Hi, I have been tuning lately with a raagini tanpura (the new one) and I have noticed that my sitar just sounds better. I usually use a chromatic tuner. I guess the benefit is I train my ear as well. I have no problems with the sympathetic strings except for ni and 'sa, as the raagini doesn't go up that high when my tonic is C#. Currently, I match them to the ni and 'sa from the Ma string. I find the main strings a bit tougher. I use ma', sa', sa', pa'', sa, 'sa. Since they are all one or two saptaks down, I find it hard to match them. The pa'' is not bad because I can get it from Sa-Pa on the raagini (not sure why, but it seems to sound right). Any ideas on getting the other ones?
pb, doesn't the raagini also have a N for special raags? / And maybe try tuning the instrument in itself, with SSSP as reference from the ragini: tune second & third to that tone. Tune the chikaris after the middle flageolet of the jods. Tune deep S by its flageolett in the middle to open jod S. Pick the steel P from the raagini sound, adjust the deep P in same manner. Tune playing string on S fret after second chik Chick the kuntis, no, check with the S flagelets you will find near/over the S frets ..... adjust the reso strings so that they ring nicely ..... remember stiar has to be in just tuning, not in the tempered one tuners etc. show ...... hope this helps .... despite my pidgin Kauderwelsch .....
Flageolets are harmonics: when you devide your string in half and lightly touch the string (don't fret it!) and strike the string you'l hear a harmonic. Since you devide the string in exact parts (half, quarter, third) you'll get exact notes, when fretting a note you;'ll have problems finding the exact note since we have movable frets.
Harmonics - thanks Remco - word was missing. And you can also use these harmonics for checking the fret setup: on Ma string you can adjust the positions of middle and high S and middle M that way - and position the other frets evenly (getting narrower towards bridge) from these points. The real trouble with tuning starts when you try out the South Indian system:-)