INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Playing w/o crib notes


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Playing w/o crib notes Apr 27, 2003 04:33 p.m.

Hey all, I use tiny little circular stickers on my sitar to indicate what note each fret represents (for the main playing string). A sort of crib notes if you will - are there any landmarks to identify where you are on the fret board besides the main larger space between middle Sa( seventh fret) and Re (eighth fret). It seems all the other frets are fairly equally spaced, so nothing jumps out at you as a landmark except the aforementioned. Does anyone else have this problem or am I just slow. I think I have also become dependant on them as well. Neal
Re:Playing w/o crib notes Apr 28, 2003 07:20 a.m.

That might be a good method for one that is just starting, but I would try to wean myself off of this method as soon as possible. I think it should be done by feel. I practice a lot with eyes closed or look at something else in the room, only occasionally looking at the instrument to get my bearings during a large interval leap. You probably want to be spending more time looking at what your other hand is doing anyway. What you do with the plucking hand is where much precision is needed. A lot of the notes emitted from fingering frets are found by ear. It will come to you, and yes, use whatever means you feel comfortable with.
Re:Playing w/o crib notes Apr 28, 2003 12:44 p.m.

Hi Neal;
I thought about doing something like that, but never did. But like Stephen says, everyone learns by much practice and it becomes very mechanical in time. I'm still struggling to become familiar with sargam. When someone says play ga-re-ma, I still have to sound out the notes in my mind first before I play it. I can't go directly to it just yet. Very frustrating not only to me but my teacher as well.
Re:Playing w/o crib notes Apr 28, 2003 02:28 p.m.

Hey Neal: Never having played a stringed instrument, I did the exact same thing (stickers) when I first got my sitar. I weend myself off of them, one note per day. First day, take the Pa stickers off, second day take the Dha stickers off, etc. Before you know it you'll be clean! Important: make sure you sing the notes (PA, Dah, Ni, Sa....) while you're practicing the scale.
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