INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Tuning in D

 

Author Message
Neal
Tuning in D Dec 31, 2002 10:42 a.m.


Hey all, I have been tuning in D. Is it necessary to loosen the strings back down to C each time I finish playing? or can I leave it as is - and perhaps once a week slacken the strings?

Also, I am curious for those who have a Mangla what key their particular instrument sounds best in, I was amazed how much more solid and substantial my Teak sounds in D.

Neal

Chris
Re:Tuning in D Dec 31, 2002 09:21 p.m.


Hello Neal,
I tune my Jackwood sitar up to D on a regular basis. The harmonics improve. The sound color improves as well. Not quite sure why. I am not sure if it it okay to leave it in D when not playing ( I do, but I'm lazy and hate to have to retune from scratch each time I pick it up)

It sounds best in D , okay in C, and for some reason crappy in C#.

Chris


Hey all, I have been tuning in D. Is it necessary to loosen the strings back down to C each time I finish playing? or can I leave it as is - and perhaps once a week slacken the strings?

Also, I am curious for those who have a Mangla what key their particular instrument sounds best in, I was amazed how much more solid and substantial my Teak sounds in D.

Neal[/quote]

K.K.
Re:Tuning in D Dec 31, 2002 10:36 p.m.


Hi All: My teak sounds best in D also. Unfortunetly my fingers can't handle it for very long so I keep it in C or C# most of the time.
Jette
Re:Tuning in D Jan 01, 2003 03:52 p.m.


I also play in mostly in "D". At first it was tough on my fingers, but now I can't go back to C or C# - as the instrument just doesn't sound as full . I also found that if you tune up to D and use a #2 (.011) gauge wire for a few weeks it helps with the transition. Then when your finger strength and callouses are built up, you can go back to a #3 gauge (.012) wire...and if your real daring try tuning in D with a #4 gauge wire. Jette
Jeff
Re:Tuning in D Jan 02, 2003 10:43 a.m.


Has anyone tried the D tuning on a Mangala "Tun"? And does it seem you break strings more often in the higher tunining or is it about the same?
Jette
Re:Tuning in D Jan 02, 2003 10:56 a.m.


Have a teak not a tun- so I can't address that, but I have NEVER broken a wire just by going up to D.
J-

Has anyone tried the D tuning on a Mangala "Tun"? And does it seem you break strings more often in the higher tunining or is it about the same?[/quote]

Russ
Re:Tuning in D Jan 02, 2003 11:34 a.m.


A well-made tun should be able to handle D tuning OK. Good quality strings should not break in D either. Only reason to tune it down after playing is that it will cut into the bridge and top nut much faster, reducing the lifetime of your jawari. The effect is more pronounced if they are made of bone (not so much with synthetic materials).
Chris- your sitar is jackwood? What type of wood is that?
chris
Re:Tuning in D Jan 02, 2003 01:24 p.m.


I think it is a type of Sycamore or Laurel tree. Not common for sitars, but quite common for mridangams.


Chris- your sitar is jackwood? What type of wood is that?[/quote]

neal
Re:Tuning in D Jan 02, 2003 08:25 p.m.


Hey Russ,
My concern was that it would induce stress fractures in the wood. Is that a valid concern? I remember one of Peter Cutcheys posts saying that it was ok to leave it in 'D' ... then once a week slacken the strings.

PS I believe Ashwin Batish's also has a Jackwood sitar


A well-made tun should be able to handle D tuning OK. Good quality strings should not break in D either. Only reason to tune it down after playing is that it will cut into the bridge and top nut much faster, reducing the lifetime of your jawari. The effect is more pronounced if they are made of bone (not so much with synthetic materials).
Chris- your sitar is jackwood? What type of wood is that?[/quote]

Lars
Re:Tuning in D Jan 02, 2003 08:28 p.m.


Jackwood is used for a lot of South Indian instrments, must be common down there........

Russ
Re:Tuning in D Jan 02, 2003 11:15 p.m.


I've read that all southern veenas are made of jackwood. Ashwin's sitar may very well be jackwood, but that would be unusual I think.

Neal;
I do remember Peter saying that its OK to leave in D, but I tune it down to C when I'm finished just to be on the "safe side". For comparison, some people leave their computers on all the time, just turn off the monitors. Others like me shut down when finished. I have found that shutting down can make a computer last many more years before failure than by leaving it always on. So by analogy, by tuning down when finished, a sitar should last much longer before time, age, and microfracturing/warping cause it to become unplayable. I believe leaving it in D may accelerate the ravages of age.
Anybody else have an opinion on this?

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