INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura


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HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura Jan 09, 2004 12:37 p.m.

My name is Peter, I'm from Belgium, and for the moment I'm for the second time of my life in a country I love a lot: India.

As a musician I'm also crazy about the Sitar and Tamboura sound. This time I really want to buy them!!, (despite the weight)

Problem is; I'm "tourist" so when I go into the shops, the sellers tell me everytime a different price.

I want good quality Sitar and Tamboura.
Can anybody give me an idea what a they should cost??
( I've heard yet everything from 3000rps, 6000rps, 16000rps,...)

Another issue is the quality:

I think teakwood is the best, and mangowood the worst, but is this correct??.

And what else is there I should pay attention to??

and is there a way to "see" what is good quality or are there some tricks to hear it??

The shopkeepers tell me everytime, "this is very good quality..."

As you can read I'm just a beginner in sitar-tamboura world so any advise will be highly appreciated!

A last question, I think of buying in Mumbai, but as this is an expensive city to find rooms, wont the sitar be more expensive also then by excemple in Delhi?

Many thanks (Danjabad?!) !!


Re:HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura Jan 09, 2004 04:57 p.m.

i am in india a place called pune near mumbai
well there are very good places to buy a sitar in mumbai
try out the bhargav shop or the hari bhau vish shop near dadar station they are very good
dont buy a mrx sitar unless u can really make out if the instrument is good or not ... but get some miraz made tanpura they are of the best quality......
hmm .. if ur learning the gayaki ang style come to pune
theres is a maker here called yusf mirazkar who makes sitars for shaid parvez and his students all over
contact me for any assistace if requirred
Re:HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura Jan 09, 2004 07:29 p.m.

Hi to Mumbai - are you only into buying or also into learning? If second, whats your e-mail? With the help of a good teacher you may get a good instrument for a fair price.
Best, Ingo
Re:HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura Jan 09, 2004 09:02 p.m.

Hey Peter,
Try to connect with Kedar who posted above if you want a sitar from Bombay, I know and recommend him....Good luck and have fun and you DO NOT want mango wood!
Re:HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura Jan 10, 2004 07:55 a.m.

what are you interested in? Sitar, Tanpura or Tabla? Or you want to start a business???

there are stores in Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta. Also in Pune.
You can get specialized stuff at most places in these cities. depends where you land from Belgium..
If you have knowledge for good products, you can bargain in Delhi for a very good price & quality.
try some stores there.

Re:HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura Jan 10, 2004 10:57 a.m.

Haribhau Viswanath is an okay shop in Mumbai (phone 23821425). I'd second Lars on quality. Mangowood only for burning the instrument on stage.
If you need a teacher: Rafat Khan (Jaipur-Atrauli) is a very good one.
Re:HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura Jan 10, 2004 11:26 a.m.

Rikhi Ram's Music - Sanjay Sharma
Delhi Musical Stores- Inni Singh

These two can give you good Sitars, Tanpuras and Tablas in Delhi. They own their stores. Both are tabla players.

Re:HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura Jan 10, 2004 01:40 p.m.

well my e -add is
come to pune if u can ....... only two hours drive
if you happen to come here on the 15th of january
i am organising a concert here of vocal and instrumental (sarode)
your most welcome to come there
i would really recommend you to get some good tanpuras from miraz...and we all know they are really good
and as of for tablas respect to your other post
please go at the shop of WATKAR..
he is the best tabla maker in india right now
zakir hussian ,kumar bose , aninto chatterjee and many more get thier instruments from him
95 percent of the good tabla players get their tablas from there
please bargain if u can
rest is fine
Re:HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura Jan 11, 2004 03:07 a.m.

Thank you all for your quick replies!!

As you could see on this forums; I am interested in all: tabla, tamboura and sitar.
It is because I like playing music and I like Indian music,..
not because I want to do bussiness.. So I'll only buy one of each.

I'm off course interested in learning also but I don't think I will find the timeduring this holiday.
(I think I will learn it like I learned to play guitar and djembe,..on my own. But I'm not sure yet. I'll let you know)

I know you need to bargain in India, but can anybody tell me what a reasonable price is for sitar\tamboura?

Thanks again!


Re:HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura Jan 11, 2004 04:05 p.m.

If you are in India and want to buy instruments be sure to get a lesson or two before you go home ( as many as you have the time for). Seriously, what you will pick up in a few hours with a teacher will save you from many, many months of testing and trying at home. Just the tuning, changing strings, general care for your instruments, making a mishrab and what about the propper position to sit, hold your hand, moving the frets, basic stuff that can be picked up a lot faster with a teacher than without. But if you enjoy surfing the net more than playing then never mind, there are loads of good sites that will give you most the info you need it will just take you a while to get there... And also ( as someone pointed out) with a teacher you will be sure to get instruments that are fitted for you. You can pick up some nice ICM books and CDs in the same run. Be sure to get a fair supply of strings, and any other extras you might need. For transportation you need cases to put the instruments in. You can buy the ordenary case and risk a lot (broken instrument), you can get a local carpenter to custom make a case for all the instruments at once or you can buy fiberglass cases witch is the really safe way to go. If you end up with any other kind of case be sure to protect the instruments well and fill all the exess space in the case with whatever you have of textil/clothing so that the instruments will l be safe.
The transportation costs (taking the instruments home by air) can be a lot higher than you might expect. To be on the safe side consult your airline to get an indication of what im talking about.

the best of luck to you.


Re:HELP!, beginnersinfo about Sitar-Tamboura Feb 16, 2004 03:39 a.m.

Hi. Tony Karasek here ( I'm in Pune near the Osho center off N. Main Rd in Koregaon Park. I'll be back there on March 7. Email me at "" to set up a time for you to come over. I have 4 sitars ready to go - all Gayaki style. I can get you going on basics and what to look for in a sitar without the sales pitch. My sitars will sell themselves, especially when you have one in hand. Looking forward to meeting you. All the best. Tony
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