So, I don't know who'll see this, whether just my friends list or what.

Anyway, my latest build, has a vibrating sitar sound on one string when I play it open. I know what's causing hit. For the nut, I cut deep grooves wider than the string, and it's vibrating the length of the string, and hitting another vibrational mode when it "stops" itself by hitting the sides of that groove.

Other than carving deep grooves for all the strings (they're there already anyway, just this one string is doing this, and will only do it when played open), what other way can I get that sitar sound. Sort of like the opening to "Monterey" by the Animals. I'm wondering if it's more than just sympathetic strings. Perhaps looser strings hitting on one of those many metal rings?

Any ideas?

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Not sure if you want to make your whole CBG sound like a sitar (interesting idea!); you seem to have correctly analyzed one way of making the sound, which is having a string vibrate between two nodes


Per my Googling habits, I had run across this link to basic sitar construction some time ago. Probably not in the detail you wanted, but it makes an interesting starting point for further exploration:


There's a vid I ran across this morning that shows how to get a sitar-like sound from an electric guitar, using your palm or fingertips as a right hand technique; you could also use a pick edge, as was done on the intro note to The Beatles' classic, "I Feel Fine." Here's a link to the how-to video:


And there's this link from :


Good luck!



Thanks "Oily".  Can I just call you O'Leo?

You can try ;-)

Looking at that first link, it has a VERY wide bridge on it, and I'm wondering whether the string is just almost resting on the broad expanse, with the positioning groove on one side.  If it were just barely above that wide bone, that could give it that alternate vibrational mode.  The metal rings are frets, and likely the strings are not close enough to the rings to strike them unless fretted.

Yeah, that third link talks about a buzzing bridge.  Thanks O'Leo.

Possibly this video will offer some insight.

I believe on a traditional Sitar it is the bridge that creates the unique tone. The unfretted sympathetic strings simply acts as drones filling in the overall sound.

Enjoy, Keni Lee  




Yes, one of the other sites I looked at ( , I think) mentions that the bridge / saddle on sitars is rather curved, as opposed to being (relatively) knife edge sharp as on guitars. According to them, the more the string is in contact with the bridge, the more you will get that fuzzy drone sitars are noted for. Also, take a  look at the dual nuts at the headstock: some strings run through holes in one nut, then over another nut, which in some instances has rather wide looking grooves in it, while the bridge appears in the pics I saw to be smooth, with no string grooves. Also, I agree with Keni Lee, the sympathetic strings are there for drone tones. 

here's what I want to do in the end:


Actually, I'd like to do a rendition of "almost cut my hair".

Thanks for your input everyone.


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