Hi, I’m Jeff Starr, a sitar student and filmmaker. This is a livestream video of me practicing Raga Yaman on sitar.
This is part of my daily Sitar Riyaz.
In this video I do a general warm up and some more complicated paltas before playing gat & tans. I then focused on some right hand exercises to help build up additional strength and improve that technique.
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.
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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It’s been a busy week and sometimes life get’s in the way.
I needed to get in a decent sitar practice before my lesson so this video includes paltas, a gat and taans in raga yaman.
I am quickly approaching my 5 year anniversary of playing sitar and I’ve been struggling recently to find time to practice and it has slowed down my growth. It’s been frustrating. This isn’t some of my best playing, but I wanted to be honest about my progress and post the good with the bad.
For those new to this series, I am working to build up my speed. My teacher wants me to eventually play at 250 beats per minute (BPM). Let’s see how fast I can get today!