INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: correct approach to left hand fingerings

 

Author Message
JH
correct approach to left hand fingerings Mar 20, 2004 10:41 a.m.


I am beginning to study a book called "Techniques of Sitar" by S. Bandyopadhyaya which I ordered from New Delhi, India. This book appears to be very thorough and extensive but I have difficulty in assessing it as I am so new to ICM. In this book it is said that the correct fingering for ascending passages alternate between the middle and forefinger. For example:

S R G M P D N S
F M F M F M F M

This is contrary to what I have read elsewhere and to what I have been practicing for the past few weeks. The system I've been using uses the middle finger only on the highest note of a passage. For example:

S R G M P D N S
F F F F F F F M

Both approaches treat descending passages in the same manner.

I am wondering if both systems are correct and if so what are the possible advantages and disadvantages of each. Which approach is more commonly used by members of this forum and by the masters?

Any and all input will be greatly appreciated.

JH

Remco
Re:correct approach to left hand fingerings Mar 20, 2004 11:21 a.m.


My 2 cents:
I use the latter approach. I think it's the most used method when I read the books. Plus: it's the way I learned it from my teacher.
On the other hand: why not practise both?

Peace,

Remco

Jan
Re:correct approach to left hand fingerings Mar 20, 2004 01:01 p.m.


The second one is the way to do it, this is what i have learned.
Many players will tell you that the first finger is never to leave the string.
Some how when im doing ascending passages i will at a point in the "scale" start to use my middle finger. For some reason i am more acurate when im changing. If i do a ascending passage with the first finger all the way to the second last and then change, the road down the neck will be more robotic or static and less acurate than if i do the change.

Still i know that many players allso use their ring finger when needed, and som use their pinkie on the chicari...

good luck

jan

andowe
Re:correct approach to left hand fingerings Mar 20, 2004 01:17 p.m.


Hey now JH,
My 2 cents: you've asked a couple of questions on this forum similar to what I asked my instructor when I started sitar lessons ....all of 3 months ago. I'm certainly no ICM expert so I am lucky and grateful that my instructor is. I was shown to use the index finger for fretting notes and use the middle finger for the highest note of the run (bending is another story). This has been a challenge as it runs contrary to the instincts and "muscle memory" developed over decades of bass playing (and some piano, guitar, banjo, flute, violin). My brain and muscles still want to reach for notes with other fingers. So I'm like Homer Simpson: "shut up brain".
I was told that as as a beginner it is important that you find time in your busy schedule to practice and listen every day. As far as the time of day for practice and listening goes, don't sweat it unless you feel it's important to you. It is a personal choice.
As a performer, the season, time, setting, mood, audience and inspiration are all vital factors in considering what material to perform.
Peace,
Andy
kedar_india_pune
Re:correct approach to left hand fingerings Mar 20, 2004 05:07 p.m.


hi all,
Well yes its very true that the first finger never leaves the string ....thats a right way
the second finger is used on the last note of the acending phrase(usually)
now earlier ...i had been learning the mahir style ...so there was a lot of usage of krintan ...the result was that the marks were slanting ....and i dint pay attention to it (unfortunately)......
..but i have learnt my lesson....
but scince now that i am learning from shaidjee and kenji
shaidjee made me change the hand a lot now !!!!!
its working just fine ......
your marks need to be straight ...on your index finger
play the sargams everyday...
the bench mark for students is when one can play 33 sargams in one minute...and 1000 non stop....(loud and clear)
and then take it on from there...
timing the sargams helps a lot too....makes it intresting to beat your own record.......
its also very imp that no other part touches the neck other that the thumb from behind and the fingers on the fret...
and that index finger remains in the same way when going down and comming upscale ...
this might be troublesome for a few weeks...just a question of habit really!!!
...sargams is really for me the king of all excersies ...and sapats too

please take care
yours
kedar
Ps: it will be really intresting to know the number of sargams played in one minute...of all......kinna fun
tarsi
Re:correct approach to left hand fingerings Mar 21, 2004 08:00 a.m.


Why dont you combine the systems? Learn to do first finger for all but the highest note of the run - then you have the second finger as a sort of spare you can throw in for hammerings etc. and to fake double speed with least effort:-)
JH
Re:correct approach to left hand fingerings Mar 20, 2004 09:50 p.m.


I don't understand what you mean when you say that "the marks were slanting."

Also what are sargams and sapats?

Is it possible that the first system I described above facilitates a greater mastery of khrintan? Has anyone found themselves limited in their ability to articulate as they desire by having learned either system?

thanks
JH

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