Swiching from Veena to Guitar

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Aparna Bellur

Apr 8, 2005, 10:14:16 AM4/8/05
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Dear Members

I have been a veena player for a few years. I moved out from India a
couple of years ago. When I moved out I did not get my instrument with
me. I am now planning to start playing Carnatic Music on Guitar for
the love of the music. Can anybody suggest sites that have some
information on playing Carnatic music on the guitar ? That will be a
lot of help.

Thank you



Janardhan Iyengar

Apr 8, 2005, 12:46:24 PM4/8/05
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Dear Aparna,

Guitar Prasanna (www.guitarprasanna.com) has done extensive work with
Carnatic on the guitar. He also has a DVD called "Ragamorphism" (available
from the website) in which he describes techniques he uses.

His website should be a useful starting point. I would strongly encourage
writing either to him directly, or on the message board on the website
where you will find several similar enthusiasts.

Hope that helps!
Janardhan R. Iyengar http://www.cis.udel.edu/~iyengar
Protocol Engineering Lab -- CIS -- University Of Delaware

Aparna Bellur

Apr 12, 2005, 9:13:34 AM4/12/05
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Dear Sir,

Thankyou very much for your inputs.




Apr 15, 2005, 1:17:27 AM4/15/05
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I play a little carnatic in my guitar. I'll be happy to share the
things I came across with u.

First, It'll be better if you are certain about your knowledge and
practice in carnatic 'on' Veena. If you have clear ideas about
ghamakams etc and if u can play them comfortably in a veena, that
knowledge will be certainly helpful when takingup guitar. Because
getting help for those matters in a guitar is a bit difficult

Second, have you already bought a guitar?. Choosing a guitar is very
important. Electric/Acoustic.. Acoustic wont sustain much, that makes
it difficult when playing ghamakams and long stretched carnatic
phrases. But the 'tone' of an acoustic guitar will be beautiful,
natural and quite comparable to a veena. An Electric guitar sustains
its notes longer, so one can play carnatic with out doing much damage
to it :). But it depends on individuals' taste. One likes electric
guitar and the other doesnt.

So, I'd suggest you to 'know' about guitars better. Different types of
guitars, like acoustic (u need to get a cut-away guitar in this case),
electric, also spanish/classical guitars.

Apart from surfing internet, you may also join in some local guitar
class. That'll give u a better idea about the varieties and which one
suits your taste and which one doesn't.

Tuning, Fingering, ways to play gamakhams etc all are subjects for
discussion. Let's discuss them one by one.



Apr 15, 2005, 11:13:40 AM4/15/05
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i do play carnatic on a guitar, but not mainstream carnatic. well
playing the ragas are definately very much easier on an electric guitar
than on an acoustic. but the smoothness of most electric guitars spoils
the beauty and the sense of serenity of carnatic music. i would suggest
a guitar with single wound pickups, either a fender telecaster (not a
stratocaster) or a gibson les paul or flying v. these though expensive,
give the sound the right amount of distortion to convey the gravity and
divinity of the music. if however you find that these above mentioned
brands exceed your budget, buy any normal electric guitar but make sure
it has cross wound pickups to ensure the clarity of the sound, along
with this you would have to purchase a distortion device, or a
distortion processor (korg has a good range of these).

i hope i have been of help. Regards

Aparna Bellur

Jul 16, 2005, 7:01:23 PM7/16/05
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Dear Ananth Sir

First of all thanks a ton for all the advise. It has been a lot of
help. I took ur advise and have bought an electric guitar. I have
started playing and right now I am trying to get the hang of it. I
have been able to achieve up to Geetams (trying the gamakam versions
too). The reason for the slow progress is that I had not played on my
veena for nearly 10 years. Prior to that I had learnt Veena nearly for
about 4 years. Therefore, reproducing gamakams and achieveing the
speed is not too much of a issue. Also the
http://www.ecse.rpi.edu/Homepages/shivkuma/personal/music website has
been a lot of help.

Sir, in the past, when I had a chance to observe a few vocal teachers
in Chennai, I had noticed that they used to sing alankaras in many
sampoorna ragas. This seems like very good idea. I want to use the
same technique. What's your opinion on this


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