The Electric Sitar

Plug In With The Electric Sitar

There are actually two main types of sitars: the Ravi Shankar (R.V.) and the Vilayat Khan (V.K.) sitars. You may have heard of another variety, the Surbahar,” or bass sitar, as well. These varieties of sitars do provide listeners and musicians with a quality musical experience unlike any other.

But what if you’re if in the mood for the sonic offerings of the sitar, but with more of a “revved-up” feel? Well, say “hello” to the sounds of the electric sitar. And when it comes to electric sitars, there’s only one place to go on the Internet,!


Why Consider the Electric Sitar?

First and foremost, the electric sitar’s tone quality and playing technique are very different than that of the traditional stringed instrument. For this reason, electric sitars are not used in classical music. However, the electric sitar is the perfect instrument for other styles of such music, such as rock, jazz and even pop music. Back in the late 1960’s, the electric version was developed to appeal to the musical tastes of various Western artists and bands.

Why? Well, the electric sitar lends a unique and delicate sound to musicians who want to emulate the sound and y of mood of the traditional stringed instrument. In addition, the traditional version is considered a very a difficult instrument to learn, let alone master. But the electric sitar features a standard fretboard and guitar tuning. As a result, it’s much easier for guitarist to play.

So where might you have heard the electric sitar? Well, many of the most influential and popular musical artists have spotlighted the electric sitar. Among these are:

  • Genesis
  • R.E.M.
  • Steely Dan
  • Yes
  • Todd Rundgren
  • Metallica

Electric Sitars Vs. Traditional Sitars

In reality, the electric sitar is a type of electric guitar designed to mirror the sound of the traditional instrument. Some models of electric sitars are designed to look like traditional instrument. Other electric sitars are built with bodies and headstocks (the part that holds the strings) that look more similar to electric guitars.

Like traditional instruments, electric sitars sport six playing strings. However, electric sitars may feature sympathetic strings that are found on the left side. These strings also come with their own pickups, which transform mechanical vibrations into electrical signals that are then amplified and recorded. Electric sitars also feature a “buzz bridge” — a device that supports the instrument’s strings — that is responsible for the unique sound.

It should be mentioned that there are electric sitars hailing from India and Pakistan. But unlike other electric sitars, these versions are smaller, and look like traditional instruments. Plus, these Indian and Pakistani models of electric sitars have the same tone as the traditional versions.

When it comes to electric sitars, consider the advantages: it’s much simpler to play; it’s a better accompaniment for non-classical musical genres, such as jazz, rock and pop; and it offers a similar sound and feel as traditional sitars. Electric represents a whole new level of sitar enjoyment.