Handmade Nepalese Sitar is played while seated cross-legged on the floor with the resonator resting on the floor with the neck tilted upward at approximately a 45-degree angle. The soundboard and fingerboard face away from the performer and the side-mounted tuning pegs are pointed upwards. The player rests his or her right forearm on the gourd and uses a wire plectrum on the tip of the right index finger to pluck the strings.
The first three fingers of the left hand are used to stop the strings against the raised frets of the fingerboard. Only the seven strings that pass over the larger bridge are plucked. The design of the fingerboard and frets makes possible the most distinctive feature of the sitar playing style, called khic, where, while pressing down hard between frets, the player also slides the string sideways to the left to create a wide portamento called mir.
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