Sarod in Persian means a beautiful sound or melody. It has been derived from Rebab but its sound is deeper and heavier than a Rebab and for this reason it is also known as bass rabab. It is a Fretless instrument. Sarod has a unique and easily identifiable sound due to the presence of extended air column below the fingerboard.
Sarod is believed to have come from Afghanistan but since then it has taken certain variations. Some of the notable changes in sarod are: replacement of wooden, fretted neck with a smooth polished-steel fingerboard, metal strings are used instead of silk strings and addition of sympathetic strings for enhancing the tonal quality. Among the various strings present in Sarod, some are drone, some are played and some are used as sympathetic strings. Unlike other stringed instruments, strings of sarod can be stopped either by the tips of fingernails or by a combination of nails and fingertips. A pick made of coconut shell, ebony, cocobolo wood or rosewood is used commonly for playing a Sarod. This pick is also known as jaba and is used by holding it between the thumb and finger. It helps in generating fast strumming and dramatic slides between the notes. Sarod can be easily tuned just like other stringed instrument. Tuning depends upon the note to be played or occasionally on the number of players.
Classical arts take a long time to gain proficiency which is dependent on the goal of the trainee. If the objective is to play in a household setting, then 3-5 years of regular study and practice will be immensely beneficial. For committed players, who take it for a task of a lifetime. It will benefit one enormously if they undertake vocal music and tabla training prior to taking up the sarod it will cut down their learning time by at least 50%. Guitar training can also be useful.