Showing posts with label Sitar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sitar. Show all posts

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The SITAR - Its Influence on Popular Music

SITAR RAVI SHANKAR STYLE AT-www.sathyadeepmusi...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Legend says that the sitar was invented by Amir Khusro himself an Indian poet, scholar, and musician.

Mainly used in Hindustani classical music, the sitar has been around for over 700 years. Made with a gourd body (often carved out of a pumpkin), the sitar comprises of the basic elements of a stringed instrument. It has a neck, pegs, strings and a body. A sitar can have 18/19 or 20 strings, it also has 11, 12 or 13 sympathetic strings of which 3 or 4 provide the drone and these are located underneath the frets.

Up until the 1960s, the sitar had never been used in popular music. George Harrison was to change all that.

During a break filming Help, Harrison picked up a sitar (being used as a prop) and attempted to play it. After this encounter, he began getting lessons from the legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar. Soon after in 1965, the Beatles produced the first released Western pop song to include the sitar - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown), in which George played the Indian instrument.

The Beatles would go on to further display their influence from the sitar, writing songs such as Tomorrow Never Knows, Across The Universe and many more. Following their success with blending the sitar and popular music, other Indian instruments were introduced in their compositions, such as the tabla and tamboura.

Creating a very psychedelic effect on the music, many artists followed The Beatles use of the sitar and Indian instruments. Musicians such as The Rolling Stones (Paint It Black), The Lemon Pipers (Green Tambourine), Donovan (Hurdy Gurdy Man) all found inspiration through the sitar.
Even to this day, popular musicians are using the sitar to enhance their creations. Newton Faulkner is one of the more recent artists to include sitar on his tracks.

Undeniably, the sitar has had a profound effect on popular music as we know it. Fusing the Indian instrument with Western instruments have worked wonders and produced some mind-blowing classic songs.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The SITAR - 3 Things To Know Before Buying

Photo by aplumb
If you have ever heard of the song "paint it black" by the Rolling Stones or listened to some songs by the Beatles, you probably are familiar with that funny sounding guitar in the background called a Sitar.

This exotic instrument consists of 18 to 23 strings. There are usually 6-7 main strings on top and 11 or more on the bottom call sympathetic strings. These are meant to be used as a drone to give the instrument more musical depth.

The sitar is made of a large neck and a gored for the base. It is mostly played in a traditional sitting position and played with a metal pick, which is called a mizrab.

If you are serious about buying, please keep in mind these three tips.

Tip One.

Make sure you are familiar with where the actual sitar came from. It's very important to track where it was made. Wherever you buy the sitar, do some research on the Internet as to where it was made. The majority of sitars are mass-produced in Northern India and sell for around $200 to $500, these tend to be fake. If you're a lefty, like me, almost all the sitars out there on the Internet or major music stores are fake. I have had my fair share of fake sitars and that's why I am writing this article.

Tip two

Find out how long its been sitting out. Sitars don't do well with humidity or the cold. They are ideal at around 60-80 degrees. Always keep them away from windows or fireplaces/heaters. To test this, play the instrument and listen to hear it go out of tune. If it keeps going out of tune you might have a warped sitar.

Tip Three.

Always check for loose parts. A well-made sitar that's not a decoration piece tends always painted to perfection and the tuners work. If the tuners don't stay in place, chances are you are getting ripped off. Most of the, general music store have no clue where they come from and order them from a catalog to give the store variety. They should always come in a case and have extra strings and picks. Make sure to purchase sitar grade strings, as they are different lengths and gauges.

I highly recommend doing some concrete research before flaunting your credit card around and impulsively buying one of these cool instruments. Always play before you pay!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

SITAR - Music-Instrtuments of the World

SITAR - Music-Instrtuments of the World - Picture: Wikimedia