Do you guys think its a good idea to have two bridges, and switch them from time to time? My Jawari right now is absolutley perfect, and I want to preserve it for performing. I would like to have a closed Jawari as well. Does anybody know where I can find good information on how to do Jawari work?
Big L, The best written description fo how to shape the javari is in the Manfred Junius book, of which Buckingham has copies, I'm pretty sure that Lars has some copies and Khazana as well. Silverbush's website gives a more abbreviated discription. As this is somewhat of a difficult proceedure, it would be best if you could find an experienced javariwala to show you the proceedure. Several folks on this forum and I at least tweek our own javari. But I don't claim to fully understand how to do this, I'm just extending the life of the two bridges that I have by minimal scraping/filing/sanding to keep a more closed shape (less buzz). I'm sure that this is something that you can do quite well with practice (read: after you've butchered a few bridges) and would be a very nice skill to have as you get to determine just how open you want the javari and could tweek that more often to maintain an optimum tone for your performances.
Hey Big L: How is your bridge attached to the tabli? If it's "glued" on with shellac, then once you break it loose, there's a GOOD chance you won't get it back in the same exact position, which of course will change the jawari. Some people install a small bone or metal pin (Ashwin Batish, "Tweaking Your Sitar") in the tabli to locate the bridge. (I'm not confident in my bridge location yet to go drilling holes in my sitar) This way you don't have to "glue" it to the tabli. I imagine you could switch bridges around using this method. Another trick that some pros use is to slip a very thin piece of mylar, acetate, lexan, etc. between the strings and the jawari for practice to save the jawari for performance. I've always wondered why no one has designed a two piece bridge so that the top half (where the jawari is done) was attached with screws or even just located on pins (so as not to move around) This way you could have several different jawari set ups. Anyone try this? Even a bridge that had a "pitch angle adjustment" would be helpful. I guess anytime you start sticking screws or mechanisms on an instument, it has an effect on the sound. I'm sure this is why modern machine heads are not used on sitars. Well, good luck saving that jawari
Big L...... 2 bridges is Ok....but most people just stick with one and adjust the jawari as necessary. If it's perfect for you then slip a piece of 35mm film cut to size between the strings and the bridge. Cut the film to match the entire bridge surface from the horizontal groove to the edge. Also periodically applying some graphite (pencil shading) under the strings will prolong it too. Getting a decent second bridge is another thing, almost all of them are from the same importer. Also the nice thick deer horn bridges are disappearing, I'm working on getting a few but actually I am fond of the synthetic bridges, I can't tell the difference. The Junius book is your best source for jawari in written form. Silverbush.com is good as an additional source. Many of the players I know do jawari when they're on the road. In a nutshell is comes to this. To close it up, file down towards the lower half (toward the string slots), to open it, file down the upper half. Always do very little at a time and test it, be sure to do full meend also as the sound can change drastically if you have not filed even enough. It takes quite some time to do it right. Best to get a cheap bridge and practice until you get the hang of it! You will have to experiment a lot with it. The first time I did it I spent 20 hours, but the next time, etc. it only took 2. I'll try to do a simplistic jawari diagram soon on the site. And please don't hold me responsible if you don't get it right! Sometimes you hit it right on and other times....well.......but with patience and attention to detail it's possible to get a good sound on your own. If you have serious doubts though then I recommend Brian Godden at Silverbush but you'll have to send or take your sitar to California to get it done........hope this helps?
Do you guys think its a good idea to have two bridges, and switch them from time to time? My Jawari right now is absolutley perfect, and I want to preserve it for performing. I would like to have a closed Jawari as well. Does anybody know where I can find good information on how to do Jawari work?[/quote]
My Rikhi Ram has a Ebony jawari made out of one peace of wood. No bone at all. It has a bone pin that indicates where it should be placed, The reason for the edony is that it is harder than the bone (it lasts longer),,,
Is there any formula on where the jawary should be placed? To get the correct distance between the jawari and the frets to get the intonation perfect (like on a guitar and other string instruments whith a bridge). I want to try to set up my noname sitar, the jawari is worn out and someone has done some repairs on it years before it came to me.
any advice is considered good advice ; )
I have seen a sitar with a Nylon Jawari and with machine heads. The whole instrument made out of wood (no pumpkin), allso from Rikhi Ram) it was smaller than a normal sitar but still in full scale and just as loud and with sustain.