Monday, 24 December 2007


Mark Mikel “It is incredibly hard to master the instrument but for a guitarist with patience, the sitar can make some pleasing sounds. I never learned properly like George Harrison did. I wish I had Ravi Shankar sitting next to me to show me some things. As with almost any instrument I play- I take time to reacquaint myself with it before I do any recording. You see credits for me like French horn, sitar, accordian...etc and I really can't play those instruments. I pick them up then work something out that might be suitable. It might take me a few hours.These same situations can apply to guitar/drums/keys/bass and even vocals. I have to give myself a reacquainting period. If I was a performing musician, it would be easier to master whatever instrument I use. "No audience" means that I have to somehow keep up on all these instruments by motivating myself.

The acoustic sitar has frets that you supposedly can move for a particular scale. I don't really think that's wise to do more than once- if at all. Maybe they have different sitars for different keys (like harmonicas). It just was a mistake when I tried it. It was never the same afterward. When I bought my new sitar I resigned myself to never adjusting the frets more than a slight hair. If I need to change the scale, I just change the pitch on the tape machine. Tuning it is a bitch because there's 18 strings and it's not an exact science. Sometimes a good ear is more detrimental for that reason.The toughest part is holding it properly. I've gotten better at it over the years but, I can't sit that way for long. Many of my tracks have the sitar up on a stool and I just stand next to it and play. I wish I could just once see someone play one in person.That sitar piece by Anoushka Shakar is my favorite part of The Concert for George. She was sorely missing from OUR Concert for George
The electric sitar I have is made by Danelectro and called the "baby sitar." It's just like a guitar with a semi-teardrop or gourd shape body that has a bridge that sizzles the strings like a sitar. You play it just as you would a guitarYes, we've used my electric sitar a number of times. Scotty the T played it in NYC on Here's to the End of Time. You can see him using it in the rehearsal video on YouTube. It's been on all our albums, but its appearance can be slight. I'm pretty sure it's on Plastic Surgical Holiday (but not the main solo- that's the acoustic one). It's used on Popcycle Island and Neo Mega Quasi...It's possible it's not used on Happy Birthday, I suppose, but at the moment I can't think.It's definitely on Buzz for Aldrin and Cosmic Surprise."


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