This has been one of the toughest tasks I have faced with the sitar.
Playing this with even tempo and in pitch has been brutal. In addition, I feel like every time I ask my teacher to review I learn that I have been practicing it slightly wrong (or completely wrong) as the subtle elements are beyond my grasp.
Hopefully I am now on the right track. Let’s take a listen and see how I am doing.
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Here is a video of me practicing Alap for Raga Yaman.
As many of you already know, sitar is really hard to play!
Raga Yaman Alap is something I have been slowly learning over the years. For the past few months my teacher has been having me focus a lot of Gat and Taans. Then over the past few weeks we started spending more time during my lesson discussing and playing Alap.
Since I was traveling this week I figured I would shoot a video playing alap to document my current progress compared to the previous videos I have posted. You can see those in the links below. I hope I am getting better. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
I am working to build up speed as my teacher wants me to play at my gat and taans at 250 beats per minute (BPM).
Tonight’s video really focuses on one fast sitar taan at 200bpm. I mixed in a few others as well. This practice was very hard and you can see that my endurance was starting to fade by the end. That said, I can’t believe that 200bpm is starting to become a reality.
A year ago I was maxed out at 150 and I didn’t think I could play much faster than 170. My teacher really motivated me to push myself harder. As a new dad it’s easy to find excuses and not practice. Making these videos has been a great motivator and I’ve seen a lot of improvement since I started this series.
I give all my my Taans nicknames. The one I am playing tonight I call, “Singing Woman #1.” I play, “Singing Woman #2” a few times toward the end as well.
I took my first sitar lesson on January 27th, 2012.
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Improving my sitar hand technique and endurance has been a long and difficult task.
As most of you know, I have been working to increase my speed, so while I can play this sitar taan really well at 150 beats per minute, my teacher has given me the goal of playing it at 200bpm. So far 170-175 has been my max speed for this one. Tonight I wanted to push myself so I set the electronic tabla at 180.
This was also a great test of endurance. After doing all of my normal practice, I then focused on this long Taan for about 30 minutes. My hands were exhausted by the end!