Shiva Veena is a first-principles redesign of the popular Saraswati Veena using modern solid-body electric guitar-making tools, materials, parts and techniques. The goal of the redesign is to make the instrument more playable, portable and durable, and a more appealing choice for the younger generation of musicians.
Tarangini Veena conceived and commissioned by Dr. Suma Sudhindra served as a validation that using electric guitar frets is suitable for a professional-grade instrument.
The neck is made from hard maple, with a scalloped walnut fretboard. A standard electric bass guitar truss rod adds stiffness. All three drone strings terminate at fret 12 and routed to tuners around a steel pin with rollers.
Single-string bridges allow for very precise intonation tuning by adjusting the height and scale of each string independently of others.
Supports are made from poplar and designed to mimic the feel of the Saraswati Veena’s body and neck support gourd without adding bulk. The curved piece is laminated from several pieces of wood for strength and is attached with two thumbscrews. The curve allows the performer to balance the instrument while playing, just like the Saraswati Veena.