Bass of the Week: Sitar Bass “Mountain”

Sitar Bass Bending

Today we’re featuring an instrument the likes of which I’ve never seen before. Invented by Miles Schelling, the Sitar Bass fuses elements of the traditional Indian instrument with a bass, resulting in the ability to bend notes a la Indian Classical music while retaining the thump of an electric bass.

“The curved frets allow for notes to be bent with great control and expression,” Schelling tells us. “The body of the instruments are made in Miraj, MH, India by the Sitarmaker family, 6th generation sitar makers. The sitarbass has a slightly hollowed neck and is made from red cedar to reduce weight. Rail-type 5 string Bartolini P/J pickups ensure consistent coverage while bending each of the four strings and the two coils of the p-bass style pickup are angled to match the curve of the frets.”

Several Sitar Basses have been built to date. The latest, dubbed Mountain, has ornate abalone inlays and hand carvings. You can hear the bass in action on the Sitar Bass Facebook page.

Sitar Bass Specs:

Body:Red Cedar
Neck:Red Cedar
Pickups:Bartolini J/P
Frets:Curved Nickel Silver
Finish:Matte brown

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Share your thoughts

  1. Frank

    I just listened to the demo of the “SitarBass”. I’m an old school player so I’m not a big fan of some of Instruments presented as a Bass but I respect the craftsmen and players who turn their dream into a reality. If anyone has listened to the SitarBass demo vid, it really didn’t give an exciting or interesting demonstration of the full range of sound I assume it has. It was just several random notes, and made me say, “that’s it”? Anyone else agree?

  2. Baptiste

    To Frank : I do agree. I was expected somethng much more Sitar-like. I don’t know if this demo is really relevant actually. With the configuration of the instrument it is likely that the real sound is something different.

  3. John

    This isn’t impressive at all. And this guy didn’t invent it because I did 2 years ago.

  4. Kevin

    I’d like to hear the Sit-bass in the hands of Les Claypool or Vic Wooten

  5. Ridi James

    Needs bone sitar bridge for that twang. This is just a poorly tuned bass.