Skip to content


Close this search box.

How Many Strings Does A Sitar Have?

One of the most well-known plucked string instruments in Hindustani music is the sitar (also called Indian Classical music). Its name is a translation of the Persian word seh-tar, which means “three strings.” However, the name is no longer a reference to the sitar’s number of strings.

This instrument has undergone numerous modifications to improve its structure and tonality over the years; some music historians estimate its age at 700 years. In our example, the sitar evolved in the Indian subcontinent from three strings to five strings to twenty-one strings.

Before the 1940s, the sitar came in a huge variety. How many strings a sitar has is a difficult question to answer because it was impossible to single out any one variety as the norm.

How Many Strings Does A Sitar Have?

Depending on the model, a sitar can have between 18 and 21 strings. Drone, sympathetic, and played strings are the three subcategories of the 21-string version. Every set has a unique bridge. Only strum the sympathetic and drone strings. One can fret strings that are usable.