Playing positions and technique 1

 Playing positions

As with all musical instruments sound production and control are of utmost importance, and the sitting position should enable the hands to play the instrument with feeling and dexterity, which will bring out the beauty and utmost possibilities of the instrument. The sitting position is also directly related to the playing technique. One should know that correct sitting and finger technique will give the musician the ability to create a full balanced sound, and moreover control over the volume and tuning whilst playing. The following photos of Uday Bhawalker and his wife Jyoti help illustrate this.


playing position 1

playing position 2


Traditionally Indian music is performed whilst sitting on the floor, preferably on a carpet. The tanpura can stand on its own accord, rest on the musician's lap, or lie on the floor in front of him. The musician himself can choose a variety of sitting positions; crossed legged, half crossed with one knee up (left or right), or both legs tucked under to the side (left or right). The chosen sitting position should relate directly to the chosen playing position of the tanpura, either vertical or horizontal, and the size of the tanpura itself. Of course it goes without saying that the tanpura player should be very comfortable, as he or she is sometimes required to play for long periods at a time.

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Playing position 3
Playing position 4