The sarod is a lute like instrument that has connections with the lute like instruments of the Christian era, the rudra veena and the Afghan rabab. It is made of a single block of wood, with a resonator, a neck that tapers down to a second resonator box. Five strings provide the main melody with a varying number of sympathetic strings.
The sarod is known for a deep, weighty, introspective sound, in contrast with the sweet, overtone-rich texture of the sitar, with sympathetic strings that give it a resonant, reverberant quality. It is a fretless instrument able to produce the continuous slides between notes known as meend.
The sarod is supposed to be a difficult instrument to play because of the lack of frets.