Welcome to my workshop!

Although I take my inspiration largely from the Old Masters, my approach is to try to get an understanding of their aims, intentions, reasons for doing things in a certain way, then evaluate and, in applying my own work ethics and time-honed working methods, create an original instrument. Uncompromising standards of craftsmanship, a strict code of work ethics and keeping an open and inquisitive mind were some of the attributes of the Heiligenberg School Of Making where I served a 4-year apprenticeship, and I try to uphold these principles

photographs are examples of my work and models might change without prior notice.

I developed the BanSitar to enable musicians of the western world to create a sitarlike sound
without actually learning to play the indian sitar.

It is based on a 5-string banjo and can be played as such.

The 5-string banjo seemed a natural choice to me, since the playing technique, especially the
"frailing"- style, is very similar to sitar playing.

The sitarist uses a fingerpick, the "mizrab", on the index finger which strikes the main string
and also the drones in an up and down motion.

Frailing the banjo is downward only, the 5th string, or "chikari", is played with the thumb.          

I prefer using my fingernail instead of the mizrab for a warmer sound and better control.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://helmutrheingans.co.uk/bansitars#sigFreeId53379a2ab1