INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: I'm Back

 

Author Message
Jerry
I'm Back Apr 07, 2003 02:11 a.m.


Hi guys,

Well, I went away for a while there as real life seemed to take over my all my energy. I've come to realise that music is real life and the rest is just transitory. Balance in everything, right?

Hope you all are doing great. I see Lars has started a high class service through his web site. It looks great.

Anyway, here's the other reason I'm here apart from just to say hello. How does everyone play tonk? Whatever I try, I can't get that rich, full sound that Ravi and Nikhil get. Best I can do is just to catch the edge of the last sypathetic as I hit down on the soundboard which doesn't sound right at all.

p.s. I've just ordered two more Nikhils for my small collection - Gawoti and Malgunji. Can't wait. I just LOVE this guy.

Take care folks,

Jerry

Lars
Re:I'm Back Apr 07, 2003 02:25 a.m.


Hi Jerry!
Welcome back......I still have your video, but not converted yet.....sorry! Been a little busy.
You could try moving your sympathetic bridge out a little more so more of the strings are exposed, tune the bottom 2 to SA, etc. if you are wanting more of a sound.....

Lars

Jerry
Re:I'm Back Apr 07, 2003 02:48 a.m.


Hi Lars,

No hurry with the video. I'm wondering if it's the same program as the Portrait DVD I read about?

I'll try the sypathetic bridge adjustment. Do you think that's what the pros do? It sounds like they get a lot more sympathetic bang for their buck than just a couple strings.

Hey, great job on the web site. If I didn't have the Mangla, I'd be all over you like a rash
When I get that fibreglass case at some point, I'll give you a shout.

Jerry

Russ
Re:I'm Back Apr 07, 2003 11:09 a.m.


Hi Jerry;
You'll probably have a little difficulty when you try to move the small bridge to the right a little. With the Mangla, you'll find that there is no shellac or stain under the bridge feet. As I understand, that's to make full contact between bridge-tabli to get best sound. So, to keep that effect, you'll have to emulsify the shellac with mineral spirits on the spots where you will relocate the bridge, and then press down hard to "squish" any shellac out from under the bridge feet. Now you will have two naked spots where the feet used to be, but that can be partially covered by once again emulsifying the shellac immediately around the spots and brushing it in. Of course, you should do all this with the sympathetics completely loose or taken off. Pretty much a full weekend job. But it does sound good by tuning the last 3 strings to sa-ni-sa, and hitting those for your ra tonk stroke.
Jerry
Re:I'm Back Apr 07, 2003 12:03 p.m.


Hi Russ - how's things?

I wouldn't dare do that to my sitar <g> - I'm just not a good enough craftsman to be sure I wouldn't ruin it.
Do you tune the last 3 symp's to s-n-s and play the Da stroke at a different angle form normal to strike them?

Do you have anything planned with Indrajit. I see Lars has been taught by him too. What a fabulous opportunity. I'm looking around again myself for a teacher in London just now.

Cheers Russ,

Jerry

Russ
Re:I'm Back Apr 07, 2003 01:26 p.m.


Jerry-
The job pretty well tires me out every day. I have to push myself at night to sit down and play. Wish sometimes I could just chuck the job and go do what pleases me. But like everyone else, I'm addicted to money. Better to have it than not. Ah well....at least the playing does give me psychic energy back.

I use a Ra stroke to play the thonk, but I guess you could do it with a Da as well. Only thing is, its named after the "thonk" sound you get when the mizrab hits the pick guard (or "Norman" I think somebody called it once). Won't get that with a da stroke. To do it, I angle my hand about 80 degrees down to hit both the first main and 3 tarabs at about the same time. Plus, put a little power into the stoke or it will sound lame. But not too much or you'll break some strings!

Indrajit has written me, but I haven't replied yet. Sounds like he has a heavy schedule this summer, so I would want to catch him when he's not too pooped. If he's up to it, I will go again.

Neal
Re:I'm Back Apr 07, 2003 02:18 p.m.


Can anyone tell me a CD where I might hear this "Tonk" sound in the context of a Raag? Neal


Anyway, here's the other reason I'm here apart from just to say hello. How does everyone play tonk? Whatever I try, I can't get that rich, full sound that Ravi and Nikhil get. Best I can do is just to catch the edge of the last sypathetic as I hit down on the soundboard which doesn't sound right at all.

p.s. I've just ordered two more Nikhils for my small collection - Gawoti and Malgunji. Can't wait. I just LOVE this guy.

Take care folks,

Jerry[/quote]

Jerry
Re:I'm Back Apr 07, 2003 03:07 p.m.


Hi Neal,

Which CD recordings have you got? If we can find one we have in common, I'll find a few tonks on it and give you the cue points.

You'll recognise the sound when you hear it.

Jerry

Neal
Re:I'm Back Apr 07, 2003 04:55 p.m.


Got ~15 Ravi CD's,

Manilal Nag at woodstock,
Nikhil -sindu kamaj, monomanjari, puriba kalyan

Many Debu Chaudhuri's

Vilayat Khan-bhairavi

Hi Neal,

Which CD recordings have you got? If we can find one we have in common, I'll find a few tonks on it and give you the cue points.

You'll recognise the sound when you hear it.

Jerry[/quote]

Russ
Re:I'm Back Apr 07, 2003 07:30 p.m.


Hey Neal;
Its hard to find a raag that doesn't have that stroke in it! Its used as a strong point of emphasis, so look for it in the drut portion of a gat, or in the faster portions of Ravi's dhuns. Like Jerry says, you'll know it when you hear it. It is not subtle!
Jerry
Re:I'm Back Apr 08, 2003 06:06 a.m.


Hi Neal,

OK, dig out Nikhil's magnificent Sindhu Khamaj recording. Go to track 3, the fast Gat in Tintal.

There's lots of tonk here. As Russ says, it's used to punctuate a phrase, empasising a particular note or beat. Between 8 and 9 seconds into the track, he uses a tonk stroke to begin the phrase, and plays another on the 3rd note of that phrase. There's another at 20 seconds. At 31 seconds he plays a dramatic one after a phrase of normal plucked notes.

These are by no means the only ones, but hopefully that's enough for you to identify the tonk stroke. It's played by striking down with the mizrab so that it strikes the pick guard and (I think) the edge of the tarbs. But its one thing to say that, and another to play it so that it's incorporated effortlessly into the phrase. I can't do it properly, that's for sure!

Cheers

Jerry

Jerry
Re:I'm Back Apr 08, 2003 06:20 a.m.


Just listening further on...

Three of the clearest ones imaginable are heard on the same track at 3.30, 3.32 and 3.34. Can't miss 'em..

J

Neal
Re:I'm Back Apr 08, 2003 07:05 a.m.


thanks jerry!
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