by David Courtney working tools

Tuning the esraj


This is a quick guide to tuning the dilruba and esraj.  There are just two things to keep in mind here.  The first is that dilruba and the esraj are basically the same.  There are but very slight differences in construction, and really no differences in tuning, stringing, or playing.  Although the pictures shown here are for the dilruba, it should be very clear to the esraj player what is supposed to be done.  The second point concerns the use of strings.  This guide will be oriented towards the use of guitar strings rather than the traditional solid wire (steel/ brass/ bronze) approach.  There are two overwhelming reasons to use guitar strings rather than traditional ones.  The first is the widespread availability of these strings.  The second reason is that modern of technologies (i.e. wound strings, modern tempering, polishing, etc.) are far superior to the older technologies which are still employed in India.

Measure the length of the string

Before we go any further, you need to know what size your dilruba is.  Measure the distance from bridge to bridge and click on the appropriate link.



© 1998 - 2017 David and Chandrakantha Courtney

For comments, corrections, and suggestions, kindly contact David Courtney at