INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Meends: technical question

 

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Dan
Meends: technical question Feb 24, 2003 11:08 p.m.


Hi, sitar friends,

It's about 15 years that I didn't meet a sitar teacher. I didn't play all that period either.. and there is no sitar teacher that I know of in Quebec city. I have restarted practicing since a few months. Now I'm starting the meends exercises given by my old teacher that I lost track of in time

During a meend, does the wrist bend over using the thumb as a "point d'appuis" in french, like the stable post of a leverage, in other words. Or it is only the fingers folding inwards the hand pulling the string along with them?

Dan
Lars
Re:Meends: technical question Feb 25, 2003 12:22 a.m.


Hi Dan,
Meend is done with the fingers bending in and out.......using the wrist in the manner you described is incorrect as would be moving the arm.
I think the reasoning is that (with practice) using the fingers only enables more precise control of the meend.
When I used to play on my own I always wondered why my notes on meend were not accurate and that's the reason although it's more comfortable it seems to use the wrist....
Glad you're back into playing!

Lars

Neal
Re:Meends: technical question Feb 25, 2003 10:08 a.m.


There is a good teacher in Maine. USA that you could probably see once a month or so. You might want to see his web-site at http://www.davidpontbriand.net/

Neal,
Boston, MA USA


Hi, sitar friends,

It's about 15 years that I didn't meet a sitar teacher. I didn't play all that period either.. and there is no sitar teacher that I know of in Quebec city. I have restarted practicing since a few months. Now I'm starting the meends exercises given by my old teacher that I lost track of in time

During a meend, does the wrist bend over using the thumb as a "point d'appuis" in french, like the stable post of a leverage, in other words. Or it is only the fingers folding inwards the hand pulling the string along with them?

Dan
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Amitava
Re:Meends: technical question Feb 25, 2003 10:44 a.m.


There seems to be some confusion here regarding the use of the thumb. The thumb and the index finger move in parallel. The thumb does assist with anchoring to help pull the string with the middle/index fingers. However, the pressure on the thumb should be just sufficient to do so. Excessive force will reduce your ability to traverse the fret board. Another VERY important point to remember is that the meend is to be done with the middle finger whenever possible. The index finger helps support the pressure on the middle finger. The index finger usually rests on the fret before the one of the middle finger - or if the gap is sufficient, just next to the middle finger. The imadkhani school. and senia school differ on which to technique to use - but both encourage the index finger to support the middle.
Amitava
Re:Meends: technical question Feb 25, 2003 10:20 p.m.


Two clarifications. The thumb anchoring is not always true. In general, the thumb is not taken off the back of the fretboard. So you have to figure out when to use it as an anchor and when not not. When I pause on a fret to do meend, I notice that the thubm seems to play a role - as it does when I pull from say dha to ma (lowere or upper octacte). Also the use of the index finger is not an "always" rule. There are times when traversing the scale fast, when small note (1-2 semitones) meeds are done using only the index finger.
Russ
Re:Meends: technical question Feb 26, 2003 11:15 a.m.


Hi Amitava;
Seems to be the preference of your teacher as to technique you use. I think a good teacher will also notice when you play better and more "natural" using one style or the other, and that's the one you should stick with. Just my opinion on that one.

I've been taught to use the first finger for just about everything, including meends and gamaks (senia style I imagine). The second finger can be used to lend support to the first, especially for an extended meend where more strength is needed. But, I seem to play more naturally when I give both fingers about equal time on meends. What do you think?

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