Respect for the sitar
Indian musicians believe that music and the practice of music is a spiritual matter. It is a special privilege to play an instrument and the sitar itself is alive. So we have to treat all instruments with especial care and respect.
So please: don't step over instruments; don't touch or push them with your foot; and don't walk with shoes over the carpet where music is practiced/performed. If this is not possible cover the carpet with a sheet while practicing.
How to sit
Holding the sitar
Reaching the high notes
Most people find it hard to reach the high notes to start with. The problem is that the right knee tends to be too high and gets in the way of reaching the high frets correctly.
This can only really be resolved by gradual practice over months and years and increasing the flexibiity of your hip and leg joints so that your right knee can be lowered and married correctly with the curve of the tumba. Keep practicing very gently to improve this aspect of your sitting position.
Various workarounds can be used to reach the top notes, but these should not be substitutes for gradual progress towards the ideal sitting position.
Lengthen the time you can sit comfortably
Reaching the highest notes
The key constraint on playing the highest notes is your sitting position. Practicing regularly, easing in to the correct sitting position and keeping your left hand position correct (See the secton on the finger line on the Making notes page) is the only way to make this easy. So make sure this is secure first.
To develop this, add scale and alenkar practice in the top octave up to high Ma. For example:
The very highest notes can only be reached using meend. So gradually add meend to enable you to play up to high Pa. You will very rarely need to go beyond this. Once all this is secure extend your scale practice to cover the bottom to the top range of the instrument.
Looking at the audience