Top Surbahar Lessons in USA

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Surbahar is an Indian instrument which is also known by the name ‘Bass Sitar’. The instrument is very close to a Sitar, which bands like Beatles have used in few of their songs. Surbahars are said to be improvised from Sitar. They are made of Toona or Teak wood. The resonating chamber in a sitar is made of Calabash Gourd.

Strings in a Surbahar vary from 13 to 15 in number. Only 3 or 4 strings are playable. The other strings create a resonating sound along with the root notes. The sound produced from the strings gets trapped inside the resonating chamber, which in turn, amplifies the sound.

To play a Surbahar, you have to pluck the strings using a metal Plectrum, from your right hand. While the index, middle and ring finger from the left hand, fingers the fretboard. Indian classical music theories apply towards playing and tuning a Surbahar. There are several common concepts in Indian and Western music theories.

Basic components of Western Music Theory

  • Pitch:- Pitch can be defined as how high or how low a note gets. It is directly proportional to the frequency of a sound. Pitch of a sound is very particular and it cannot be matched, even by a similar sound produced by a different equipment.
  • Scales:- Scales came out as patterns in music which sensibly completes a music circle. A musical scale is made up of notes with a certain pattern to follow. For example, there are major scales in music which follows “Root Note-Tone-Tone-Semitone-Tone-Tone-Tone-Semitone” pattern. The last note of which again comes out to be the root note. There are a lot of other scales in music.
  • Consonance and Dissonance:- Pick a note on any musical instrument. There are a number of consonance and dissonance for a note within its own scales. Consonant notes sound complete when played together. Dissonant notes give a feeling of incompleteness.
  • Chord:- Chords can be defined as notes in a scale, which when played together, create a sensible sound. It can only be consonant notes or a combination of consonant and dissonant notes. For example, to play a major chord on any scale, you need to pick the first, third and fifth note from that scale. Play the selected notes together. You have got your chord.