INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: intonation

 

Author Message
rg
intonation Nov 17, 2003 09:50 a.m.


I have been messing with both the frets and the top bridge of my sitar and, instead of making the intonation problem better, I think I have made it worse. My sa is C, and the octave starting at the 7th fret is hopelessly sharp. Can anyone tell me how to adjust my frets (or readjust them correctly) and my bridge in order to get my sitar's intonation back to normal.
No Name
Re:Taking my ball and going home Dec 04, 2003 01:59 p.m.


I've gotten some email from a few of you, and wanted to clear up a couple of things. What transpired to make me feel it best to stop participating was not what anyone said online, but in private communications. Out of respect for the privacy of these communications, I won't say who it was with nor what was said, other than a couple of short quotes that in no way would identify the writer or what was being discussed.

I didn't like hearing what the author had to say to me, and it did hurt, but I accept it. I still respect this person deeply, and it is out of that respect for this person and the other old-timers, that I remove myself as a disrupting influence to this forum. I will admit, its been fun, but unless I misunderstand, this is a place for scholarly discussions and not for friendly banter. If that's the case, I don't belong here, and I certainly will no longer feel comfortable here.

My apologies for causing a disruption, and I hope you all will forgive me. Best wishes to everyone in their endeavors. For those of you who I have become online friends with, I think we'll meet again elsewhere. There are other places on the Internet; every online community has its own feel, and there is likely a place where I will feel comfortable at, and you will feel comfortable, and all will be well.

Sincerely,
Billy

Remco
Re:Taking my ball and going home Dec 04, 2003 03:35 p.m.


Hey Billy,
Real profesionals aren't on this forum...Never seen a post from Ravi (...or fill in a welknown name here). If you're really a professional you're practising your ass off..... And you don't spend time and energy pissing off other forummembers.....
And some humor is actually welcome.....

Peace,

Remco

rg
Re:intonation Nov 17, 2003 01:03 p.m.


I want to make sure I understand. The harmonic should be over the 11th fret, or between the 11th and the 12th fret (like a guitar).
Jeff
Re:intonation Nov 17, 2003 10:42 a.m.


First off, move all frets back to their original postion if you fooled around with them. Tune your first (MA) string to F or F#. Now check (hold down) MA note at 11th fret. If its sharp lengthen string by sliding the main bridge back towards string anchor just a little, retune and check again. If flat move bridge towards the frets. Do this until string is in tune - open, fretted at 11th fret and harmonic at 11th fret. When this is done, adjust the other frets to be in tune when scaled.
Remember; move bridge back to flatten, move bridge foreward to sharpen.


Thats how I do it. Good Luck! And have patience.

(Note) Harmonic is not always directly over fret when struck! My 11th fret MA harmonic is between the 11th and 12th frets.

rg
Re:intonation Nov 17, 2003 10:55 a.m.


thank you for your advice, I will try it. The only problem is I don't remember exactly where the frets were before I moved them. Is there a way I can find that out?
Jeff
Re:intonation Nov 17, 2003 10:58 a.m.


Also I forgot to mention, after you set the bridge to the proper position; To intonate the frets, fret 7th note for example, if sharp move fret towards bridge, if flat move towards headstock? or what ever thats called. Check and repeat on other frets.
Jeff
Re:intonation Nov 17, 2003 11:03 a.m.



rg (Nov 17, 2003 10:55 a.m.):
thank you for your advice, I will try it. The only problem is I don't remember exactly where the frets were before I moved them. Is there a way I can find that out?

On every sitar I've ever had the strings used to tie on the frets always left a mark in the finish on the back of the neck. Look closely, you shoud see something back there indicating where the frets were originally.

Jeff
Re:intonation Nov 17, 2003 11:10 a.m.


I only said to put the frets back to where they where is because they're usally close to the proper position in the firt place. But you always most likely have to move some of them, even on a really nice sitar, if it hasnt been set up for you by the dealer.

Also you will have to do some fret adjustments every now and then to "retune" the neck.

Billy
Re:intonation Nov 17, 2003 12:36 p.m.


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Remco
Re:intonation Nov 17, 2003 05:06 p.m.


The reason why the harmonic is not right on the fret has to do with the ridiculous high action of a sitar. When actually fretting the note (bringing the string towards the fret) stretches the string thus raising the pitch. When you look at a guitar the action is pretty low compared to a sitar. Don't forget harmonics are pure natural devision of a speaking string (half, quarter, third) while fretting involves action, stringgauge. My way of intonation would be:
first tune the open string to Ma:
strike the harmonic that devides the string in half and you've got Ma one octave higer. Use that harmonic to place you Ma-fret.
Strike you're harmonic at a third of the speaking length ( this will be roughly where the Sa would be) and you've got the harmonic of the sa (one octave up): position you're Sa fret till it's the same. This can be used for the Middle Sa (S) and High Sa (S') BTW.
From you should be able to bring the other fret in position comparing them with to right position Sa (and Ma).

Peace,

Remco

Jeff
Re:intonation Nov 17, 2003 06:48 p.m.


Hey Billy,
What Remmy said.
johnnysitarwhatson
Re:intonation Nov 17, 2003 07:08 p.m.


Yes - and watch out for the two chikari posts that guide the high strings --- whole tuning should be set up in a way that the middle P and lower komal N fret don't conflict with these posts.
As the whole thing is a bit tricky: if you dont get it tuned this way we need some rulers and have to take measurements .... or you should dedicade your sitar to play Stockhausen:-)
Billy
Re:intonation Nov 17, 2003 08:27 p.m.


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