White Guy Tries To Play Sitar, Screws It Up Royally
on 2/25/2005 (0)
COLLEGETOWN, PA - College student/Ravi Shankar wannabee Johnny Bumber attempts to capture the sweet lilting Sitar sound of India with nigh results.
|I can do this! |
Living up to the old musician's cliche "if you polish that thing any more you'll put a hole in it", Bumber tweaked his Sitar like a Jeff Gordon Chevy on Daytona 500 Sunday
"The Sitar is an astounding, deeply complex and highly spiritual instrument. It has six-seven main strings and 13 sympathetic strings called tadap strings. One tumba is attached to the base of the sitar’s neck. Sometimes, another tumba of a smaller size is attached to the top of its neck. An important aspect of sitar plying is the mizrab, which is worn on the first right finger of the player. The mizrab is a metal triangle inside which the first finger is placed, unlike the coconut shell, which is held between the thumb and the fingers by sarodiyas."
Bumber hefted the Sitar by its giant resonating gourd and eased it gingerly into his lap
"The tumbas are hollowed out pumpkins processed by sitar makers. The neck is made of a hollow wooden beam. Fifteen metal frets called pardas are attached on the neck of the sitar. A bridge is affixed on the tabli of the sitar over which the main six-seven strings run. The tadapdaar sitar, that is a sitar with sympathetic strings, has a smaller bridge placed below the bigger bridge over which the tadap strings are fixed."
Bumber patted the Sitar as affectionately as the family Yorkie
"I feel a kinship with Indian music. This instrument is my God eye, you could say."
When finally asked to play the instrument, instead of merely caressing it and offering a technical commentary, Bumber blustered
"Not yet!...In time! I've got my old Beatles records out! I can't read music, but neither did George Harrison, you know!"
Unknown to Bumber, he could have bought a used Sitar at half the price he paid for new at the local "Crusty Bucks" Pawn shop a mile from his campus in downtown Philadelphia, which reportedly had over 35 in stock, bought for a steal from musically disgruntled college students such as himself.isplay:0" style="display:no
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