I am really curious about people's experiences with various jawari styles - in particular, Nikhil Banerjee style vs. Vilayat Khan style. What do you think gives the most volume, and has the most effect for greater sustain of meend? What is the general feel of it for you?
I prefer the half open/half closed jawari (Nikhil Banerjee style). With that or the closed style you have better meend sustain. With the VK style I like the harmonic tones produced during meend, they're louder with that style. Jawari can affect volume but a big part of volume is the actual construction of the instrument, the tabli should not be too thick. Some of the loud volume sitars you can get new have a very thin tabli which is great initially but you won't get more than 5 or 10 years out of it. Best to get one that sounds good and let the volume come as the instrument breaks in.
I'm most grateful for this topic being opened. Hi Lars, I'm pretty ignorant on the subject. An aquaintence has been showing me how to do jawari for a tanpura. As the requirements are much simpler, questions of VK / NB styles has not yet arisen. We have only discussed the merits of open and closed. When you say "half open / half closed, do you mean to describe a perfect balance between the two extremes? Or do you mean some strings open and some closed? Also, when you write about the thickness of the tabli, and the number of years "it will last? are you talking about the tabli itself, or the length of time the jawari will be effective? Thanks, Tom
Tom Pouri (Nov 09, 2003 06:38 p.m.): When you say "half open / half closed, do you mean to describe a perfect balance between the two extremes? Or do you mean some strings open and some closed? Also, when you write about the thickness of the tabli, and the number of years "it will last? are you talking about the tabli itself, or the length of time the jawari will be effective? Thanks, Tom
Hi Tom, yes a balance between the extremes is how it is. You can also vary the strings too, close the main string, more open on the chikari strings, etc.
About the tabli, some makers thin them out too much making for a nice loud sound when they're new but often they end up cracking or warping. A crack may not be apparent but will cause tuning to be unstable, etc. Then you have to have it repaired....Same with the wood for the neck, if it's too thin it will warp. Of course, some players don't care, they'll just get another one but personally I think it's better to 'play it in' and have an instrument that's structurally more stable and longer lasting.
Height depends - on my Vk it is one and a half P , on the old teak one point one P (1 P (unhammered pinky) = 1,5 standard kunti height). More P is harder to play, but gives better MC (meend control). But it depends on the DJ (djowari, measured in kuntis per minute).