Sitar Music For Beginners

Learn to play a song on Sitar

 

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Listen to a simple composition in Raga Yaman

 The sitar in the song is tuned to c#.

How to tune a sitar

Notation for the composition

Here is the Western equivalent of the Indian notes

S

 

r

R

g

G

m

M

P

d

D

n

N

S’

C

 

D flat

D

E flat

E

F

F#

G

A flat

A

B flat

B

C

Do

 

Re

 

Me

Fa

 

So

 

La

 

Ti

Do

 

 

Ascend and Descend for Raga Yaman

N. R G M D N S’

S’ N D P M G R S

(N. indicates the note in lower octave, S‘  indicates the note in higher octave, and all the notes in middle octave are written without any suffix or prefix.)

About Notation:

An inward stroke on the main (first) string is pronounced ‘da’ and an outward stroke is pronounced ‘ra’.

When these two strokes are played together in one beat, it is pronounced ‘dir’

You can make many different combinations using these three strokes such as :

 1. da ra da ra, the simplest one

2. da dir dir da

3. da dir dir dir dar dar da etc.

About Tabla

Rhythm cycle in Indian music is called  ‘Taal’.

The Taal used  in this song is ‘Teen Taal’. It is written in the following style.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

dha

dhin

dhin

dha

dha

dhin

dhin

dha

dha

tin

tin

ta

ta

dhin

dhin

dha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The song begins on the 9th beat and that beat is called ‘khali’. The first beat of the rhythm cycle is called ‘sum’ and is often considered important. The beauty of the ‘sum’ is not just in being the first beat or the most recognizable beat but also in the way musicians approach it in various beautiful ways.

Click here for Raga Bhairav played by children

Surbahar

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Raga Yaman (Shvoham Shivoham) on Surbahar

Raga Puriya Dhanshree on Surbahar

 Surbahar is more like a base sitar and there is a lot of similarity between the techniques used for sitar and surbahar. The deep, slow moving music on surbahar sounds very much meditative or devotional.