Hello again from Southern New Jersey. Well I have my new sitar and its great but now I'm thinking ahead to the future for a New Indian instrument. Either a Veena or a Surbahar, now I know a surbahar is very similar to the sitar "just a big over grown one I suppose ,but I'm not to familiar with the veena ,namely the saraswati veena. Is it basically played te same as the sitar? Fingerings ,strummings,scales etc.. Anyone know about these ? Any input would be greatly welcomed. Just trying to keep this forum going,, Thanks in advance
Jeffrey R King
Jeff, You really need to think about which form of Indian music you are going to be in to (Hindustani or Carnatic) as this is going to have some impact on which veena you might want. I personally love the rudra veena as it was/is the lordof the instrumental dhrupad (check out Z.M. Dagar and Asad Ali Khan). If you are looking for something a bit more sitar like, then you should probably focus on a surbahar. If you are going to start a museum of Indian instruments, you might be well to purchase one of the books on these instruments that talks a bit more about tunings (the tonic for rudra veena and surbahar is somewhere around G or G#), and the order for string tuning on the rudra is different (almost up-side-down from what you are familiar with). Also, many of the veenas frets are constructed with wax so that you have to be diligent about temperature control. Refretting a veena is about a $500 adventure if you can find a "fretwalla" that can do it for you.
Agreed with Stephen. Too many differences between sitar and veena. I'd choose one or the other and stick with it if learning to play it is what you have in mind. Otherwise, if you're just building a collection, and some people do like to do that, both the saraswati and rudra veenas are a beautiful instruments, but be prepared to spend some cash. Personally, I always had the sarode in mind for a second see-if-I-like instrument.
I think surbahar is a great instrument, I've only played one a few times. I think the veena sounds like an out of tune guitar, Found the fingering abit different to get sounds out of it, I ve spent 10 mins on one that was tuned, the owner of which always picks up instruments, fine tunes them and sells them for very good prices.contact me & I will give you the info....