Saturday, April 28, 2007

Traditional Sikh Kirtan - Puratan Reet

If you're a Kirtan-lover or even if you're generally intersted in music - check the following link:

Jap Man Narhare Narhar Swami - Raag Shudh Sarang

This is Puratan Reet Kirtan (Translation for those not familiar with Sikhi: Old School "Sikh Music")
The chorus is first sung in a 15 beat cycle - yep, no type-o: 15 beats.
And then they switch to a fast 12 beat cycle for the verses.

Switching rythmic cycles is an old Sikh tradition started by Our 4th Guru , Sri Guru Ram Das Ji.

This composition is about 350-400 years old.


I dont know about you, but every time I hear it, I get chills (in a good way). 
On top of that, If you are in to spirituality/Sikhi etc and understand the meaning - it just takes you to another level.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Improvement In Playing

I was watching videos of Bhai Baljeet Singh's UK Tour. I got totally lost in the way he was playing his Tar-Shehnai. After 15 minutes in awe of how sweet his music sounds - a question hit me: "How does he play differently from the way I do?"

"I want to be able to play like him" <- I've had this thought in my head since the first time I heard Bhai Baljeet Singh and Gurmeet Singh's rendition of "OHA PREM PIRI" on Sikhnet.

So, this time I had a new thought: "What do I need to adjust to be able to get closer to the way he plays?" "How does he play differently from the way I do?"

Anyways - I noticed 2 very very subtle things that make a HUGE difference. And the weird part is that my teacher Maiya Singh has mentioned these to me before in passing. Somehow It's slipped my awareness, and during my lessons he hasn't noticed that I'm not playing the way he told me to - because it's so subtle you have to really be looking for it to catch your attention.

I tried making those two adjustments and - I sound better !! Really!

1) See my previous videos - the neck of my saaj is resting in between My neck and the end of my shoulder. Adjustment: Rest My Saaj's neck on my collarbone, RIGHT next to my neck.

2) My wrist should not be bent. If I hold my left hand up and pretend to play - my wrist should be in line with my forearm.

No twisting or bending left wrist while playing. Whole hand/arm must move.

Fingers should be resting on the playing string like dead weight - PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE HIGH NOTES :P - No need to push down at all.


So there's a reminder to myself that everyone might be able to benefit from. Try it out.

I'll show y'all the result soon.

By the Way .. If you're following the news, Youtube doesnt work in Thailand anymore, So for now I'll be posting all new videos to Google video.

Can someone do me a favor and put comments in a 2-3 of my videos on youtube telling people to check here (if they're interested).

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Pati Torai Malini

Round 2!!:

Got this on the 4th take. Still a few mistakes, but according to me it's much better than yesterday.

Will try again soon - not committing to a date. :P


I swear this is a tough tune to play.

I tried 8 times today.. And only got this.

I see where I need to improve -
- Saaj went off tune .. didn't notice until after I saw recording.
- I need to bow harder on the High notes - it's sounding weird currently
- The playing lacks a certain Lively Bounce
- anything else ? kindly suggest

My brother is also saying he wants to try improving his tabla sound.

We will be back with another take at this!!! :D

Sunday, April 1, 2007

3 Tunes in Raag Bhairavi

3 Tunes in Raag Bhairavi

1st: Tune using both MAs and both GAs .. took me quite long to understand what was going on when I first heard it :P

2nd: Nice tune, but very hard to play - and My teacher said he didn't remember the rest of it, hence the short segment.

3rd: Old hindi song - see if anyone can guess what song. apparently it's VERY old.

My younger brother is on tabla.


Raag Durga

By Request:
Alaap and Tune I learned for the Shabad "Gur Jaisa Nahi Ko Dev"

Very sweet Raag -