I just wanted an opinion from people who have been playing guitar and learnt Sitar later. I have been playing electric, acoustic and bass Guitar for about 3 years, mainly classic rock and metal music. I have enormous interest in Sitar and would like to get into it at some point. Will guitar playing and western music theory be of any help there. Or can it be a hindrance in some form. I would like to get some of you guys opinion. Thanks
You're likely to get all kinds of replies on this one. From my experience of playing guitar for over 20 years and now sitar, guitar background is both good and bad. Its good because you're used to playing a fretted lute type instrument which is what both guitar and sitar are, but its also bad because the playing technique between guitar and sitar is very different. With sitar, I found I had to start all over again, and it is very hard nowdays to switch back and forth, so I don't. My guitar is in the closet for now. Maybe I'll pick it back up again one day...
Like Russ predicted, here is a completely different reply. I've also played guitar for more than 20 years (mostly classical with some folk and rock). In the first couple of weeks with my sitar last summer I had a lot of trouble learning to hold the instrument and getting my left hand to the right place at the right time. The problems cleared up after about a month and at this point I don't seem to have any problems going back and forth between the two. (Not that I'm doing anything really wonderful on either one, I might add.) I find that the guitar skills that cross over are: (1) left hand finger independence (2) general musical skills with rhythms and pitches, etc. (3) practicing skills like organizing time and patience with repeating the same things over and over while varying tempos and sometime rhythms to get them down. Good luck with your sitar! And guitars.
I just started playing sitar this year, but I've played guitar about 17 years. I think there's plenty that crosses over. It would certainly take someone who's never played a stringed intrument a lot longer to get used to it. There is a big difference in eastern and western music, but there is also a lot there that is basically the same. It also might depend on what style you play on guitar. For me melodic and modal playing are right up my alley.
I played lead Guitar in a heavy metel band, as well as playing folk type music on the steel string. I found the cross over from leads to sitar easy enough, it was learning how to sit cross legged for the period of time hard. After having a ruptured disk removed 4 yrs ago, I can no longer sit that way at all. so now I've had to relearn how to balence it on my leg whille sitting in a chair , which is hard in the since of keeping it from slipping of the smooth surface of you clothes. bye for now .........sitarsrule
We had a tread going on here a few months ago I think, about bad backs and sitting in the komal assam position on the floor for long periods, playing sitar. Indeed, a number of us have bad backs, and have had to modify things a bit. Some folks sit on a couch instead or sit on the floor with the couch directly behind the back, giving support. I frequently place a couple of pillows at the base of a wall, and then scoot back against them so the wall gives my back support and the pillows make it more comfortable.