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I'm interested in altering my guitar to give it a more sitar-like sound. I've stumbled upon this video below

and am wondering how dangerous this would be to my guitar. Would it take damage if I find a bridge that barely touches the strings. Are there better ways to approach this? Thanks.

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3  
electro-harmonix ravish sitar pedal, if you're willing to plug in. –  Dave May 9 at 14:09
    
There is such a thing as a conventional electric guitar with a sitar-like bridge and sympathetic strings. They first came out in the early 70s; several manufacturers make them today, and many models are affordable. Google "electric sitar". Look for models by Rogue, Italia, Agile, and Jerry Jones. –  Wheat Williams May 9 at 21:00
    
I did find the ravish sitar pedal, looks interesting.. And I prefer to stick with my own guitar, but thanks for the recommendations for electric guitar sitars. –  jason328 May 9 at 22:41
    
Line 6 Variax. It'll model anything ;) –  Kyle Sevenoaks May 26 at 11:06

3 Answers 3

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Guy seriously detunes his strings with that, so I wouldn't worry too much about the damage with this technique.

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Grate. Thanks for the info. –  jason328 May 9 at 22:41

You are not going to be able to get the sound you want from your stock acoustic guitar.

There are two particularly important elements that contribute to the sound of a sitar. One is the unique design of the bridge, which creates a buzzing sound, and the other is the presence of many additional sympathetic strings. In order to get this sound from an acoustic guitar, you would have to dramatically rebuild it from inside out. This would not be practical.

There are professional Indian musicians who have done this with a guitar. Here are some pictures I found in a Google search.

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All those extra tuning pegs are for the extra strings that have been added, and the guitar had to be massively reinforced to handle the tension of all those extra strings. Also, these examples are usually played with a bottleneck slide, not fingered like a conventional sitar or guitar.

It would be much more practical for you to spend US $700 or so on an electric sitar guitar, such as the Italia Modena Sitar model. Notice that it has 12 extra sympathetic strings that are not connected to the neck of the guitar (the instrument has 18 strings in all), and that it has the special buzzing sitar-like bridge under the main six strings.

enter image description here

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The best way I've seen to construct a sitar guitar is to buy a cheap used 12 string guitar, even one with the neck slightly twisted, and then super-glue a rectangular piece of bone or plastic to the bone bridge so that the bone piece causes the strings to buzz but not dampen.

If you try this method try to find a cheap used twelve string banjo. Sitar banjos sound awesome!

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