INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: unstrung in wv


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unstrung in wv Aug 20, 2003 06:14 p.m.

got 2 new sets of pryamid strings today. on the package each says "5 pieces ma" - what does that mean??? Also, I am thinking about restringing the entire sitar but have heard all sorts of horror stories - the strings that I have not managed to break aren't dirty but seem kinda cheap - should I just replace the broken ones or try to restring the whole thing?
Re:unstrung in wv Aug 20, 2003 06:27 p.m.

rg, if you've never done it before, I would recommend you only replace the broken or rusty ones. Leave the others alone. Doing a complete replacement is not easy. There's lotsa strings on that puppy!
Re:unstrung in wv Aug 20, 2003 09:59 p.m.

The 5 piece MA is the extra 1 string packages because you ordered the combinations. With regular playing you'll change them more often which is why we offer them that way. If you take out the envelope with those, the rest of the strings are the regular universal tuning set which has 2 MA strings as well plus the others...
Re:unstrung in wv Aug 21, 2003 09:10 a.m.

I dont want to step on Russ's toes here (sorry Russ) but change all the strings, you gotta do it sometime and what better way to learn,plus you have the forum here to help you out.
First off, if your bridges are in the correct positions mark on the tabli with a pen where their feet rest so you can return them to their place proper when the time comes. Take all the strings off, BUT!!!! replace the peg back to the hole when you take off each string, that'll save alot of misery.
Then spend the next 5 hours putting the new strings on and make sure you do it away from children so they wont hear your !@#$%^&*.
I have a full restringing down to 2 hours but I take my time.
"Make sure you have good loops and dont rush. Turn off the phone and put on some ICM. Restring with te sitar on the floor, I tried it on a table once and it was a real pain in the a$$ after about 30 seconds.
Ashwin Batish has a video for changing strings but you should be able to figure it out. Have fun,,,, heh, heh, heh, heh, (they were evil heh heh's)
Re:unstrung in wv Aug 21, 2003 10:31 a.m.

This is a bit off-topic, well, actually a lot off-topic, but I wanted to interject something here, rather than elsewhere where it would make more sense.

A month or so ago, I started a topic:

Creating your own profile for this forum

This topic, as the title implies, teaches you how to create a profile on this board. Once you create a profile, any time you post a message, over in the left margin under your name will be a little head. People reading your messages can click on the little head and learn a little about you. You post as much or as little as you want; you don't have to put your real name if you don't want, and you can click a button saying hide your email, so there's absolutely no security problems.

Another SUPER benefit of posting a profile and logging onto the board, is that people can look up all your postings. Again, in the left margin, under the name of the poster and next to the little head is what looks like a sheet of paper with a magnetfying glass. Clicking on this will give you list of all the topics they posted in. For example, we have a person on this board who is an expert on a technique; but he hasn't posted a profile. So I have to go through a lot more topics looking for his postings on this technique than I would have if he had put in his profile.

Its really not a big deal, and like I say, if you are worried about putting in your real name or email, you don't need to me, and its absolutely secure. I hope more people will give it a try!

Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Re:unstrung in wv Aug 21, 2003 10:37 a.m.

I agree with Jeff. My sitar came w/ really crappy, crusty strings when I bought it 6 years ago and after a few months of playing, I went ahead and changed all the strings. Yes, it is a really tedious exercise. Yes, you do have to allot yourself the better part of 6 hours to do it (your first time). And yes, you will probably nick your finger w/ a string end, get mad at the sitar, cuss, etc......
That said, it's really not rocket science. The keys are to TAKE YOUR TIME and LABEL EVERYTHING....where the bridges are, which pegs go where, which string goes in which hole (should be pretty obvious, but hey, after 4 hours of this you might get punchy), etc. Take good notes, write down any observations/insights you might have and then next time you do this (6 months later) you can refer to the notes, because you probably forgot a lot of little details.

I once changed a distributor on my car and made a total mess of what should be an easy task.....took me forever to figure out which spark plug cable went to which post. The next time I labeled everything w/ tape and markers and the process took me <15 minutes.

Go for it....just be really, really patient. When you feel yourself getting frustrated, step away from the sitar and do something else (in a different room, preferably) for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!!


PS: While having some beer on hand makes this a pleasurable activity, you may not want to do this if it's your first time changing strings. Wait 'til the second or third time. The first time, save the beer 'til the end!

Re:unstrung in wv Aug 21, 2003 11:44 a.m.

OK, you guys have more guts than me.

The first time I did a complete restring, I really messed it up. Wrong pegs in the hole, strings out of position, got a number of strings kinked which of course broke when I tuned up, string knots wouldn't hold, lots of cuts on my fingers and hands from getting stabbed by string points, and so forth. All the horror stories. Took me days, not hours. But then again,it was 1971 and I was only 17 and had no help or advice living in the sticks of Georgia. And of course there was no internet or videos. Hadn't been invented yet. So, if you feel like you're up to it, go for it. I just have those old memories that sometimes hold me back!

Re:unstrung in wv Aug 21, 2003 01:34 p.m.

Russ! you just made me think of my first time. I remember sitting there in total flabbergation scratching my head and yelling What The F***!.
I got my very first sitar maybe 15 years ago and looked everywhere for someone to help me, the people at music stores didnt have a clue. I took it to my then guitar repair man and he said "I dunno?".
If this forum with all you guys was around then, I would have been playing for all these 15 years and not have given up in frustration and hopefully I would now be a very good player. But thats not how it worked out so here I am now. All I can say is thanks people and this forum is usally the highlight of my day. In a way that shows you how exciting my life is.
Jeffrey R King
Re:unstrung in wv Aug 21, 2003 02:03 p.m.

You guys have motivated me to restring my 'backup' sitar with your horror stories!!

How bad could it be compared to some of these stories?!

Does anyone have the Batish video......did it help?

Re:unstrung in wv Aug 21, 2003 04:08 p.m.

I have the Batish video but dont waste your money. Just sit there and look at the sitar for awhile and you'll figure it out. Again, I stress patience when doing this.
Jeffrey R King
Re:unstrung in wv Aug 21, 2003 06:53 p.m.

There's absolutely NO way I'm gonna do that for a LONG LONG TIME...........listen to THIS, heheh

I had this one tarib that kept breaking......the peg would get to a certain point and then massively slip.......of course, I'd get a "kink" in the bloody thing, and of course, it would break again.......I must've changed that d*** string I don't know HOW many times...........cursing, swearing, poking the living s*** out of my fingers, etc., must've looked like a diabetic checking my blood sugar, for all the tiny "pokes" in my fingers..........

I decided "to h*** with this tarib, it can just stay off for awhile, and when I decide to have another go, I will, but not for a LONG while" (especially since I'd done battle with it so many times already, I just KNEW what was gonna happen.......many "loops" hangin off the end, as well, heheh and of course trying to get those off is all but impossible pretty much

So it sat there for a good 2 weeks or so.....a few days ago, I started tuning up higher, and a few of the taribs that hadn't broke in C (these are ones that had been loosened for shipping)
did break when I went to C#....same reason, "kink" in the string........

So out comes my hook and packet of tarib strings, wire cutter, etc., all went well, but of course, I didn't want to even look at that "one"..........

I says, "what the hey, might as well get just get this over, even though I know exactly what's gonna happen" (by this time I'd applied a good container's worth of powdered rosin, to boot, same old story....rosin all over the place, sheez...couldn't figure it out either)
Of course, same old story........I didn't even curse or anything this time, whooped dog was I.......I just sank down on the floor and sighed....I'm sitting there, looking at it from the opposite side of the tarib pegs, and what do I see? The bloody peg isn't lining up in the hole properly!!!!!!! I have never felt so stupid in my entire life! (well, maybe a few times, heheh)
Something so simple as that, and it never once occured to me to check how it was seating.....

So much for being a newbie and strings.....change the whole set? Doesn't need it, for starters, and secondly, I don't have nearly the hair on my extremeties that you guys do, whew.....after that, I doubt I'll even consider such a thing for at LEAST a year!

It's just like mixing up tarib posts.......I never thought about it until I got looking at my "spare" one day, and realized it didn't have a hole! Then of course, I realized it wouldn't, that it would have to be drilled according to which one was being simple, yet.....!!! I really feel for the poor soul(s) who had to go through THAT........whew!

If there's an award for being "Lame", I most certainly have dibs on it! heheh

Old age and painkillers are a lovely combo, eh?

See ya round like a mobius strip,

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