INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Changing sympathetics


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Changing sympathetics Aug 26, 2003 10:54 p.m.

Well I decided to soak a few pegs and will let everyone knows how that turns out. so far, so good. One thing I did discover is that two pegs where in the wrong hole as well as the fact that two pegs were marked #4. So three pegs where in the wrong holes. Now since I have never replaced more than one sympathetic at a time this mix up had to have ocurred at the maker or when it was being tweaked upon arrival stateside. My point is that if anyone else has slipping sympathetic pegs check to see if the peg number matches the peg hole. My pegs started at the "top" end of the sitar nearest the second gourd. Hope this helps someone...


Re:Changing sympathetics Aug 27, 2003 12:54 a.m.

Hi, in my opinion just dont fuss about the numbers, you just have to find which peg fits best and where? you also have to remember that if the pegs stick out on the opposite side of the dand (where they shouldn't) in means it has been pushed in too far or is too loose for that particular hole, they wouldn't be a problem, but shouldn't you accidentally tap it with your palm when you play the peg will spin right out of its place.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Re:Changing sympathetics Aug 27, 2003 04:03 p.m.

My G.Rusol sitar, which is actually a halfway decent instrument has a couple of warped symp' pegs. I tried sanding and shaving them to no avail. So I guess I gotta get some new ones. Plus I eff't up the jawari trying to do it myself, which brings up my next question.
If I sand the bridge top totally flat would that be considered a closed "jawari"? And does anyone play with flat jawari's?
I tried doing regular? jawari myself a couple of times but I think its so beyond saving now I should just get another bridge. But then again they come "unshaped" so I'm still in the same "proverbial" boat.
Does anyone here do their own jawari and how many bridges did you destroy until you got it right?
Jeffrey R King
Re:Changing sympathetics Aug 27, 2003 05:07 p.m.

A flat jawari is a dead jawari! Even a closed one still has a bit of an angle.
Still too chicken to attempt to do my own, except to sand the string grooves out. These bridges are not cheap. From what I hear, if you take your time and go slowly, you might be able to get it together using only one "experimental" bridge. But I think you'd have to be mighty good (or lucky). I would th ink a couple is more in line.
Re:Changing sympathetics Aug 27, 2003 05:19 p.m.

Jawari is kind of an odd art form, I remember reading an article by Manfred Julius on the topic which was nothing like I approach it, and I highly doubt a instrument maker would be making a silly grid to work on it. I simple use tons of differnt needle-tiped, and larger sized files, and various grades of sand paper, and work on it string by string, you have to work very slowly, after all we are not Hiren Roy who could do jawari in just one stroke, although I wish I was. Seriously anyone can do it, you have to look, listen, and file, and keep on repeating that process, I have spent almost a whole day working on jawari on some of my instruments. I even have found sarangi jawari can be just as sensitive, and sitar jawari. So my suggestion, aquire a few good sitars and look at the curve on the jawari, try to copy it a a spare bridge you have (should have).
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Re:Changing sympathetics Sep 02, 2003 09:25 a.m.

Hi all,
New WAN/firewall installed at about same time as we were "wormed", so no www for a week.
On javari, you should notice that there is roughly the same height to the chord in either an open or closed javari, the difference being in how far from the leading edge the peak of this chord occures.
Another thing to consider is that filing across the long axis alone to get this shape insn't carrying the process through to compleation. This gives the goraj the general shape from which to start the individual shaping per string. I think this is what the guy in the book by Prof. Junius is trying to get across when he talks of drawing a grid on the surface. The intent is to fine tune this chord for each individual string. This is typically done by scraping with a flat chisle. Using sand paper without some kind of rigid backing will only add to your loss of control. An example from another field is when a bronze sculpture is being high polished and the reflections of light are wavey, the only solution is to file out the waveyness, using flexible sandpaper uniformly removes material from both peaks and valleys allowing the waveyness to remain. Another thing to consider is that the angle of attack of the string to this chord changes as we move up the scale, so the chord must be adjusted to the comfortable medium, this is why a few scrapes with the chisle are all you want to do, replace and tune the string to see the effect and repeat until your ear breaths a sigh of relief. I did botch a few attempts at this but a new bridge will yield quite a few attemps before you have to trash it. A quick review of proper filing techniques in a machinist's manual as to proper angle to hold a file, never filing on return stroke and chalking to avoid "pinning", will be most useful to those that don't have much experience with them (I literally have thousands of hours of experience with files and there are some tricks).
This is a skill that all that play these instruments should try to gain some experience in. I've read the stories of folks having someone else do it not knowing the desired tone and just not getting it right. You are the best person suited for this task as you know exactly what tone you are shooting for. And Sarasvati will appreciate your efforts to keep the instrument in your care maintained to peak performance.
Re:Changing sympathetics Sep 02, 2003 12:02 p.m.

I never heard of using chalk when filing, but I will definatley give it a try. Files are kind of a fun thing, I use them for what ever a belt sander can't do....hehe
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Re:Changing sympathetics Sep 02, 2003 02:08 p.m.

And I thought you got freaked out around power tools! Chalking a file is the standard way to keep a file from getting "pinned" or clogged with filed material. Also, a file acts just as any cutting tool, you want to have the optimal angle and speed so that the cut material comes away in nice large shavings. You will notice when you are drilling (or chain sawing for that matter) the cuttings are very large when the tool is sharp and powder-like when it is dull. The cuttings from a sharp bit will also stay connected if you are using the correct speed and pressure (we always competed to see who could drill through 1/4" plate with a 1/4" drill and get the longest spiral shaving, which meant that everything was optimum). So this is to say that every file has a "sweet" angle which you maintain while filing in the desired direction. Another useful file rule is to never drag the file on the return stroke. A file is a one direction tool and dragging it on the return stroke will wear/bend the cutting edge down. Think of a file as a bunch of razor blades laid overlapping each other, like a 400 blade shlick beard remover, they cut well in one direction, but don't do squat in the other. Get an Italian craftsman to show you how to use a file, Germans are good at this also. Aside from wire cutters/pliers for strings, files are probably the next important tool in my sitar mainenance kit. A small knife edged needle file is very handy for deburring peg holes and removing sharp edges in the grooves of all string positioning parts (bridges, nuts, tarab buttons [which I don't know the proper term for], etc.) in addition to the #000 flat bastard (this is a file type not an out of tune instrument) that one would use for javari.
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