Vilayat Khan believes it's wrong to do this, refering to the (classically correct) theory that sitar should only play melody on its top string.

Of course, all of the above could be pants, as we say over here. Someone will tell us if it is, complete with a couple Monty Python quotes.
All the best
Jerry


P.S. It's Adalberto Zappal, I forgot the letter L... what a silly bunt!.
Yours truly with a jam sandwich and half a brain. Brigadier General (rtrd) George Arthur Fitzgerald Cholmondely late of the 25th Royal Deserters and 52nd Foot and Mouth.

Russ
Re:sitar bass strings note May 11, 2002 10:35 p.m.


Hi Peter;
I'll dig out my old Monty Python videos and get up to speed with y'all in a bit....

Asked Indrajit the same question about the bass string, and I get the impression he doesn't care one way or the other about playing it. As I understand, Ravi was a surbarhar player before ever played sitar. So its not surprising he joined the two instruments into one in his famous Nodu sitar. But, I've dumped that string in favor of first and second string melody. The fight for the perfect bass string just isn't worth it. And the third string for a semi-bass is just fine.
BTW, Two Raga Moods put out by Ravi in 1968 has a nice version of Lalit on it, but I think his version on that one is called Ahir Lalit. Frankly, I don't know the difference between the two.

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