INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: beginner sitar question


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beginner sitar question Sep 25, 2002 11:25 p.m.

hey all,
so i just bought my first sitar and i have a problem with tuning it. what is the best system to tune it? is it the way ravi shankar tuned it, cause i found that system online and tried it. I ended up with 3 broken sympathetic strings and 4 broken main strings. I've played guitar for a number of years now, and understand the concept of tuning strings, and it seems that the tuning calls for demands way to hard on the string, in other words, it seems that the strings are having to be tuned way to high, and as a result are breaking.
any help with string tuning and usage would be great.
Re:beginner sitar question Sep 25, 2002 11:33 p.m.

Well.......depends, you may have a sitar with old strings on it, I've never had that many break before.....especially the main strings. Get yourself a set of Pyramid strings and try again, I prefer the Ravi Shankar tuning. For string gauges and chart check out
and follow the links. Your sitar should be able to handle it, try tuning in C first instead of C#......


Re:beginner sitar question Sep 26, 2002 11:20 a.m.

Yes, and in addition, a little something I learned from my very early days. Watch out for "kinks" in your strings. If you have a kinked string, try to straighten it out by hand before you try to tune it up. Otherwise, it will break at that spot, even when just a little tension is applied. I used to break strings left and right because of that! Ravi Shankar system is fine, works for most people....
Re:beginner sitar question Sep 26, 2002 07:16 p.m.

Some of the new sitars shipped here from india, have the worst strings I've ever seen. they're too thin. Next thing you might try, if your a little good with your hands, get a small rat tailed file.(round file, very small) try to knock off any sharp edges on the white bone part where the stings go into the neck, because strings brake there because of that. often the sitar make just puts it together to look good. but puts no work in trying to make it ready too play.........Peace
Re:beginner sitar question Sep 26, 2002 07:18 p.m.

P.S If your anywhere near Redondo Beach , calif I can help you E-mail
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