Well, there are at least 3 types of tunings in common use, but if you are happy with the one you've selected, then never mind!
They're kind of pricy, but the only instructional videos I know of for brand-new players is put out by batish.com. Its a two-volume set, showing his tuning, and how to play beginning exercises using basic strokes in the bilaval scale (essentially the same as our major scale). Good material for a newbie, but you'll probably want to sell these on Ebay or other place when you've got it down.
Chords? I have heard some fusion work that uses simple two-note chords, but normally you just play notes. There are 10 scales in north Indian music which you'll want to experiment with later, but I'd stay in the bilaval major scale to start with. Good luck & have fun!
thanks for the feedback. Really? only single notes. . .it seems i was getting the 'sitar' sound (the sympathetic strings vibrating loudly) when i was playing multiple strings/one-note chords. but im sure im doing it very wrong as i have no clue that sounds a bit funny after having played guitar for so long
so, i should be plucking one string at time, and running up and down the bilival scale for practice.
im trying to avoid buying any videos, because of the cost. (i hate the idea of spending $30-50 on a video tape) but may pick up shankar: portrait on dvd....if you can give me some tips here i can save some cash!
Yea, if you're a Shankar fan, you've got to get the Portrait DVD. I got it two weeks ago and its very good. There is a cool segment on there where he teaches a class a new gat composition. Plus he talks a bit about the sitar, Indian music, etc. Plus of course concert footage with lots of nice close-ups of playing hands. Nice intro stuff. Goes for around $25.
Many players also sound the sa string (2nd)as a drone for the main string when playing. But by definition, you have to have 3 or more different notes to form a chord. I guess you could do a chord, but it would be difficult, and only for special effect. You'll have to have really long fingers!
I have seen those batish tapes for sale on Ebay from time to time, sometimes as low as $20. Unless you're good at learning from books or you can find a teacher, I think that's still your best bet......
Yeah, the videos are expensive but for you may be a good idea at least to learn how to handle the instrument properly.......you can always recoup half or more of your cost by putting them on ebay after you've watched them.....