Lots of Alap (and thoughts on my sitar lesson)

Hi, today I had a 2 hour sitar lesson! I wanted to practice more alap tonight before I forgot everything.

Here are links to the videos I reference:
Sitar Speed Breakthrough: https://youtu.be/BEP9cmqayiU
I bought a Sitar! Is this Ravi Shankar Style? https://youtu.be/PUA3P_YwMOA

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Sitar Practice: Warm up, Gat and Alap

Here is a live stream video of my sitar practice, mistakes and all. I start with a short warm up, go into Gat and end with some Alap practice.
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Great Sitar Practice! Raga Yaman

Livestream of my sitar practice focusing on Raga Yaman.

I was very happy with this practice and these livestreams are a lot of fun.

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Sitar Practice: Raga Yaman Alap, Gat & Taans

Sitar Practice, mistakes and all…

Tonight I’m focused on Raga Yaman Alap, Gat & Taans

Let me know if you like this new Live Stream format. Thanks!

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Raga Yaman Alap, Sitar Practice

Practicing Raga Yaman Alap, live stream.

…some tuning issues.

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Most Difficult Sitar Gamak Exercise Ever: Part 2

Around September 2016, my teacher gave me this new sitar gamak exercise and told me that it would take a year to master it.

I figured this would make for a great series of videos and I would document my progress.

You can watch Part 1 here: https://youtu.be/Uyn_DP35Bfo

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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Learning Raga Yaman Alap, Update December 2016

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.

Old Alap Videos:
October 2016: https://youtu.be/ohiPO4el_D0
July 2016: https://youtu.be/AZ7mkE4LKpA
April 2016: https://youtu.be/s29hjlDTghI

If you want to learn more about the sitar I am playing you can watch this video:
https://youtu.be/PUA3P_YwMOA

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Improving Sitar Hand Technique and Endurance

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!

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New Tough Sitar Taans


Hi, I’m Jeff Starr, a sitar student and filmmaker. Last week my sitar teacher revised one of my existing taans to expand it further.

It’s not super complicated, but he wants me to build up my speed so that I can play my sitar taans at 250 beats per minute (bpm). And, this one started getting really hard at at 175 bpm.

I give all my my Taans nicknames and I call this one “3P.”

Let’s see how fast I can get today!

I took my first sitar lesson on January 27th, 2012.


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Raga Yaman Alap Practice 10-27-16

In this video I am practicing my opening phrases to the Alap for Raga Yaman.

This is difficult stuff!

I struggled with some pitch issues and my attack on some notes is a little rough but this is all part of the learning process. Hopefully this is an improvement over my last Alap video.

Please leave comments and let me know what you think. I love to read feedback.

If you like this video and want to follow my progress learning the sitar, please subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking on this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/notbadfilms?sub_confirmation=1