Here are some exercises that can be practised daily, they will improve agility, speed and accuracy of playing across the fret board. Play them slowly to start with and gradually build up speed. Accuracy and clarity of the note is more important than speed though so don't try to play these at a hundred miles an hour straight away, spend a lot of time practising them before you try to play at silly speeds.

Very simple ones to start with:

Ni Re Ga Ma Dha Ni Sa'
Sa' Ni Dha Pa Ma Pa Ma Ga Re Sa

Practice this one starting in the middle of the fretboard at Ni and playing the scale up to high Sa and then travel back down again. This is very basic, and is just the scale for yaman but this is a good little exercise to start with and can take a deceptively long time to get it accurately every time, especially when you start playing it at speed.

Play the same but with double notes. You can do this with a whole bunch of different right hand strokes so practice a variety of them, maybe just start with up/up strokes, and then maybe up/down strokes, and then a quick up/down stroke (diri).

NN  RR  GG  MM  DD  NN  S'S'
S'S'  NN  DD  PP  MM  GG  RR  SS

Next, play the same notes but with four strokes on each note. Again, you can play all sorts of right hand strokes with it, try up/up/up/up, then down/down/down/down, up/down/up/down, quick up/downs and a mixture of all. The diri stroke should be practised a lot, the aim is to have a fast and powerful stroke. The masters play these with machine-gun like speed and intensity.


After this you can start playing little patterns of these notes up and down the scale. Try sticking to up/down/up right hand stroke:


Then you can practice groups of four notes:



Mark said...

This is really cool, i wonder how easy it would be for me to pick up sitar while having guitar experience

Alexis said...

Hi Mark, you would certainly have the coordination but it is an entirely different instrument really. It's a very different style of playing and even way of thinking about music but certainly not impossible. You should give it a go!

Anonwadi said...

for how long have you been playing sitar? (i'm assuming you play it, since you know so much about it)

OG_Merlin said...

Wow! That's amazing! There is talent everywhere. Nice post!

Alexis said...

Anonwadi, I've been playing regularly for just over a year but was practising sporadically for a year or two before that. I'm not very good, it'll be years before I'm anywhere near happy with my playing.

Jesse Crows said...

i used to play the guitar and this looks nothing like what i used to learn it

TheLanderson27 said...

thats cool, nice post

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