Sitar Lessons

Sitar Lessons

Search our international teacher database to find experienced Sitar teachers in your local area. Our teachers are experienced and offer high-quality lessons tailored to you and your individual learning goals. You can find teachers who teach online via Skype or Zoom or even in-person from the comfort of your own home.

Classical and Contemporary Styles Taught

The teachers across our community are able to offer lessons on both the Sada and the Tarabdar Sitars and teach a variety of genres, such as the traditional Ragas used in Indian ceremonies all the way to modern examples in Western pop music today. The Beatles were actually the first Western pop group to feature a Sitar in one of their tracks ‘Norwegian Wood’ and later added Sitar to tracks such as subsequently a Sitar revolution happened over the 1960s and sparked a huge interest in learning this magnificent instrument.

Our teachers like to offer a student focussed approach, meaning we teach are tailored to each individual student and their own unique learning needs, blending the music they love with technical exercises to build well rounded and versatile musicians.

Developing Confident Sitar Players

The Sitar teachers we work with are often highly experienced performers and musicians in their own right, having developed their craft over many years of practice and study. This ability to play well and think clearly in high pressure situations such as of performing live concerts or in the recording studio is vital to having a calm and centred teacher, who is focussed only on your progress and can give knowledge from their own experiences to ensure rapid progress in a short space of time. This an area that our teachers can help you to improve on, rapid progress towards your goals as a musician.

We are able to help students on their journey who are looking to further their ability, some of the ways our teachers help students can be preparing them for auditions for music colleges and universities. Training and taking them through graded qualifications such as the Sangeet syllabus.

These grades use exams to progress through a variety of pieces, technical exercises and theory. Depending on the syllabus and students preferred exam board, these grades can be of different levels of difficulty and a very good measure of a student’s musical ability and a great route into a music school. With that said, these graded exams are certainly not compulsory, with a lot of students simply learning to play the Sitar for fun, their own pleasure or as a hobby.

Composition and improvisation are also areas our teachers can focus on when helping to develop advanced Sitar players, Students who draw upon a wide range of techniques and styles are able to use their knowledge to create music of their own, whether that be solo or as part of a group or band.

Are you a sitar teacher?

We are always looking for new Sitar teachers to join the worldwide database. In particular, those teachers who are passionate about a student focussed approach, helping students to learn by playing the music that the student is inspired by.

This approach, blended with some technical work, theoretical knowledge and the music they love has continued to be a winning combination in created engaged and skilled students.

Our community of teachers are based worldwide, with many teaching online via Skype or Zoom, and some teaching in their own studio or even mobile teachers who will come to you and teach from the comfort of your own home. I can help you build streams of students nationally and internationally and grow your local teaching business to help you gain a career in music education.

For more information, as well as to apply to become a teacher featured on the platform, please fill out the teacher sign-up form.

How Sitar Produces Sound

The Sitar consists of a deep pear-shaped body with a wide hollow wooden neck, measuring 1.2 metres in total length. Popular in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and northern India, the Sitar is a well-known member of the lute family of instruments. On the neck are 20 movable arched frets which are actually tied on, along with front and side tuning pegs. The Sitar can have around 20 strings: 5 melody strings, two drone strings and as many as 13 sympathetic strings. The drone strings are used to accentuate rhythm. The sympathetic strings are found beneath the frets and are tuned to the melodic frequency of the piece (also known as the Raga). The large pear-shaped body is used to resonate the sound while also balancing the weight of the instrument and providing support to the Sitar when it is not being played.

The style of a Sitar can vary greatly with different decoration, materials, and configurations depending on manufacturer and purpose. Sitars are often made of seasoned teak woods or mahogany, with bridges made of ebony, bone, or horn. In modern India there are two main schools of sitar playing, each with their own sitar type and playing style. One school was created by Ravi Shankar who became a popular sitarist and composer during the late 20th century. The Ravi Shankar school style includes the use of the bass octave of the sitar and a use of unconventional rhythms too. The second school, formed by Vilayat Khan, uses a style referred to as gayaki ang which uses the instrument to mimic the human voice. This style uses a technique called ‘meend’, which involves bending the main melody string down over the bottom of the frets. Each school uses specific types of sitar to achieve these styles.

To play the sitar the instrument is balanced between the player’s right knee and left foot at a 45-degree angle, leaving the hands free. The strings are plucked with a metal plectrum called a mizraab in the right hand, the left hand is used to apply pressure in between on the frets. Generally, only the middle and index finger are used to pluck the strings while the thumb remains on top of the fretboard near the main gourd. If you’re inspired and looking to learn the Sitar, get in touch above and find a Sitar teacher local to you!

Sitar Classes

As well as searching through the teacher database you can also find one of our regional music hubs, where you will be able to find information about a professional sitar teacher in your area.

Sitar Centres in the United Kingdom

London: Tommy Khosla is a professional sitar teacher based in London. Tommy runs Sitar Lessons London, welcoming students from across the capital and beyond to attend individual tailored sitar lessons.