INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Meends

 

Author Message
Bob
Meends Feb 03, 2003 03:45 p.m.


I understand from what I have been reading and hearing that a meend can be as much as a fifth (sa to pa) and sometimes even more. When I go any more than a minor third, the string feels like it's about to pop ... and when I went a fourth, it did. Any ideas as to what is going wrong? Thanks in advance
K.K.
Re:Meends Feb 03, 2003 05:05 p.m.


Bob: Was it a steel or bronze/brass string?
Russ
Re:Meends Feb 03, 2003 11:40 p.m.


Bob;
One of my sitars is tuned to a B tonic. That sitar sounds its best at that tuning. I pull 5 note meends routinely with no effort. When I tune it up to a C, it gets harder to pull a 5 note meend. But if you use well-maintained quality strings (I use the Pyramids nowdays, but there are other equally good brands)they handle the stress and don't pop. However, if you go on up to a D, the odds of popping the main string on a 5 note meend are quite high, even with good strings. So, I don't do that.
Bob
Re:Meends Feb 06, 2003 01:54 p.m.


Thanks, guys! For the record, I have been using a steel string. The one I have on now has been there for many months, although I do clean it faithfully with cotton every time I put the sitar away. Maybe what I need is a new string. I suppose I should order digital calipers to measure the diameter of this one so I can get another that's the same thickness. The ma the sitar originally came with was very thick and too painful to press down.
Russ
Re:Meends Feb 06, 2003 05:04 p.m.


Hi Bob;
One of the reasons why Pyramid strings are recommended by many is their trueness of gauge. Their standard variation is reportedly minimal, so they are consistant. But as far as "toughness" goes, a good set of cryogenic strings are good and last a while. Neither are cheap, but you always get what you pay for.

Wiping the strings down ensures best sound. I don't think it has anything to do with a string breaking, unless you use a rough abrasive. That would shorten its lifetime. But use of cotton sounds fine. I change my ma string about once every 8 months on average. How often you change it depends on how much you play, and what shape its in. I play every day, anywhere between 45 minutes up to 2 hours when I'm in a "groove". If your string shows visible pits, grooves or kinks, I would change it now. Hope this helps.

Lars
Re:Meends Feb 06, 2003 10:16 p.m.


Hi Bob,
Yes....try a set of Pyramids, you must have the wrong gauge wire.....You should be able to do 5 note meends without too much effort!

Lars

Bob
Re:Meends Feb 07, 2003 01:52 p.m.


Lars / Russ -- When you say a "five-note meend" do you mean five notes more than the note you start on, i.e., pull sa up to dha -- or do you mean five frets worth of pitch elevation as in starting on sa and pulling up to ma?
Russ
Re:Meends Feb 07, 2003 04:29 p.m.


I mean sa to pa, counting sa.
Lars
Re:Meends Feb 07, 2003 07:53 p.m.


Like Russ said.......it shouldn't be difficult to go Sa to Pa at all, maybe hard on the fingers if you don't practice much. Most good sitars set up right will do 5 1/2 notes, some will do 6!

Lars

Dan
Re:Meends Feb 18, 2003 05:58 a.m.


Hi, sitar friends,

Sometime, the source of the problem is not the wrong gauge wire, the quality of the string or even the pits, grooves or kinks. The instrument itself might be the cause. Like a too sharp edge somewhere along the path of the string which makes it to claps under the extra pressure.

A closed examn of the instrument (any string instrument) where the break occured is a good place to start with; especially if it usually breaks in the same area. A tiny notch on a fret might weakened the under side of the string also. Than some maintenance is in order. Unless you like changing string, lol.

Dan

Amitava
Re:Meends Feb 19, 2003 11:22 a.m.


The jawari also impacts the pull also. As time flies - and the bridge height gets lower...you may notice that the pull can be more? (does that sound right).

Amitava

Dan
Re:Meends Feb 22, 2003 07:24 p.m.


Hi Lars and sitar friends,

Lars:


Most good sitars set up right will do 5 1/2 notes, some will do 6!

This is for the 1st string (Ma). But what are the meend ranges of the 3 other strings ?

Dan
Lars
Re:Meends Feb 22, 2003 07:51 p.m.


Well now......theorectically the meend range of the low strings would be as far as you could pull them.....usually though 3 to 4 notes comfortably from my experience......

Lars

Russ
Re:Meends Feb 23, 2003 12:18 a.m.


As Lars said, 3 is about it. You could go further, but remember you have the other strings in the way. I don't use the very low sa string (4th), so I can't say for that one.
hits
Re:Meends Feb 24, 2003 05:10 a.m.


Hey all!!! i've been reading this forum for about a year now, but dont really participate because i dont really have too much knowledge to contribute, but i guess its about time i started saying something.

talking about meends on 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings, well does anybody have a problem with the string going out of tune? i have a MAJOR problem with it and it kind puts me off using them for meends which i know will effect my performance in the long run. does any 1 know any way in which to stop this problem? is it my strings? also...there seems to be a lot of banter about these "pyramid" strings. are they available online? if any1 has a link to their webpage i would be grateful.
thank you
HITS

Stephen
Re:Meends Feb 24, 2003 08:05 a.m.


Mr. or Ms. Hits,
First off, don't lurk in the shadows, get on the board, ask questions, give opinions, have a good time. I have learned a lot from these threads and have had many of my specific questions answered. Welcome!
The 2nd and 3rd strings (I too don't really fret the 4th) will go out of tune less the more you use them. One thing you will notice with many of the ICM instruments is that performers will tune during the performance and not miss a beat. Watch Amjad Ali Khan on sarod for example. I had difficulty with this at first, but now is quite easy, just work it into the flow. Also realize that the whole range of the dand can't be used as it is with the first string, just the lower frets.
K.K.
Re:Meends Feb 24, 2003 01:06 p.m.


Hi Hits: Welcome to the Sitar Forum As Stephen stated, the lower bronze strings going out of tune is just a fact of ICM life. Once you do one long meend, that string is out. What's amazing is the ability of the masters to play (strategically) WHILE the string is out. If you listen carefully to recordings of your favorite musicians (who like to use the lower strings during alap) you'll hear them tuning after those long series of sorrowful sounding meends. One thing that helps is to initially get the string in tune, using the peg, so that your tuning bead has as much travel as possible for tuning on the fly.
Russ
Re:Meends Feb 24, 2003 01:37 p.m.


Hey Hits;
Everybody on this forum asks questions and learns something. That's why I think we're here? Jump in anytime.

Like everyone says, those string go out of tune very quickly with a meend. Perhaps one day, if these things are ever re-engineered, old pegs using wood-to-wood friction might be replaced with guitar-type gear screws with threads. Would solve a lot of problems I think. A 21st century sitar?

Russ
Re:Meends Feb 24, 2003 01:43 p.m.


Oh, forgot to say. Pyramid strings are german and can be bought directly from their store (do a web search with Pyramid). But, I also see every state in the US has at least one store that sells Pyramids. But for some reason, they don't advertise that they have sitar strings specifically. Anyway, a plug for ol' Lars here. He sells them at a good price. Check on the left hand page of the forum for his website. They are quite good.
Bob
Re:Meends Feb 24, 2003 03:11 p.m.


Hey Russ -- For the 21st century sitar, check out Green Onion at http://www.greenonion.nl/greenOweb Shock Free/insturments/gro_instr_all.htm.
Russ
Re:Meends Feb 24, 2003 05:55 p.m.


Hey Bob;
Yeah, I know about those green onions. Good name. No way would I buy their "techie" sitar. Screech, screech, crunch, crunch. No thanks!
Dan
Re:Meends Feb 24, 2003 10:35 p.m.


Hi, sitar friends,

There are many errors in the links due to white spaces in the addresses. The above adr. should be:
http://www.greenonion.nl/greenOweb%20Shock%20Free/insturments/gro_instr_all.htm

But then, the sitar adr. doesn't work, sorry if I couldn't figure out the white space in "traditional sitar" like the above.
http://www.greenonion.nl/greenOweb%20Shock%20Free/insturments/traditional sitar/gro_instr_tradsitar.htm

Dan
Lars
Re:Meends Feb 24, 2003 10:52 p.m.


Thanks for the plug Russ! The sitar strings are a specialty item and only available through a single distributor which is why you don't see them everywhere.
For Green Onion, a simple www.greenonion.nl
will work. It's an interesting concept he has, also if anyone needs a synthetic bridge, he will match your measurements and does very good work. I understand his sitars are made to order at this time? Remco on this board knows the gentleman there and could perhaps give more info.

Lars

Bob
Re:Meends Feb 25, 2003 12:51 p.m.


Sorry for the confusion about the web address for Green Onion. I personally am not very strongly attracted to the hi-tech sitars they offer. Nothing against those who like them, but for me, I like having a more traditional-looking instrument to play on. (Even though I'm reasonably sure it wasn't invented 700 years ago like it said on the back of a CD cased I saw in the store!) And lately I seem to be having less trouble with the tuning using pegs ...
Russ
Re:Meends Feb 25, 2003 05:08 p.m.


The "traditional" sitar as they call it is no more than 50 years old. Before that, they were very much smaller and had fewer strings. I sometimes wonder just what a sitar looked like 700 years ago. Now and then, one can still find the old "student" sitar that has only 6 mains, and no tarab (sympathetic) strings. The only "techie" changes I would want to see is the peg thing, and also maybe a better material for the bridge so it wouldn't wear out so fast.
Remco
Re:Meends Feb 25, 2003 05:29 p.m.


Hi
A couple of weeks ago I brought my sitar away for a setupjob and the place (recommended by my teacher) turned out to be Green Union. He did a nice job on my sitar (relocating a tarab-peg and jawari on the bridge)
He knows what he is doing) Aside from the Hitech sitars he also had a veena (south Indian) buitl in the traditional way (and for non Indian music lovers) a Gretsch (holowbody guitar). He told me had done repair jobs at a well known guitarcentre near Rotterdam and also studied instrument building in India.

Peace,

Remco

Russ
Re:Meends Feb 25, 2003 06:28 p.m.


You mean Green Onion. Yes, the owner is knowledgeable in these instruments. Don't mean to imply that he isn't! I just wouldn't want the fiberglass and stainless steel one-piece job they advertise. All else most likely fine. The euro-shaped guitar is interesting.......
Matt
Re:Meends Feb 25, 2003 09:20 p.m.


I agree with fact that a "traditional" sitar is preferrable (like the Jaipur on Lars' site, a source of major drooling), but - the Green Onion instruments are pretty cool! That Mother Kali tanpura is a hoot! Anyone have any idea how these instruments play and sound? How much are they, anyway?
Remco
Re:Meends Feb 26, 2003 09:10 a.m.


When I asked the guy who were his customers he told me that it were mainly "fusion"players, taditional players tended to buy a Hiren Roy, Rikhi Rham, etc...

Peace,

Remco

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