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Note Names and Production

 

Assuming one is familiar with the notation system of Indian music, here is the fingerboard on what notes correspond to which fret. Keep in mind that these notes listed here are first the main string (String#1). The main playing string is where 90% of all melody will be played on. Please look at the diagram before reading onwards with the discussion. If you are unfamiliar with the notes of North Indian music, please refer to KKSongs North Indian Notation Page.

 

On the main string, every note from suddha ma from mandra saptak (m) to Sa of madhya saptak (S) has a fret. Every half-note from this interval has a fret assigned for it.

 

After we pass S, we notice that there is only one fret allowed for Re. Although Re has two forms (komal re and suddha Re), pure North Indian music does not recognize any raga that uses two consecutive or sandwiched Res. If we need to use suddha Re, we leave the fret as shown in the diagram. If we need to use komal Re, then we must move the Re fret toward the Sa. Test to see if the komal re position is an accurate one by playing komal re with respect to other notes of the desired scale.

 

After passing the r/R fret, every note from komal ga to Pa has a fret allocated for it. Once we hit the Dha fret, we enter the same discussion as we did with the r/R fret. The Suddha Dha (D) is shown on the diagram. If one needs a komal dha (d), then one should move that fret towards the Pa and test its accuracy by playing komal dha with respect to the other notes of the desired scale.

 

After passing the d/D fret, komal ni (n), suddha Ni (N), and tar saptak Sa (S) have their own respective frets. Every fret after S has one fret per note. Since four additional frets cannot fit in such a small space, r/R, g/G, and m/M have one fret per note, and they have to be moved according to raga or musical piece requirements.

 

 

When playing fingering the notes, make sure you play right before the fret of the desired note. This will produce the most optimal sound. You will use your index finger to be the finger the fret most notes. You will use your middle finger to play the last note of a particular phrase or if you are switching directions (if you are playing S G m P m, then your finger orientation would be Index Index Index Middle Index). The following video illustrates this concept the best.

 

 

UPDATED: June 23, 2009