Today I met with my new sitar teacher, Alif Laila, for the first time. We spent the evening getting aquainted and going over tuning (Ravi Shankar style) and replacing a string on my sitar. It turns out that she’s a tea freak as well so we talked about our favorite drinks and how music is a true uniter. For the last half of the evening, we went over the basic scale of Sa Re Ga ma Pa Dha Ni Åša using da ra strokes. For now I’m using that to get the mechanics of string plucking and maneuvering my left hand over the frets down. It’s a trying effort but eventually the muscle memory will kick in and I’ll do it perfectly with my eyes closed.