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Guide to the Best Sitars of 2019

Kayla Carstens

The sitar is a string instrument that is plucked and originated from the Persian setar which had three strings. The sitar originates from India and when it was created, featured in many Hindustani classical pieces. The sitar made its way into western popular music in the seventies and eighties when middle eastern sound inspired many artists and bands such as the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors and many others. If you want an instrument with a different and more exotic sound than others than the sitar could be a good option with its twanging and sliding sound.  


We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting a sitar. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of sitar,

  • See useful tips about that type of sitar,

  • Select the right brand of sitar,

  • Find accessories you may need for your sitar.

Types of Sitar

Types of Sitars:

  • Gayaki Style Sitars (Khan Style Sitars):

    • The Gayaki style sitar is typically made out of seasoned toon wood with a dark polish and very few carvings and ornamentations.

    • The only real decoration on the Gayaki sitar is the imitation mother of pearl inlay.

    • The Gayaki sitar can have between 11 and 13 strings, as well as different bridges and soundboards of varying thickness.

  • Instrumental Style Sitars (Ravi Shankar Style Sitars):

    • The Instrumental style guitar can be made out of seasoned toon wood or teak.

    • The Instrumental sitar often has a second resonator on the back of the neck of the sitar that is like a pumpkin in shape.

    • The Instrumental sitar has different carvings either floral or similar to grape vines.The carvings are either brown, red or black.

    • Like the Gayaki sitar, the instrumental sitar can have between 11 and 13 strings.

What reviewers say

Items that Can be Used with Your Sitar:


  • Sitar Case:

    • This is a specially designed case to store your sitar in and transport it and any accessories safely.

  • Sitar Strings:

    • After a lot of playing, strings tend to break and it is therefore wise to purchase and keep spare strings handy for any emergencies.

  • Polishing Cloth:

    • This is a cloth that you use to keep your sitar clean and pristine with no smudges or dust on it.

  • Sitar Stand:

    • This is a specially designed stand for you to place your sitar on when you are not playing or when you don't need to place it in a case.

  • Hygrometer and Thermometer:

    • This is a device that measures the temperature and amount of moisture in the air in order to make sure that your lute does not crack or sustain damage.

Important Features

Tips for Consumers:

  • Tuning

    • Since tuning can vary depending on what music you are playing, the typical tuning for a sitar is as follows from top to bottom:

      • D

      • C♯

      • D

      • E

      • F♯

      • G

      • A

      • B

      • D

      • E

      • F♯

  • What you should check for when buying a sitar:

    • How comfortable is it for you to play?

    • Check to make sure that there are no cracks in the wood and that the neck is straight.

  • Where should you buy the sitar?

    • Sitars are made mostly in India and the best ones are generally made by the well-known family businesses, you can get some sitars second hand but it is best to get new due to the aging of wood impacting the sound negatively.

Top-Rated Brands

Different Brands of Sitars:

  • Sardar:

    • Sardar was started by Monoj Kr. Sardar and is mainly all his innovation when it comes to musical instruments. Sardars instruments are appreciated not only in India but all over the world. Sardar not only makes sitars but also tanpuras, dilruba, esraj and other Indian classical instruments.

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