INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Srishti Manipur Tun review

 

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Matt
Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 09, 2003 04:12 p.m.


There have been several posts about the new Srishti sitars being sold by Sitars, Etc., ranging from "how do they compare to _____?" to "how is the quality?" to "who the heck can I trust?" I�ve had my eye on a Srishti since the site went up early this year and finally took the plunge a few weeks ago. Here, then, is a review of my new Manipur tun.

First, let me say that I am far from a sitar expert. I�ve been playing for eight months and have only two other sitars to use as reference points � the generic "standard" model that I bought last December and an acquaintance's Rikki Ram that I was able to play for about a half an hour one day in March! (Sitars are hard to find in Iowa.) Regardless, I hope that some of you find this information helpful if you decide to buy a new instrument.

When Sitars, Etc. went online, I was immediately drawn to the Manipur. The intricate and complex detail is characteristic of what I like best about Indian art in general. After awhile, I was torn between it and the Jaipur, which was in the lead for several months. Sometimes first impressions are best, so as my fund hit the target amount I finally decided on the Manipur.

Matt
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 09, 2003 04:13 p.m.


Part 2

I sent Lars a brief email about my intended purchase and asked him to call me the next day. He did, which provided a break from a mind-numbing conference call. We chatted about the instrument and he suggested that I order online, which I did when I got home. Later that night, the phone rang � it was Lars, playing Yaman on the Manipur! (By the way, Lars is a very good player, though he probably won�t admit it himself.) He asked if I minded the fact that this particular instrument had an open jawari. For me, it�s all about the buzz and the Ravi sound, so it was a perfect match. It�s always been clear to me that this business is a labor of love for Lars � he cares about the instruments and is committed to his customers, and will not sell something that he wouldn�t want to own himself. The fact that he took an hour out of his day to make sure I was getting what I wanted was very impressive.

The upper toomba and accessories were shipped separately from the sitar. I gave Lars a hard time about this � the toomba box arrived on Monday in the mail, while the sitar wasn�t scheduled to arrive until Friday via FedEx. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment! The upper toomba arrived wrapped in a large printed Indian scarf � very classy � and was gorgeous. Actually seeing the detail and workmanship of the toomba let me know that I made the right choice. The accessory kit contained a main and tarb peg, a small amount of fret thread, a tarb hook, a pack of �generic� strings, and a pack of Pyramid strings. I already have an oil box and both books that Lars sells, so he substituted a narka and a package of incense. Instead of the nag champa oil advertised on the site, Lars suggested a small bottle of Indian hair oil that Indrajit Banerjee uses, to which I agreed. I forgot to tell Lars the size of mizrab that I like so those are being sent separately.

Matt
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 09, 2003 04:15 p.m.


Part 3

Friday came and I was chomping the bit. The sitar had reached Chicago at 12:38 AM. I checked the FedEx site throughout the day and it wasn�t�going�anywhere. I figured that the site was slow, but was a bit worried due to the summer heat. It never showed up on Friday. Lars called me that night, which was reassuring. Finally, it was loaded on a truck that night and delivered on Saturday morning. FedEx had put a nice hole in the back of the box but everything seemed intact.

I opened the box. The sitar was extremely well-packed using foam peanuts and larger pieces of foam at strategic support points. The case is a black fiberglass rocket ship shape with three locks, two snap-straps and a strap for carrying it on your shoulder. One lock is a combination lock, one has a key lock, and the other is large enough to utilize a padlock. The inside of the case is well-cushioned top and bottom and covered with a soft fluffy red material. My one-year old daughter will be walking any day now so a sturdy case is a must! Taped to the case were an envelope and a nag champa sachet bag. The enveloped contained a two-page thank you letter with unpacking, set up and general care instructions. Another nice personal touch � and the sachet is a great thing to have in my case.

Opening the case, I found the Manipur encased in a silky yellow fabric cover, with additional soft foam I carefully pulled out the instrument and was completely amazed. I was expecting something nice, but this instrument is truly beautiful and looks incredible in person. I won�t go into too much detail here because you can see what this model looks like at Sitars, Etc., but believe me when I say that the pictures don�t begin to do it justice.

I checked the finish for any bad spots due to the heat and I lucked out � it�s perfect. The only problem � if it is a problem � was a broken tarb string. No big deal, in my opinion. I let the instrument sit for about four hours before fixing the tarb string. It was strung using a better-quality Indian set of strings, but I did take the MA string off and replaced it with a Pyramid. The pegs are very tight and well-seated in their holes, yet turn smoothly without slippage. The frets were shiny and only required a few minor adjustments for initial intonation. Also � and this isn�t mentioned on the website � the sitar has string gags for the bass strings. Cool! After about 20 minutes of tuning, I was ready to play.

Matt
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 09, 2003 04:16 p.m.


Part 4

I have to say here that I�m a very good player � at eight months, who is? However, I�m amazed at how much better I sound with the Manipur, and with a lot less effort. The tone is pure and even up and down the neck and the bass strings sound fantastic (they were non-functional on my "standard"). My wife is not a musical person but immediately commented on how "substantial" this sitar sounds. This was the first thing I noticed when I played my friend�s Rikki Ram � from what I remember, the Manipur sounds at least as good and probably better. I can also dig in as needed for volume. During my lessons my teacher has had me attack the strings fairly hard � to get a good motion in my right hand � and the standard sounded terrible, as if it were being overloaded, for lack of a better term. Meends are easier � I have a greater range, of course, but it seems like it requires less effort find and hit the right note. This sitar is quite simply a joy to play and I am looking forward to many years of enjoyment.

Back to the posts � I�ve seen many that focus on well-known names, finding a "perfect" professional instrument, etc. Let�s be honest here, folks. My guess is that the overwhelming majority of people on this forum are amateurs (though very enthusiastic amateurs). We have day jobs and careers and play for our own personal enjoyment. We�ll never tour or perform in Carnegie Hall. But, many of us are also accomplished musicians on other instruments and have high standards of quality. Spending this kind of money on an instrument of any sort is scary, particularly when you can�t play it first, so it comes down to excellent customer service and a quality product. I believe that anyone here would be delighted to own a Sristhi � I know I am!

Jeff
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 09, 2003 06:02 p.m.


Hey Matt.
So much for srishti being an "average sitar". I can smell a Garland tun within a few months. Gonna go to sitars etc. to check out the manipur more closely.
Its nice to hear when someone gets a fine new instrument. Good luck and have fun.
Matt
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 09, 2003 06:06 p.m.


Let me amend Part 4 - it should say that I'm NOT a very good player.

Whoops!

Russ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 10, 2003 01:39 p.m.


Nice review, Matt. That's what a lot of folks have been looking for. Glad you found a teacher out there in Iowa.
pb
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 13, 2003 10:49 a.m.


Hey Matt,
I would love to see a few nice pics of your manipur.

Pb

Matt
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 13, 2003 11:00 p.m.


Hi pB,

Send an email to the address listed in my profile here, and I'll send 'em your way.

Billy
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 14, 2003 05:46 p.m.


Matt,

If you have no way to post the pics on the Internet, send them to me at
enigmar @ pobox.com
and I will post them (no space before and after the "@" sign of course; I don't need more spam-bots harvesting my email.).


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Jeff
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 15, 2003 09:14 a.m.


Someone else here on this forum just ordered a new Srishti. Let us know all about it when you give it a good playing.
Billy
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 15, 2003 10:49 a.m.



Jeff (Aug 15, 2003 09:14 a.m.):
Someone else here on this forum just ordered a new Srishti. Let us know all about it when you give it a good playing.

Even if they are new to playing sitar and wouldn't know a good sitar from a ukelele?


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Matt
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 15, 2003 02:05 p.m.


Billy - is it you?
Stephen
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 15, 2003 02:43 p.m.


Someone once told me that the Bee Gees would make a comeback.
Jeff
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 15, 2003 02:19 p.m.


Its not me but lets just call him B. Godfrey, no thats a little bit to obvious, just call him Billy G. Yeah thats it!
Jeff
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 15, 2003 05:32 p.m.



Stephen (Aug 15, 2003 02:43 p.m.):
Someone once told me that the Bee Gees would make a comeback.

GREAT!!! Now I can dance with one hand on my hip and point goofishly towards the sky and NOT look like an idiot on Saturday nights.

Billy
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 15, 2003 05:52 p.m.



Jeff (Aug 15, 2003 05:32 p.m.):

Stephen (Aug 15, 2003 02:43 p.m.):
Someone once told me that the Bee Gees would make a comeback.

GREAT!!! Now I can dance with one hand on my hip and point goofishly towards the sky and NOT look like an idiot on Saturday nights.


Just make sure and check your temperature....

Yikes what a week! TGIF!! Such a cruddy week, and on top of that, I got to sit here and wait on a new sitar?? How am I going to stand it?


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Matt
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 15, 2003 05:57 p.m.


Billy - congrats! Which one did you get? By the way, did you get the pics I sent?
Russ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 15, 2003 06:21 p.m.


.....ha ha ha ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive.....somebody stop me!
Billy
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 15, 2003 09:10 p.m.


Matt's Manipur Tun:


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Billy
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 15, 2003 09:13 p.m.


Matt,

I had to crop and lower the resolution a bit so the pics wouldn't be too big.

I'm getting the Strishti Standard; I'm just a beginner after all. I think its a good choice for me.


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Jan
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 17, 2003 04:17 a.m.


Nice instrument if you are into deco.
Personaly a little over the top for me.

But i liked the review...

Jan

Matt
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 18, 2003 10:52 p.m.


As a post-script, my wife has forbidden me from purchasing any more musical instruments.

However, I don't think a tabla machine counts as an instrument...hee hee hee.

Jeff
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 19, 2003 12:00 a.m.


Hmmmmmm, if I had to choose between my wife and more instruments?
Well,,,,, thats a real tough call.
I'll have to get back to ya's about that.
And Matt; you have to ask yourself, can your wife play tabla?
Ken
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 19, 2003 05:42 a.m.



Matt (Aug 18, 2003 10:52 p.m.):
As a post-script, my wife has forbidden me from purchasing any more musical instruments.

However, I don't think a tabla machine counts as an instrument...hee hee hee.


Hello Matt,
I had a great mentor, James Stewart (a phd in EthnoMusicology who had an uncanny ability to acquire over 100 musical instruments and cheap), who gave me this bit of sage advice:
"remember, money that you spend on musical instruments is not real money, it is not the same kind of money that you pay bills with."
It took me just a couple of years to convince my wife (Debbie) of this but I finally did it about 15 years ago. Both of us are players and have enjoyed many years of playing together, both for fun at home and for money at gigs. Best thing you could possibly do is help her get interested in music....good luck....uncle ken, proud member of MPS Culture Club and of course couldn't resist a new Shristi Garland Teak, wow! love my wife
PS Hi all, especially Russ, KK, Neal, and remco, haven't been here in over a year but have kept up my studies throughout buying the business I was working at, getting a partner (stupid move) getting rid of same, 9/11 and the CEO's closed the business, mom died, uncle died, geez, reopened my business out of the house blah blah blah, life is getting much better.

pb
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 19, 2003 09:57 a.m.


Hey Matt,
haha, I know the feeling. However, I don't think you need another sitar do you? That one should last you quite some time. I tell my wife that a tabla machine and tanpura are not instruments, just fancy indian metronomes

Pb

Bob
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 19, 2003 11:29 a.m.


Regarding achieving wife/music balance, one of my buddies from long ago used to advise me to tell the lady that whatever piece of music it was that I was spending all my free time on, I should tell her that I was "dedicating it to my love for her." He said that's what he did that whenever he needed to get some peace and quite, music budget and time to practice. I've never tried it personally.
Bob
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 19, 2003 11:34 a.m.


On a more serious note, I feel that it's enormously important to achieve balance in life and to be open and honest with mate, friends, etc. I've worked hard to try to balance music and family life and by and large, I think I've been reasonably successful.
Beenkarji
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 19, 2003 03:05 p.m.


There is a solution to all of this, I may be 18, but I know what can bring a relationship together,....children. What could be cuter than a sweet old sitar, and a sarangi sister for it. I have so many Hindustani instruments, and I have found the best way to aquire them is to make friends with musicians, and not even look for them, the instruments just end up coming to you. The problem for me is, when I move to New Delhi for the 5+ years I plan on studying, I dont want to leave my kids at home, so a select few said they would like to come along...hehe By the way, an electronic tabla makes a great pet, you dont have to feed it, and you dont have to refill its bols, it already has tons of them.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
AJ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 19, 2003 03:10 p.m.


Hello Uncle Ken

Yes, you will love that Srishti Garland Teak beyond measure........I wouldn't trade mine for all the gold in Cuba......er, uh, China, that is......!

Yes, you've been around this old board for a long time, huh.......that's how I found Lars to help me........I was going to have some money and wanted to buy a sitar......this forum seemed one of the few places to find any really good info, tips, etc......originally I had planned to buy from Buckingham (Sitars, Etc. hadn't come into being yet).....imagine my shock and dismay to continue on through the old posts and find that Peter C had passed over........I was literally floored........so I went back and spent the entire weekend going through all the old posts and came to the conclusion that out of everyone remaining, Lars would be the most likely to help someone who didn't know squat, not to mention he obviously knew his stuff.....so that's how I got started...........

Those old posts are a veritable gold mine of info, I find myself often going back to read them.....they not only offer much good and intelligent advice, but much humor and good natured belly laughs, as well! I would seriously recommend anyone who really loves sitar to spend some time taking a spin through them.....you can learn a great deal and have fun doing it, as well : )

Yes, you're a very lucky man to be able to have a Srishti Garland Teak in your care.....! Not only is it an incredible instrument sound wise, that Garland pattern is rather rare, you won't find too many anywhere, even India......makes it all more the special.......!

Now, if I only could tune faster.........sigh
Maybe tuning counts as riyaz??? heheh

As someone recently told me, "if your sitar is perfectly tuned, the gods will listen. otherwise you are seriously distorting the magnetic field of the planet earth and you will have to spend 10,000 years listening to cheap chinese violins.
so beware"

The very best to you and yours!
AJ

Russ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 20, 2003 12:14 a.m.


You better believe tuning is riyaz! And I make a big deal out of it 'cause I would not want to have to listen to 10000 Chinese violins. Best not to piss the powers off, if you know what I mean!

Well howdy Kenji! Long time no yack. Glad to see you didn't fall off the edge of the world. Glad to hear the biz worked out for you too. Running your own business is probably the hardest way to go, but if it works out ,it can also provide the most satisfaction because its 100% buyin. Lars is a good example.

Well, not to yack too much tonight. Just got back from another brilliant performance from Indrajit over in Midland Texas. Kind of tired, long drive, and got to go to work tomorrow. So talk to you later on.

...one of the original posters.....

Ken
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 20, 2003 12:01 p.m.


Hiya AJ, Russji,
Yeah, love the Teak how smooth, bit of a quiet sound right now but creamy and great action. When I first got the Mangla Tun I didn't realize how much the sound would expand over the past almost two years, what a beauty. Couldn't wait to get a Teak though and didn't want to spend the over 2k that buckingham wants and having known Lars for some time I couldn't resist the combo of knowledge and over the top service. The grain and color of the teak is just beautiful and I went for the Garland as it shows more of the face of the Tabli than the Manipur (which I almost got since Debbie is a paisley freak, paisley skirts, paisley bed spread, paisley curtains, paisley cushion covers). Just a beautiful instrument to look at and a pleasure to play.
You're so right on looking over the posts here, just great stuff (some outright crap, but we're all just wee sitarji's after all and even the crap is helpful). How long have you had your Teak?
Russji, I am sooooo jealous the you got to hear Indrajit AGAIN you weasel. Love having my own business, not making a killing but now I get to design a bit, play music a bit, have a couple of flute students and one bagpipe student also been playing a few jobs (weddings, funerals, love playing funerals! the best money ha!) working in the garden, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, herbs, hot peppers mmmmmm, been eating Indian food for two years and Deb and I are getting to be decent Indian cooks, I can almost make a perfectly round roti these days. We still need to all get together like you suggested once for some kind of Sitar club thing at some mountain retreat (preferably in North Carolina not that it's just where I live or anything!).
Say on the tuning thing I just got the Sabine MT 9000 and a suction cup mic from Elderly instruments http://www.elderly.com/accessories/items/MT9000.htm
It's a tuner, a metronome and a tone generator for 27 bucks. It can be calibrated easily and is quite small but puts out a fairly loud tone, I find it a very fast method while still attenuating your ear to use the C# reference tone to tune all the C#'s on the instrument then all the G#'s etc., anyway the regular ear way is the best especially the "magic method" you posted but for those of us coming from the old rockn'roll era where we all used tuners on stage this is pretty cool...see ya...Uncle Kenji
Russ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 20, 2003 02:07 p.m.


Hey Kenji. Yeah, great performance in Texas. Had their mentor Shankar with them as well, playing sarode. So, just to make you even more envious (ha ha),going for another sitar boot camp with Indrjit again, a bit after Labor Day. I still think the MPS culture club will eventually meet one day.
Indian food? Wish I knew how to cook it myself. First time I ever ate right-off-the- stove Indian food was last year. Went back for thirds!
Hey, had an eye on the Shristi garland teak or tun myself. Due to the design, it shows a lot of nice grain on the tabli. Very appealing to somebody that likes the look of quality woods.
Ken
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 20, 2003 05:26 p.m.


Russji,
So, has your Mangla teak opened up yet? My AAA Tun Mangla has just incredible tone and while the new Shristi is sweet and smooth with great low action it's voice isn't developed yet.
AJ, How long have you had your Teak? I asked in the above post but wasn't sure if you thought I was still talking to Russ, didn't really make myself clear. I play both the instruments now going back and forth in a quandry over which to play. The one thing I should have done when I bought the Mangla was get the fiberglass case, have the cheesey fake allegator huge heavy clunky case that it usually comes with. I have a buyer locally for my Tun but jeez it's just such a difficult decision since it's voice/tone is so beautiful every time I play it the thing just resonates forever while the tarbs are just going crazy, zing, ring...probably just keep it, you know how they grow on you...heh heh.
Bye the bye I spent literally hours talking to PeterC and cruised every sitar site on the web for a year before I purchased my Mangla as I had no interest in a "student instrument" but more of a pro model. Finally got the Tun and wasn't impressed right away but man did it grow on me and now is more like a family member than any other instrument I own.
Russji if you'd like some recipes catch me off the forum same email as before, actually send me an email as I've had several crashes and have lost yours.....Uncle Kenji
Russ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 20, 2003 06:55 p.m.


Ken, from what I hear, the Mangla teak tends to take about 5 years to develop its voice. Its still a little quiet after a year and a half, but it has a very sweet sound. Dynamite sustain. So I definitely don't mind! That's why if you can afford it, nice to have both a tun and a teak as they have very different personalities. Sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes......well you know the rest.
OK, I think I still have your addy. Talk to you later.
AJ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 20, 2003 11:05 p.m.


Ken, Russ,

hmm let's see, my sitar arrived here somewhere around the end of March.....I had some surgery a couple weeks after that and was rather poorly for a bit....it's only been the last couple months where I've been able to and have made an effort to work with Her regulary.......someday though, I'm pretty sure I'll have these tones in my head and will be able to tune without having to think much about it, kinda like when I tune my guitar.....I've been doing that since I was 11 and now I'm 43, so it's no wonder I can do that in my sleep......but like I told my son, sitar is a "whole different enchilada altogether"....I've got a really messed up disk in my back, herniated and degenerating, they can't really do anything and don't want to because they could end up causing me even more pain and possibley spreading the degenerative disease upwards to the next one......so I take some killer pain meds now, which of course I'm sure doesn't help with the learning process, my brain, between that and old age, is a really far cry from what it used to be, (ie the ol' grey mare, she ain't what she used to be), altho I never was a real whiz kid to begin with.............

But I've got alot of pillows and I prop myself up against either the wall or the foot of my bed and I do alright, for the most part.....

I have a few books, My Music, My Life, the Junius book, Sharma's "My Sitar", and the online "Reach the Ocean and Sail on the Sitar"..I had been working mainly with the exercises in the Junius up until now, but am making an effort to use My Music, My Life, I'm just slow at understanding the notation in it, will take me a bit to adjust to it, but that really seems the better route right now......even if I do feel really slow and back to square one, so to speak........but that's alright, I'm stubborn as a mule.....some people call it "persistance" or "patience", but I'm not that noble, just stubborn..........!

Lars has helped me out quite a bit and then of course, there's this forum (those old posts really helped alot, especially when it came time to buy, I just feel like I got super lucky, how all things fell into place the way they did, the timing etc.....once in a rare while I win one )
I recently also had the good fortune to run into and "meet", so to speak, on the internet, a fellow who lived in India and studied music for over 20 years, a student of Nikhil Banerjee, very kind and down to earth, has gave me some really good tips, as well (he compares sitar tuning to adjusting the trim on a plane, I think that's a pretty good analogy.....funny as a crutch, too, are all sitarji's nuts or what?)

So, I just poke along and try to listen to as much as I can, at this forum and raags on cd.....got a thing for bhajans, as well.....if I have a question, stuff I'm not sure about or just can't understand, I ask Lars.....drive him nuts, as a matter of fact.....but he's a good soul and takes it in stride....if there's gold karmic stars to be had, he's probably got a wall full of 'em cuz of me by now! heheh

The henna paste trick for blisters has been an especially good one, picked that one up here, at this forum, old posts

I'm moving at a turtle's pace with this but figure that's better than nothing, I'm not gonna sweat it, just go with the flow........like I said, it takes me forever to get tuned but I guess that kinda does go with it, especially for a beginner....and I'm always catching myself at stuff like dragging my left thumb, making sure I'm striking with my mizrab hand the right way (open and closing motion, as opposed to wrist/strumming motion), just little things that I don't want to make a habit of and then be really sorry for down the road.....so I'm slower than molasses.....but again, I don't really mind.......ya gotta start somewhere, huh

so that's my big sitar resume, chuckle snort
Alot of times I feel like She's bucking me off, but then sometimes She sings to me, and I'm a goner again........sappy look and all : )

See ya round like a chakra
AJ

Russ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 21, 2003 12:51 p.m.


Good resume AJ. You sound like so many of us. And yes, all sitarjis dance to a different drum. Lars is building up a load of good karma. That's why I'm wishing him the best. I feel for your back. I have much the same thing, but my disc degeneration is progressing at a slower rate. So, I've got a few more good years before it really becomes an issue. Actually, you should stive to combine the wrist "strum" motion with the opening/closing of the hand. Power comes from the wrist action, especially on the outwards ra stroke, so keep that.

Know what you mean by plodding along as a beginner. It is slow and can be frustrating. Some day when you are comfortable with the instrument, the tuning, and able to run up and down the fretboard and hit the right notes most of the time, then its time to search for a teacher. They can open up worlds you were unaware of and bring out your best. So, best of luck to you, and don't give up. Time and practice makes it happen!

AJ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 21, 2003 05:50 p.m.


Many thanks Russ for the encouraging words!
(brings to mind, "Home, Home on the Range")

Yes, I do know what you're saying about wrist action, it's come to my attention after reading many posts that I'm not striking my strings strongly enough, ie, "playing like a girl",
(Ravi & his "Baba and the Bangles" story), etc.
So I'm making an effort at that, as well.......I'm really glad that there's at least one good forum around......sure can make a difference to a beginner like myself..........!

Pretty impressive that you grew your own gourd and made a top tumba out of it, that's really pretty cool.........must have gave you alot of personal satisfaction to have done that.....never have run across anyone else who's done that........how'd you know what kind of gourd to grow? Aren't there like a bazillion varieties of 'em? Anyways, kudos to you! I enjoyed reading about that very much!

Yep, someday I'll be ready for a real lesson, but in the meantime, I'll just keep pluggin' away.....each time I sit down, I reinforce these basic things I work at, and they get a little easier.....steady and simple repetetion wins the race, so to speak.........and again, I'm stubborn as a mule, which, in this case, has been an real asset , chuckle chuckle ; )

Just recently started tuning in C#, as opposed to C, and I can't say it hurts my fingers any more than before....but the difference in the sound is incredible, and I swear, it's easier to tune, too, for some unexplained reason........!
Wish I'd just done that from the beginning........!

Oh well, that's how ya learn, I guess........!

Anyhoo, thanks for the encouragement, that always helps for sure!

See ya 'round like a frizbee!
AJ
ps yep, we're all lucky to have Lars around, eh!
I honestly feel I wouldn't have gotten the instrument I have if not for him, no matter how many $$$'s I had in my pockets to spend!
Not to mention his good nature and honest desire to help newbies, as well!

Russ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 21, 2003 06:14 p.m.


Thanks. I didn't know my old gourd article was still out there somewhere. I just happened to stumble on a bunch of hand-painted gourds at our local farmer's market, and saw one for sale that was a perfect size and shape for a sitar neck. And it still had the seeds in it. Couldn't use that gourd, but the seeds were still good. What luck!
Yeah, I have one sitar that sounds best at C# as well. But I have another that kicks butt at D. Therefore, a range exists for these things.
Jeff
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 21, 2003 10:02 p.m.


To AJ and Russ and anybody else who knows. Did you guys have to change your string gauge with these higher tunings? espeacially for the D tuning?
I know alot of people use these tunings but what about string breakage? Do your strings break more often? I tune to C but really, really and I mean really hate to change strings if I dont have to. So whats the danger in this, what is for me mysterious and unknown land of higher tuning? Thanks
Jeffrey R King
AJ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 22, 2003 12:13 a.m.


Yep Russ, it's still there alright......anybody wanna read Russ's gourd/tumba tale can at:

sitar/sittut/gourdy.html

Hmm, welp Jeff, so far, so good on the string breakage......the only ones that broke tuning higher were the taribs, maybe 3 total.....all had kinks from being loosened for shipping.....now when I did this, I know darn well I went too high initially on many of 'em and none broke(giggles insanely, heehee!)....eventually, I'm gonna tune that sucker up to D, I just have a feeling it will sound even better, if that's possible, but my fingers are simply not tough enough yet to do it.........but I like to monkey around and have lots of strings, so I feel brave......honestly, I was too nervous to do this at the beginning, mostly because I had no idea where SA with one dot, fell on the scale........now I do.......what I did originally was went to the Batish site and used their midi for help......I only had to do that once, I was ok then.........I haven't even bothered with any of the generic strings, been staying with the Pyramids all the way............you'd have to ask Lars what strings are on it (aside from the taribs I've replaced) but no problemo so far...
Until I had any idea of where I was tuning, I was really too nervous to go up very high, I did that right off the bat and poing! hahah! You sense the tension on the string, ya know? But honestly, the only real difference I can make out with this C# tuning is that it sounds about a million times better, the sympathetics ring more...doesn't seem to bother my fingers much more either..and I have a hunch that possibly D will be even better! Dunno for sure, but when the ol' mitts get a little tougher, definately plan to try it out.......
My friend in England gave me a bit of advice that has made it easier for me..this is the long version.....I tune the taribs first......hold my hand on the mains to stop any vibration......tune all the SA taribs...then the MA or PA's.......the chickari's next.....then 2nd main SA (should set off the SA/PA taribs)...next tune PA/MA/SA main lower strings in that order...check SA and PA/MA sympathetics...check all 3 chickari....check 2nd string SA....tune main string (MA)....check 2nd string SA again.....tune rest of the sympathetics, and make sure the frets are in the right place.....he gave me a shorter version, but that's the long one, and how I've started to do it, even though I'm slow, it seems to work better for me than the hodge podge way I was going about it........(I don't doubt from what little we've cooresponded that he knows whut up either, ya know? that's all I'm gonna say , tho).........
He also said the 2nd string SA must be checked the most, as it sets off more sympathetic action than any other string and also tends to be the least stable string on most sitars (I can vouch for that! wretched SA!)
Another thing he's got me to doing is to sing whatever scale I'm working with (I'll still be doing bilaval when hell freezes over, but s'ok!) It's helping me to get the "tones" in my brain (which hopefully will eventually translate more to my ear....I always tune my guitar to D because of where my voice falls.....so maybe I'm lucky?)
Anyhoo, that's all I know about strings and tuning......I'm still slower than the dickens, but it sounds better, not sure if it's having a method to my madness, or tuning to C# proper........but no real problems with string breakage whatsoever (so far) I think it may just be that the Pyramids are really great......like I said, I haven't even touched the generics......I'm sure these guys that have been doing this awhile could tell you alot more than me, but so far that's just been my experience......be a brave soul and go for it! Just stock up on Pyramids first! heehee

see ya round like a wagon wheel!
AJ : )

Russ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 22, 2003 01:04 a.m.


Jeff, no change in gauge when going higher. But like AJ, a couple of tarabs broke up there. So, just use good strings with no rust or kinks and you should be good to go.
AJ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 22, 2003 01:04 a.m.


Forgot to add that it stays in tune MUCH better since I started tuning to C#, as well!

AJ

Jeff
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 22, 2003 09:15 a.m.


I'm going for it! I can see me now as I'm twisting the pegs, head turned and squinty eyed waiting for the strings to snap! Wish me luck.
Jeffrey R King
Ken
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 22, 2003 05:58 a.m.


Matt,
I also kept my MPS at C for about six months when I first got it. Then with theencouragement of Russ and Lars I took the plunge to C# and woah! bingo! the thing just exploded with tone. I originally wanted to get a teak after that so's I could tune to D for Irish traditional music (both Deb and I play lot's of Irish stuff on other instruments) but now I'm just stuck on ICM and have lost the hot's for tuning in D. Didn't have anything break but one tarb, or was it a chikari? don't remember all I know is this: my MPS stays in tune very stable now still with the original strings, wish they would start breaking so I can restring with all Pyramids .
Uncle Ken
pb
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 22, 2003 09:48 a.m.


Hey,
I'm told that every sitar has it's favourite tuning. I tuned mine to D a month ago and it really came alive. The main strings shouldn't break, but the tarabs might depending on what you tune them to. The cheap tarabs that came with my sitar broke easily and I was happy to change them. I bought a bunch of bulk roeslau string from fortepiano.com a while ago, so I don't mind replacing string. I find it a lot louder now, I like 'em loud.

Pb

Ken
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 22, 2003 10:10 a.m.


Say, Jeff,
I haven't seen (must have missed?) a post recommending replacing one string at a time to keep the tension on the neck stable like we do on guitars. I never thought of it as the one at a time method would be so natural for at least myself. Strings might also be changed one a day diminishing the pain of the process and allowing each new string to settle in a bit to facilitate overall tuning.....waddayathink?
ken
Jeff
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 22, 2003 08:42 p.m.


Hey guys, Just got back from fishing, didnt catch a thing though I did happen to take a whiff of a rotting chicken carcass a friend had left in a crab trap for almost two weeks and I puked and wretched violently for about 5 minutes. I just had to experience this odoriferous nightmare but I highly recommend against it! Anyway I'm gonna tune up higher tonight. As far as changing one string at a time it seems to me this would be a royal pain especially for the sympathetics but then again I've never tried it. I like taking all the strings off at once because it gives me the chance to clean the sitar thoroughly.
And the subject of me being afraid of the strings breaking, well,,, I act like a little girl sometimes. . Its more anticipation of the breakage than the actual breakage itself.
Jeffrey R King
AJ
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 22, 2003 07:15 p.m.


geez Jeff, it's good to know I'm not the only one who squints my eyes and prepares to flinch.....I also find my head trying to turn away, I think I have a subliminal fear of the wire whipping into my eyeball......when I was younger, I did some work with a few piano technicians, they stressed eye protection when working with wire....got a very wicked infection from a guitar string poke in HS, as well, so I think deep down I am scared of wire now, heheh But it's very good to know I'm not alone in the squinting, flinching stuff, must look nuts to others, eh? chuckle chuckle

Yes Uncle Ken, it seemed to make a great deal of sense to me as well, doing one string at a time to keep an even tension on the neck.....I know that it will be a long time before I actually NEED to change ALL of my strings, anyways......but I ended up with a lot of "ends" on the "button" (I do not know what this part is called, where the loop of the string goes, that bone thing)...especially from that one cursed tarib I mucked about with for so long, sheesh....

At any rate, it would be good to know when that day finally does roll around (not for at least another year though, I've decided) in what order to loosen the strings, then remove, and also put them back on in.......seems logical that the mains would come off first, then the taribs....then the reverse when putting on new strings.......

It seems that one would put them back on but not tighten to "pitch" until all are on, then begin to bring them up......but in which order? taribs or mains first? hmmm

Would appreciate any input on this

See ya round like a hoola hoop
AJ

Jeff
Re:Srishti Manipur Tun review Aug 22, 2003 10:30 p.m.


Well I ventured into the realm of C# and its a wonderful place. My MPS sounds so much sweeter compared to the C tuning. The tarb strings are singing away and the sound seems to have opened up. All I can say is WOW!
I highly recommend C# to you people who havent gone there yet.
I'm not going back to C thats for sure.
Jeffrey R King
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