Sitar is a long-necked, string-plucked Indian instrument. It gains its resonance from sympathetic strings, a long hollow neck and a gourd resonating chamber. It is believed to be 600 years old. Its construction is quite interesting. It usually has 19 strings out of which 7 are main strings and 12-13 sympathetic strings. It contains movable curved frets which assist in fine-tuning and are designed such that sympathetic strings can be laid below them. The main strings can be plucked with a plectrum which can be called as mizrab.
For playing a Sitar, it can be held between the players left foot and right knee. The hands are free for playing and do not carry any weight. Index, middle and sometimes third finger are used for playing the strings. Other than the traditional Sitar, Electric Sitars are also available that look like a Guitar. Sitar is commonly used in North Indian Classical music (Hindustani Sangeet), film music, and western fusion music and is rarely found in Southern India.
Adept players bring in charisma through use of special techniques like Kan, Krintan, Murki, Zamzama etc. The sitar is over 400 years old and is traditionally used in Hindustani classical music. Its music is considered to be emotional and should be learnt and played in a heartfelt manner.