Chris Mendez in Music Industry, Sitar

Sitar: Basic practice for right hand

I'm using the exercises below build strength and control in my right hand. Part of my daily routine is to turn on iTabla Pro, set the tempo to 80bpm (beats per minute) and go up and down a major scale. Once I complete 80bpm, I increase the tempo to 100bpm, then 120bpm, then 140bpm.

I can't stress this enough, buy iTabla Pro. It's a must have. Yes, a metronome from ONYX or Pro Metronome will work too but they're not the right tool for sitar.


Da & Ra

Then it comes to picking, Da means stroke upward and Ra means stroke downward. If this sounds unclear, I'll say id differently.

Position your right hand as if it were holding an imaginary cup. Now, when you grip your hand, that's Da and when you release your hand that's Ra.

Exercise #1

Up Up Up Up, Down Down Down Down.

DaDaDaDa RaRaRaRa  

Exercise #2

Up Down, Up Down, Up Down, Up Down

DaRa DaRa DaRa DaRa  

Exercise #3

Also known as 3 3 2. Up Down Up, Up Down Up, Up Down.

DaRaDa DaRaDa DaRa  

Exercise #4

Also known as 3 2 3. Up Down Up, Up Down, Up Down Up.

DaRaDa DaRa DaRaDa  

Exercise #5

Also known as 2 3 3

DaRa DaRaDa DaRaDa  

Exercise #6

RaDaRaDa RaDaRaDa  

Exercise #7

3 3 2

RaDaRa RaDaRa RaDa  

Exercise #8

3 2 3

RaDaRa RaDa RaDaRa  

Exercise #9

2 3 3

RaDa RaDaRa RaDaRa  

Exercise #10

Diri is similar to 16th notes. So think of the next exercise as 4 x 16th notes, then 6 x 8th notes.

1 e + a  2 +  3 +  4 +  
DiriDiri DaRa DaRa DaRa  

Exercise #11

1 + 2e+a 3 + 4 +

DaRa DiriDiri DaRa DaRa  

Exercise #12

DaRa DaRa DiriDiri DaRa  

Exercise #13

DaRa DaRa DaRa DiriDiri  

Exercise #14

DiriDiri DiriDiri DaRa DaRa  

Exercise #15

DiriDiri DaRa DiriDiri DaRa  

Exercise #16

DaRa DaRa DiriDiri DaRa  

Exercise #17

DaRa DaRa DiriDiri DiriDiri  

Exercise #18

DaRaDa DaRaDa DaRa DiriDiri DaRa DaRa DaRa  

Exercise #19

DaRaDa DaRaDa DaRa DaRa DiriDiri DaRa DaRa  

Exercise #20

DaRaDa DaRaDa DaRa DaRa DaRa DiriDiri DaRa  

Exercise #21

DaRaDa DaRaDa DaRa DaRa DaRa DaRa DiriDiri