I want a sitar

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JeremyhilaryPhd, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. JeremyhilaryPhd

    JeremyhilaryPhd Guest

    Mar 27, 2012
    does anyone else want a sitar? Does anyone here have a sitar? Or more importantly, where to get a good cheap one?:help:
  2. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    I have owned one. They are a total PITA to setup, keep in tune, etc. So, I tried the Ravish Sitar pedal and sold it right off. Look on local CL. Best bet is if you have an Indian friend who can help you. IIRC, cheap isn't better in the case of sitars. Good luck.
  3. sandmangeck


    Jul 2, 2007
    The Korg Ax3000g has a good sitar emulator on it. There is another new pedal that I can't think of that is a sitar emulator.
  4. ZedZed

    ZedZed Guest

    May 15, 2011
    Check out talksitar.com
  5. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    Ravish Sitar, which I mentioned in the post above yours.
  6. Duckwater

    Duckwater Guest

    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    They're awesome sounding, but I imagine that their upkeep would be too much work(for me at least). I would rather get a microtonal baritone guitar for playing exotic stuff.
  7. Lonesomedave

    Lonesomedave Guest

    May 13, 2011
    Nashville, Cats
    i understand marcus miller fat beam sitar strings are the way to go...:D

  8. I have a hankering to learn the saz (similar to the bouzouki). Don't know when I'm going to fit that in between bass and ukulele.
  9. sitar.jpg

    And I love it! But...

    It is a real chore to tune and I am not a Yogi (not flexible at all!) and sitting in the proper position to play it is very uncomfortable for me.

    But there is no reason you have to sit that way - only if you are trying to be a purist.

    Regarding 'fake' sitars - like effects or guitar-hybrids - there is much more to playing sitar than simply getting that really cool, buzzy sound. You can easily emulate a sitar sound with a bazouki (or mandocello) with low action to purposefully generate fret-buzz if all you are after is 'that sound' - and a buzzy bazouki does an amazingly good job doing just that.

    But playing a real sitar, learning ragas, and incorporating the meditative practices that go along with it is much more what owning and playing a real sitar is all about.

    My wife got me this one as a wedding present - and I think it cost around $300. I don't know if that's cheap or not, but it plays well and sounds really good. You have to dedicate about a 1/2 hour to tune it. Mine has 13 sympathetic strings under 5 or 7 main strings... Mine has been sitting in my storage room in the basement for a few years now, so I cannot recall the exact string count.

    I have been waiting for my kids to get a little older so I can get it out and possibly leave it out and play it more often without worrying about it getting destroyed.
  10. I hear that site is quite popular.
  11. JeremyhilaryPhd

    JeremyhilaryPhd Guest

    Mar 27, 2012
  12. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
  13. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG!

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    I've got a good friend who is a pretty damm good sitar player.

    I have tried playing it a few times and although it's been a few years I can tell you a bit about what I found upon playing (trying to play) one.

    One thing to be aware of is that they are quite the peta to maintain and play in tune.
    I believe they are most commonly 18 strings that all run on friction pegs (think violin tuners)
    which means you not only have to tune every time you play, you also have to tune as you play.

    In addition to that the frets are attached by string running around the back of the neck.
    This is done so you can position the frets for different scales or modes if you will.
    The fun in this is that over time the frets loosen and need to be retied and positioned
    so not only do you need to be able to tune the strings but you have the frets as well.

    With that said I'd say having a good sense of pitch will go a long way in learning to play a sitar but on top of that you need to have a lot of discipline in order to stick with it.
    I'd definitely say it's up there in the hardest instruments you can play category.

    Oh and another tidbit that makes them difficult to play, the traditional playing stance positions the neck so that you're looking at the back, so you have to rely on your ear and muscle memory to find the correct notes.

    So considering all that I have to say that I have major respect for those who can play a sitar and play it well, it's a beautiful sounding instrument that which nothing else comes close.
  15. If you're looking to add some sitar sounds to a song, check out the last half of this video.
    It's cheap but sounds good.

    Besides, Mizrab Sitar Picks are intensely painful
  16. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    you might try
    Ali Akbar College Store: , Sitars, Tablas, Harmoniums, Tanpuras and all Indian Instruments.

    i would put out the disclaimer (as someone who has attempted sitar and who knows players) that it's not an instrument you play on a casual basis. although there are books out there, in reality there is no way to learn ragas without a teacher. that is simply part of the tradition, the teaching goes along with the instrument. studying north indian music is truly a lifestyle in itself. unless you are really serious about learning indian music (as in, practicing multiple hours a day), i would go with some emulation like a hybrid instrument or effect pedal.

    but, if you are set on buying a sitar, it's unavoidable that you will need it professionally set-up. a sitar out-of-the-box will not have the right tone, will not play in-tune, and will not hold it's tuning. you would be better off finding someone who teaches, and using one of their instruments to get a feel for it. however inconvenient it is, it's just part of the tradition that you have to know someone to be initiated into that scene. kind of like jazz snobs but a little more exlusive :smug:
  17. +1 And that goes for Indian classical music in pretty much any form. There is far less documentation for Indian classical music than for Western classical music; also, the stuff that is out there is not always totally accurate for this very reason.
  18. Jimbo


    Dec 4, 2000
    Philadelphia, PA
    Here's mine, she's a real beauty. I've been playing for a number of years so here's my $0.02

    -sitar and Indian classical music is difficult. The music is based on oral tradition and improvisation. While there are some similarities, the approach is vastly different from western music
    -be weary of any sites you can find online (eBay, amazon, and sadly Ali Akbar college). The quality is increasingly poor, near impossible to get a good sound out of, and really made without care of the actual playing experience
    -a new sitar will sound bad. It's the plain truth that sitars require aging the "break in". The only thing that breaks in the instrument is heavy playing. 100-200 hours of playing will get the sitar to a good sound
    -I have to echo the comments above that you absolutely should seek a teacher. It's like they say on the double bass side, you can easily develop bad habits without a teacher. Plus without a proper teacher you'll be hopeless on the maintenance of the sitar

    Now none of this is meant to discourage you. If you are really looking for a sitar, seek out a teacher first. See if the local university has south Asian studies departments, check these websites (keshav-music.com/teachers.php) and (http://chandrakantha.com/teachers/). The forums on chandrakantha are fantastic too!

    Once you find a teacher ask them for help on getting a sitar. Many will have extra instruments they will lend to students.

    All this is meant to make you sound like a sitarist and not like some guy who owns a sitar

    Attached Files: