INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: String Gags? Explanation needed!


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String Gags? Explanation needed! Dec 16, 2002 10:42 p.m.

Greetings all,

I was reading about Pandit Ravi Shankar a while back and learned that he invented some type of string gag to mute the low strings during fast passages. Also mentioned was that now many instruments are made with this device. I have searched the web extensively to find more about this, but to no avail.
Any insight? This sounds like it could be really useful, particularly during jala passages. Thanks for any assistance everyone!


Re:String Gags? Explanation needed! Dec 17, 2002 12:25 a.m.

It's a curved piece of wire sort of like an upside down 'W' that you tie to the last fret. I think Ravi has them on a different fret further up also? KK who posts here would know about that, he has a sitar set up that way. I can email you a picture of what this looks like if you want.


Re:String Gags? Explanation needed! Dec 18, 2002 04:33 p.m.

Hi All: Here's the way Raviji sets up his string gags. Actually in this case, the word "hook" is more appropriate because even though the strings are pulled down out of the way for fast playing, they�re not really �gagged.� Although the strings become somewhat muted, you can still play them. The first hook is positioned on the 13th fret to hook the low Sa string. This produces a Komal Ga note when picked and produces a nice harmonic effect. The second hook is position on the 15th fret to hook the Pa string, and produces a Sa note when picked. What�s interesting about this set up is when you fret these strings, at the frets that the hooks are on, you don't get the same notes as when they're hooked on those frets. Can anyone explain this?
Re:String Gags? Explanation needed! Dec 18, 2002 05:03 p.m.

TENSION, BABY TENSION...It's all about the subtle difference in tension from the fret position/angle to the hook position/ angle.Peace Babe- Sitario Master Man
Re:String Gags? Explanation needed! Dec 18, 2002 05:13 p.m.

GROOVY BABY. Thanks Master Man
Re:String Gags? Explanation needed! Dec 18, 2002 05:22 p.m.

Hmmm...never saw that set up before. On the Mangla I bought, there is a two-sided hook for both strings on one fret (nearest to the tumba). All I do is just tune the 3rd and 4th to the vadi and samvadi while they're "hooked" to produce that nice added sympathetic kick. Only thing is that when tuned up, those strings pull upwards with a lot of force, enough to actually pull the fret off (like mine is now)! So, going to have to try something different....
Re:String Gags? Explanation needed! Dec 18, 2002 08:57 p.m.

YIKES Russ! You've got to try Raviji's method. No re-tuning required
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