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Sitar bridges?

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Postby briank » July 7th, 2005, 2:17 pm

If anyone is tracking my topics, they may sense what's coming.
I love the soung of a sitar and I've been trying to emulate the sound on my acoustic guitar. On real sitars, there is a "platform" of sorts that is put right by the bridge under the strings so, when plucked, the strings give that characterstic buzz.
Does anyone have any experience with the "buzz bridges" that you can install on guitars? I'd like to try one on my acoustic, but it seems to be a permanent modification to attach this to the body of the guitar. I'm trying to look around the net for these, but it would be great to here some info on attaching one to a guitarand how it sounds. Thanks!
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Postby paul donnelly » July 7th, 2005, 6:29 pm

I'm familiar with the siter bridge. I don't believe that any of those buzz bridges for guitars actually work in the same way. Do they? If they do, then you need to be aware that your bridge will require careful sculpting to work properly, and will need to be re-voiced periodically.

Luckily, there's a cheap way to get the same tone. You just graze the string gently with your palm to make it buzz. It takes a good deal of finesse, but I think that with practice you should be able to accomplish the effect with the same amount of sustain a sitar has. As a bonus, it works on anything with strings (that's a lie; it's not so effective on bass strings).

It might be cool to make a hard surface you could put on your hand to touch the strings with. You might be able to get an even more striking tone.
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Postby gnease » July 10th, 2005, 5:06 pm

I can a similar buzzing effect -- especially on the lower strings -- by bringing a fretting hand fingernail in close proximity to the string. It's easier done on open strings than fretted, so I usually do it on a open drone string played along with an adjacent string played cleanly.
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Postby briank » July 11th, 2005, 11:41 am

I've tried both of those methods (palm and fingernail) to buzz the strings, but they seem to take a lot of finesse. I suppose I'll keep working with it. I think I'm going to experiment with little things that I can put on the bass strings that won't change the structure of the guitar, just to see if I can get that sitar buzz.
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Postby paul donnelly » July 12th, 2005, 4:23 pm

You may have better luck on the unwound strings. Sitars use only unwound strings.
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Postby Ricochet » July 12th, 2005, 5:57 pm

Have you checked out the electric sitar-guitar over on MusiciansFriend? My boy's got one. Pretty cool.
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