INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Lefty Instruments - Bina, RKS, Haribhau Vishwanath....


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Lefty Instruments - Bina, RKS, Haribhau Vishwanath.... Dec 15, 2003 06:15 a.m.

Hi everyone.
Let me just say how shit hot it is down here in South Australia.

I posted a few messages here before regarding lefty sitars. I am still saving, so will be on a tight budget. Can't afford one of those sweet sweet Sanjay Sharma sitars on Lars' site. But one day.

What would be a good way to go on getting a lefty sitar made? I have played a fair bit of sitar now, borrowing my mates proffesional Haribhau Vishwanath (
Go to strings and look at their proffesional sitar. He has a custom left-handed version of that. It's a nice instrument, being the only lefty sitar i've ever played. He has it set up in VK style, with semi-closed jawari, which sounds good.
I'm thinking of ordering one of these sitars left-handed, but in a half fancy decorated style, which i did email them about.. I want one different than his.

Also, I was thinking about Bina sitars, which they said could be made. If you go to the site () and look at the sitars, I was thinking the No. 5 which looks similar to VK style sitars, or the Bina Artist.? They said they can make all the instruments lefty, including the Surbahar which I like the look off.

Maybe even one of the lefty RKS sitars from Mid East, but I've heard bad stuff about them, setup wise.

Opinions anyone? Beenkarji and Lars i'm looking in your directions!

Regards Paddy

Re:Lefty Instruments - Bina, RKS, Haribhau Vishwanath.... Dec 15, 2003 08:02 a.m.

Haribhau Vishwanath? In Bombay? I bought a sitar from them in february. Okay. But I cant tell you nothing about lefties ...
Re:Lefty Instruments - Bina, RKS, Haribhau Vishwanath.... Dec 15, 2003 09:15 p.m.

Hi Paddy,
Well, you know your options from me already. Regarding the HV sitar that your friend plays, you seem to enjoy it? So give it a try if it's within your would help if you had a contact in India, etc. There are a lot of places that will sell you a lemon, and of course everything is 'professional' and all that but experience is a good teacher and if your experience with this brand is good then perhaps you should try it....
Lefty sitars don't always have everything done right since the maker is more often right handed, it would be ideal to have a player who is left handed monitor the jawari as it's being done but probably not practical so you might have to make a few more adjustments than are normal. Best of luck and don't forget to have fun!
Re:Lefty Instruments - Bina, RKS, Haribhau Vishwanath.... Dec 15, 2003 09:46 p.m.

I don't have any connections in India, I only know two or three sitar players and they all live here. So I would have to be taking my chances.
If i can't get an Haribhau sitar with a fibreglass case, i won't buy from them. Bina have these cases, and I'd feel better if my instrument was sent here in one of them. I want my sitar with nikhil banerjee style jawari, and also half fancy, not the fully ornamented style, but not the vilayat khan style either.

I want a sitar exactly like that, but just not an RKS from Mideast . I don't trust them.
I'll scan some pics and sound files of me playing josh's Haribhau Vishwanath.


Re:Lefty Instruments - Bina, RKS, Haribhau Vishwanath.... Dec 15, 2003 10:40 p.m.

Just what the heck is "red shitter wood"?

Re:Lefty Instruments - Bina, RKS, Haribhau Vishwanath.... Dec 16, 2003 09:32 a.m.

Maybe a dumb question, but why do you want a lefty instrument? I'm lefthanded as well, but play a right-handed instrument. I feel I really benefit having my strongest hand on the strings. It requires a lot more strenght to do meends etc than just the picking action. Plus, if say one out of ten instruments is really a good one, chances are picking up a decent righty are better than picking up a decent lefty..... (hmmmm... is this proper English..?)



Re:Lefty Instruments - Bina, RKS, Haribhau Vishwanath.... Dec 17, 2003 05:45 a.m.

Yeah, red shitter wood cracked me up when i first saw that.

I play all instruments left-handed (guitar, bass, five string banjo, irish and greek bouzouki, turkish baglama saz)
I have tried to play sitar right-handed, and gave up quickly. I know i should work at it but i'd be able to play a lot better left-handed.

I'm also thinking about a left-handed surbahar or sarod, but that would be as rare as rockinghorse crap!

One of these days....

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