Sitar style guitar neck?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Layne Matz, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

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    To my knowledge the neck of a sitat is hollow and there is nothing underneathr great. To my knowledge the feets join at the sides of the neck and are suspended above the hollow space within the neck allowing for increased resonation, movement of frets, and bending strings by fretting harder. I dont know if any of this is completely accurate. I havent done much reading about the construction or use of a sita. Ive never seen one in person. I intend to buy one someday.


    I was curious if there was a guitar model that has a hollow neck, frets, with no fretboard behind the frets but instead a hollow chamber. Any thoughts?



     
  2. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    String a Gittler with .007-.036 and that should be a reasonable substitute.
     
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  3. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    BTW-for 50+ years I have used a DADDBD tuning to approximate the drone of the sitar. Thanks to the late great Gabor Szabo, a guitarist you should get to know, if you don't already.
     
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  4. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

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    I havent used that one but I'll try it tonight! Thanks for recommending it!

    I wonder how it would sound on a 12 string...
     
  5. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I did that very thing with a Dean Sarasota 12 string and I would have to say the results were mixed, at best. Given enough time to "sweeten" the tuning, it might get better.
     
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  6. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, don't fall for the decorative sitars I see on craigslist. Good ones are hard to come by so find a recommended dealer, in San Francisco I recommend Ali akbar school of Music. I hear good things about Rain City Music
    www.raincitymusic.com
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    Naeem Sitarmaker Concert Sitar

    Kohinoor style decoration teak

    Ravi Shankar style setup ~ all inlaid

    Been working on these for awhile, I had suggested a Miraj version of the popular Kohinoor design which has been done by a few makers. Naeem put his own style and design on it. Adding a lot of carved bone work, smaller top gourd hole for better resonance and extensive inlays with very old teak wood!

    7 main strings and 13 sympathetics featuring a 3/4 open jawari in the style of Pandit Ravi Shankar. All natural materials for nuts/bridges. Nuts (Meru) are hand carved. Custom tuning beads. Langot is synthetic. Main pegs also customized polished hardwood, sympathetics are also hardwood and carved. Natural shellac finish in dark brown with slight red undertones.

    Aged teak was used, it has a 14 3/8 inch tabli and the construction is all Miraj made. Gourds are one piece. The top gourd has the same attention to detail with inlaid and smaller soundhole for better sound.

    Fiberglass cases for sitar and top gourd are also Miraj made and very nice with a fitted plush lining.

    This sitar has been air shipped (as are all of our instruments) to preserve its quality. Styles of each will vary slightly.

    $1950 + shipping includes Fiberglass cases...
    They also sell teaching dvds. I advise newbies to go to a dealer, have him tune it for you, video record it if possible, buy at least one extra set of strings
     
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  7. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much for all the info, its much appreciated!

    Do you know anything about the eBay sitars that are around $400 USD?

    Also, what foreign instruments are you interested in or attract you the most?
     
  8. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I don't really know about the $400 deals on Ebay.
    I love Chinese music and the erhu in particular.
     
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  9. Piper68Special

    Piper68Special Active Member

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    About the $400 sitars on Ebay-I teach bagpipes and there are lots of cheap bagpipes on Ebay. They are made in Pakistan where they copy all sorts of unusual instruments and here's what I tell people about those bagpipes. They are perfect over, or in, the fireplace. They look good and they burn well but don't try to play one.

    I have no first hand experience with the sitars but....
     
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  10. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Well-Known Member

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    Back in the early 00's I bought a student grade sitar from AACM in San Francisco. That was a beautiful instrument and if remember right it was at least $900 shipped with a case. 2 things to keep in mind. The sitar is extremely hard to play and even harder to tune. I wouldn't waste money on a $400 eBay sitar. They're difficult enough to play as it is, the last thing you need is a sitar that isn't playable to begin with complicating things further.
     
  11. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I was toying with the thought of buying a Gittler before purchasing a home last year. The msrp was comparable to my down payment. Remarkable instrument though and not nearly as tough to adjust to as you might think. I was playing recognizable tunes in a few minutes.
     
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  12. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Well-Known Member

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    That looks fun and very expensive. Anyone familiar with Steve Vai? In particular the sitar like guitar he used to play back in the Zappa days? That might the the closest sounding instrument to a sitar that I've heard. I would love to get that sound along with the sympathetic strings but in a package I'm more familiar with.
     
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