Teaching/Learning Karnataka Violin

To teach and learn Indian classical music
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msakella
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#1

Post by msakella » 12 Jul 2007, 10:22

Hi, brother & sister-members,
All are aware that Music is divine and, generally, everybody desires to learn it. Thus, many are learning it but among hundreds of them very few become either successful performers or, though not efficient, sincere teachers. But, after learning music, at one time or other, everybody tries to teach it to the aspirants irrespective of his/her standard either in the art or in the ability of teaching. Performing the art is entirely different with teaching it to the aspirants. While we can bring out what we know at the time performing, we have to come down to the level of a student and properly understand him to, in turn, make him understand the things properly and sing or play as we do. Every performer is not at all a successful teacher or vice versa. Generally, while teaching, the teachers follow only the established traditional methods in teaching in which they were taught by their teachers. While the teachers always teach the aspirants what they know but not what the aspirant is fit to learn. Every aspirant differs with another aspirant not only in physical abilities but also in mental abilities like in grasping, understanding, assimilating, retaining and reproducing the lesson learnt. Thus, a single method of teaching is not suitable to all the aspirants who do not know what they do not know. Even before starting the first lessons in music to the aspirants the instinctive level of rhythm of the aspirant must be tested and suitable rhythmical exercises should at first be taught to stabilize and strengthen it. Music should never be imparted unless the aspirant has the required level of rhythmical instinct. Being, basically, a Mridangist I have experimented upon hundreds of my students in my teaching life spread over more than five decades and finalized some very interesting rhythmical exercises which are helping in instilling confidence among students in singing Svarakalpana on their own along with many rhythmical intricacies. Music teachers should note down that while Shruti gives pleasure Laya gives confidence to sing and unless a person have self-confidence he/she cannot get success in his task.

Even though many of the teachers do not observe at all the factor of age also has a lot of influence upon the aspirants. Between 8 and 15 years of age is highly preferable to start learning this art and the maximum age limit is 25. While the age increases gradually the mental abilities decrease in multiplying speed to learn such a difficult art of invisible sound.

All are aware that the Fine Arts are very hard to learn than all other subjects. Even in these Fine Arts, music and dance need heavy physical exertion towards regular and strenuous practice than all others. Even among music and dance, while dance has visual aids also, music is the only subject upon earth, which deals with invisible sound. To get control over this invisible art of sound the time between 3 a.m. and 12 noon is always preferable for regular practice. Unless the aspirant practices heavily and regularly on his own but without any pressure either from his parents or any others he cannot attain standards in music. To enable the aspirant practice on his own the mp3 CD ‘AMS easy methods’ is provided and made available from http://www.sangeethapriya.org/~chandra/ . Irrespective of any holiday, each aspirant needs a REGULAR AND KNOWLEDGEABLE PRACTICE of minimum 2 hrs. in a day up to the level of Gitas, 4 hrs. up to the level of Varnas and 6 hrs. and above beyond Varnas.

In our Indian music Manodharma Sangita is very important and develops the creative talent of an individual. Right from the first lesson in music an efficient teacher always paves way for the development of this creative talent of the aspirant by exposing his student to learn the compositions on his own by following a given detailed notation and again, in turn, to write in notation a composition sung. But many of our music teachers, being unable to bring all the nuances of our music in the form of a detailed notation, always prefer to teach the compositions without notation, which is suicidal.

To tell the truth, many of the music teachers, by being irrational of the above vital points and also ignorant of the easy, effective and innovative methods of teaching music, are interested in prolonging the process of teaching compositions for a longer period keeping only the pecuniary advantage in view but not in shaping the aspirants independents in all aspects and making the noble profession of teaching of music result oriented. By this, very few of the aspirants are going beyond average level and many others are remaining even below the average level. But, I have found a way in making the teaching of this art time bound and result oriented and I am able to instill the necessary ingredients into my students, which, no doubt, are pushing them to high level by their regular practice with the needed patience and perseverance.

Thus, there are so many important points to be taken care of and the remaining points will be brought out when and where they are needed.

Even though, this is absolutely a practical subject and to be demonstrated and explained I shall try to define the intricacies of it through some video clippings to enable the aspirants residing in far off places to properly learn, practice and proceed further in learning this art, Karnataka Music, Violin.
In the enclosed video clippings two of my students have played some exercises on Violin. Both have played five Alankaras, in Eka, Rupaka, Mathya, Dhruva and Triputa-talas and three types of Arohana & Avarohana exercises. These Arohana & Avarohana exercises are 1. srgm-pdns-rsnd-pmgr, 2.srgm-pdns-rgmp-dpmg-rsnd-pmgr and 3.srgm-pdns-rgmp-dnsr-grsn-dpmg-rsnd-pmgr. Both of them have played all these exercises on the 2nd and 4th strings. They are learning from me since last 3 years. Even prior to that they have learnt Varnas and Kritis but I have fully modified 9 Varnas, in Natakuranji, Kambhoji, Darbar, Shankarabharana, Kalyani, Begada, Todi, Saveri (of Adi-tala), Bhairavi (of Ata-tala) and Svarajati in Bhairavi and set their finger techniques and increased rhythmical abilities exposing them to different Laya-exercises. Later, without directly teaching them even a single Kriti, I have initiated and guided them to learn and play Kritis on Vocal and Violin on their own following the notation and pre-recorded cassettes of Kritis supplied by me. They regularly practice for 4 to 6 hrs. daily and they have been participating in a number of concerts.

Our brother-member, sbala has very kindly helped me a lot in uploading these music files and do the needful for which we all must thank him. The links are furnished hereunder:

http://www.youtube.com/v/RgGxRbJ7-PE
http://www.youtube.com/v/07EilTzev6A

If you are interested in playing your Violin like this and if you can also make regular and heavy practice of Violin I shall try to guide you. For this you have to upload your Violin play and send the link to my e-mail address. amsharma.
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Suji Ram
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#2

Post by Suji Ram » 12 Jul 2007, 11:18

msakella garu,
Thank you so much for putting up the video. This is amazing!
I never tried playing on 2nd string alone. Secondly the speed-that is hard work!!
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msakella
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#3

Post by msakella » 12 Jul 2007, 14:09

Dear Sister-member, suji Ram, I feel extremely happy if I am always able to serve my brothers and sisters. In my last post I have asked you all to send the video link, if any, to my e-mail address. Of, course, you all can do so. But, it becomes more helpful to all our people if all of you bring all your doubts through these columns only along with the video links and we all make our discussions through these columns only. Please do so. amsharma.
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msakella
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#4

Post by msakella » 13 Jul 2007, 08:10

Dear sister-member, suji Ram, Playing Gamaka on a single string is not that difficult if it is taught by your vigilant teacher in a phased manner. Most surprisingly, one cannot get through this Gamaka-techniques unless he/she is provided with the required level of Laya-instinct. I have also made some interesting experiments upon some of students and found this defect. Just like ‘colour blindness’ of a candidate many teachers cannot recognize this ‘laya-defect’ but start teaching music but ending in an utter failure. In teaching violin, finding the level of the laya instinct, the teacher should start some bow-less Gamaka-exercises with one finger, 2 fingers, three fingers and 4 fingers gradually increasing the involvement of the fingers and following certain norms and the aspirant must practice them strictly under the vigil of the teacher for a couple of months not to get distracted from the correct finger technique. Tender age of the aspirant is an advantage to teach these finger-techniques and you can find a kid of 10 years playing these Gamaka-exercises in the following link. amsharma.
http://www.youtube.com/v/vXGWT7-tbqs
Last edited by msakella on 13 Jul 2007, 14:39, edited 1 time in total.
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violinlover
Posts: 44
Joined: 11 Jul 2007, 11:51

#5

Post by violinlover » 15 Jul 2007, 15:59

dear msakella,
from your style of writing, i guess you are a violin teacher teaching abroad(outside india). let me share my views in this topic too. playing gamakas is really tough even if you practise with the guidance of your guru.secondly
the purpose of the violin-in fact, any carnatic instrument- is to resemble the voice.in other words the style of playing violin should resemble singing.
so, one of the methods is to play in the single string( i.e. A string) thus giving the resemblance of the voice( this is not my suggestion. violin maestro sangeetha kalanidhi shri M.Chandrasekharan spake thus)
so more practise is required to play the swaras with more force to bring out that effect.
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msakella
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#6

Post by msakella » 15 Jul 2007, 18:22

Dear b/s-member, violinlover, I reside in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. I had been abroad in 1980 to accompany my Guru Shri Nedunuri Krishna Murthy on Violin in his Vocal concerts but never taught anybody there.
It is a well-known fact that playing Gamakas on Violin is very tough. Since 1961 to 1996 I have worked as teacher in Violin in the Govt. Colleges of Music & Dance of Andhra Pradesh for 35 years and almost in the fag end of my service I was able to formulate some teaching techniques in Violin play and a system of teaching. In fact, my real teaching life started only after my retirement as, only then, I could make many experiments in these teaching techniques and also made the teaching process TIME BOUND AND RESULT ORIENTED. Generally, for example, if 10 students are learning Violin under a Violin teacher, there is no guarantee that all the 10 students can become technically wealthy paving the way to become successful accompanists. But, in my system, I can give such a guarantee that each one of my students will definitely become technically wealthy in a time-bound plan and, depending upon his regular, knowledgeable and strenuous practice, he can definitely become a successful accompanist. I have been the follower of Shri M.S.Gopalakrishnan and used to follow some of his techniques, at the least, playing Varna 30 kinds on all the four strings of the Violin. Of course, after my retirement in 1996, I have given up both playing concerts and Violin-practice too but teaching some capable students. In my experience, unless an efficient, sincere and vigilant teacher teaches the short-cut techniques, initiates and guides the Violin-student properly, he has to grope in the dark for a long time to become technically wealthy. amsharma.
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kedaram
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007, 20:16

#7

Post by kedaram » 21 Jul 2007, 06:31

Sharmaji, I was away on vacation for two weeks and I found that you had posted those nice videos of your students playing on youtube. I would love to post videos of playing them myself but I dont have a video camera at hand. I will post them once I get hold of one. Do you teach your students to play the varisais in shankarabharanam? I think thats great practice indeed. I only did the same exercise in the standard mayamalavagowla. I shall start doing those in shankarabharnam and perhaps a "tougher" prathi madhyamam mela like simhendra madhyamam also. As always thanks for the encouragement!
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msakella
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#8

Post by msakella » 21 Jul 2007, 08:59

Dear b/s-member, kedaram, At the first instance, the teacher must be efficient in techniques and also in teaching. Adding to that he should teach the student vigilantly without letting his student go to the wrong path. Violin-teaching must be made only in person as there are so many points to be vigilantly observed by the teacher and to correct them then and there. However, I shall try to guide you through the clippings of YouTube if you send me some of your clippings through the same to assess your techniques. While teaching the playing of either plain or Gamaka notes on Violin, I feel, the places of notes of Mayamalavagoula facilitates easy handling of his left-wrist to the student. In particular, while teaching the finger-techniques of Gamaka it is more important to follow the notes of Mayamalavagoula with the pointing-finger, at the fist instance, to make the things easier to the student and later in Kalyani with the middle-finger. If you post some the clippings of your Gamaka-playing also I shall try to give you some more details and to guide you. amsharma.
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kvgonline
Posts: 2
Joined: 23 Jul 2007, 02:40

#9

Post by kvgonline » 23 Jul 2007, 02:59

sharmaji,

Am a new member who is having no exp and no knowledge about music - except I love musics!

Its great to get the oportunity to keep in touch with such a fantastic forum of music and I really grateful to you and rasikas for providing such a superb options to the music lovers! thanks once again!

It is a dream for me to learn violin but still am unfortunate due to various factors. I have an old violin presented by my friend in 1988 which has kept as a momento! Could you please suggest any CD or books for the basics learning?

pranamam

I always welcome if anybody could provide some info,
Last edited by kvgonline on 23 Jul 2007, 03:05, edited 1 time in total.
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kvgonline
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#10

Post by kvgonline » 23 Jul 2007, 03:03

Dear sureshji

I found u r online, shall i assume / presume that u are from palakkad,
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msakella
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#11

Post by msakella » 23 Jul 2007, 07:41

Dear b/s-member, kvgonline, I did never come across any book on the basics of Karnataka-violin-playing. However, I have heard about a book, ‘Violin Vaachippu (Tamil}’ written by Shri V.V.Subramanyam, the famous Violinist but could not go through it as I can follow the Tamil script a very little. You can try for it from the ‘Karnatic Music Book Centre, Royapettah High Road, Chennai (Ph:044-28111716 & 28113253). Some books are available on the western system of playing Violin and they facilitate to do so. But, Karnataka-music-violin-playing, being complex, has to be learnt only in person. However, I shall try my level best to prepare some lessons and upload to YouTube to be helpful to the aspirants like you. It may take some time to do so and you have to bear with it. amsharma.
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msakella
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#12

Post by msakella » 27 Jul 2007, 01:47

Dear brother-member, praveena, Without creating another thread you could have posted this question in the thread,‘Teaching/Learning Karnataka Violin’ itself as it relates the same thread. Hereafter do so as it facilitates other aspirants also to get the relevant information under the same thread.
As you are also well aware, this is more a practical subject and unless a visual aid is provided along with the question it is very difficult to diagnose the disease. Please try to video-record and post the link of YouTube clipping to enable me get the correct picture.
Generally, having no proper knowledge, more than 90% of the Violin-players play wrong-technique and pose number of questions. While playing Darbar-varna, the 3-finger-combinative-technique plays a dominant role and many of the Violin-teachers are not teaching this technique properly resulting the failure of many of the Violin-students. In my experience, I have found more than 90 % of the Violin-teachers are not teaching this technique properly. I have also been taught like that. But, by the grace of the Almighty, I was fortunate enough to know my defect and rectify it immediately even before it is settled in my fingering like many other Violinists.
In fact I am thinking of video-recording some of these techniques in YouTube and provide the relevant links in our forum to enlighten the aspirants. As, presently, I am very busily engaged in some other project, which is more useful to our kids, I can do this a little bit later. In the meantime please try to post some of your video-clippings to give me an accurate picture. amsharma.
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praveena
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#13

Post by praveena » 27 Jul 2007, 09:26

Dear sir,

Thanking you for the advise, I will definitely post the video shortly. Thank you for posting your video recording, that would be great help for us.
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msakella
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#14

Post by msakella » 29 Jul 2007, 10:56

Dear b/s-members, Again with the help of our brother-member, sbala, the YouTube video-links of some of the Violin-lessons (1 to 5) are furnished hereunder for the benefit of our aspirants. Even though I have given up my Violin-practice 15 years back and my age also does not permit to expose my body for much physical and mental strain my earnest desire to serve our community made me do all such things. In this process many mistakes or in-corrections may have crept and I request all our brothers and sisters to bear with me and possibly help me in this task. They can go through all the lessons and try them. Any doubts could be brought out through this thread and I shall try my level best to do the needful. amsharma.

http://www.youtube.com/v/7fzsVnzw9Zc
http://www.youtube.com/v/f8eW5cVwbns
http://www.youtube.com/v/4Mr6jPAdrQ4
http://www.youtube.com/v/76RofpxDVM8
http://www.youtube.com/v/z2Oo12PaW7A
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violinlover
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#15

Post by violinlover » 30 Jul 2007, 10:29

namasthe am sharma sir,
truly amazing is the only thing i can exclaim!!!
my pranams and i seek your blessings!!!

violinlover
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vasanthakokilam
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#16

Post by vasanthakokilam » 30 Jul 2007, 11:16

Sharmaji: Just wonderful. You are a great teacher. I watched your videos even though I am not a violin student and your teaching methods made me wish I am one. I can only hope that for whatever I aspire to learn, there is a teacher with the same patience and ability to clearly explain things like you have done. Thanks very much for serving the aspiring students of CM violin.
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msakella
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#17

Post by msakella » 30 Jul 2007, 14:57

Dear b/s-members, violinlover & vasanthakokilam, Thank you for your kind complements. This is only the beginning and there is lot more to do in this process, which I shall definitely do with the ability showered upon me by the Almighty. Of course, as an aged person I shall always bless and wish you all the best. amsharma.
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praveena
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#18

Post by praveena » 01 Aug 2007, 00:27

Dear sir,

My humble Pranams to you............. and seeking your blessings sir.

Today I have learnt many new techniques from your video, I never practiced playing on one string, I will practice from here onwards. Thanks a lot ..........

I am just clarifying my doubt sir, you have played Jatta swaras in Sankarabharanam,
only for SS, you are using the pointing finger and for the rest of all swaras you are using both pointing finger and the middle finger, am I right sir?
Last edited by praveena on 01 Aug 2007, 01:00, edited 1 time in total.
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msakella
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#19

Post by msakella » 01 Aug 2007, 07:43

Dear b/s-member, praveena, There are umpteen kinds of exercises formulated basing upon our needs of playing the instrument, Violin. Among them, in respect of utilizing our fingers, there are finger-energising-exercises and note-finding-finger-exercises. Among them, while practicing the note-finding-finger-exercises you must use the bow also. But, while practicing the finger-energising-exercises you have to practice much without using the bow to get proper acquaintance with the correct technique to facilitate you to properly use your wrist, thumb and other fingers of your left-hand. In the beginning of this Gamaka-playing-technique you must practice using your pointing finger only. The same I have demonstrated in the ‘Violin-lessons-1, 2, 3, 4 & 5’ using my pointing finger only. In my forth-coming lessons I shall demonstrate other exercises one after the other and you can follow them. If you have any doubts feel free to ask me any number of questions to clear off your doubts. amsharma.
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praveena
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#20

Post by praveena » 03 Aug 2007, 03:06

Dear sir,

Its so kind of you sir, Thanks a lot................ I will practice as you told.
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Sam Swaminathan
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#21

Post by Sam Swaminathan » 03 Aug 2007, 07:54

Sharmaji

Namaskarams. I am planning to be in Chennai by the last week of Sep for a period of 2 weeks. This is to prepare for my daughter's wedding, scheduled for Jan 2008. Would you be kind enough to give me permission to visit you and to offer my pranams to you and also to formally seek your acceptance to be my Guru thru the electronic means ( distance learning). I seek your blessings......regards.....Sam
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msakella
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#22

Post by msakella » 03 Aug 2007, 08:52

Dear brother-member, Sam Swaminathan, You are welcome at any time and I am always ready to serve the cause of music. ‘Shree Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum’ - HE is only Guru in the Universe and all the beings are instrumental in despatching the goods. Of course, not only in the height (5’-11â€
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msakella
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#23

Post by msakella » 04 Aug 2007, 21:28

Dear b/s-members, Hello! Now another YouTube video-link containing some bow-less finger exercises for energizing the fingers and also for technical-development of the fingers along with some jati-bow-playing-techniques is furnished hereunder for the benefit of our aspirants. amsharma.
http://www.youtube.com/v/hswcVZhd0Qk
http://www.youtube.com/v/IavgB9-0JwA
http://www.youtube.com/v/ifGkbS1EiRk
http://www.youtube.com/v/ujX7hPJbIJg
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msakella
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#24

Post by msakella » 05 Aug 2007, 21:03

Dear b/s-members, Irrespective of learning either Vocal or Instrumental-music, every aspirant, depending upon his/her instinctive level of rhythm, must regularly practice the relevant rhythmical exercises prescribed by his/her teacher to get his/her rhythmical abilities stabilized and also to get reasonable control over Laya. Many experiments upon aspirants undoubtedly proved that any kind of inefficiency in rhythm would definitely hinder the learning of music of the aspirants. For this purpose different Laya-exercises have been provided in the mp3 CD which is available from the web-site http://www.sangeethapriya.org/~chandra/. Among them the Laya-exercises furnished in the items Nos. 05, 06, 25, 26, 27, 35 & 36 are now sung by me and provided through Youtube links furnished hereunder as visual aids will be more helpful to the aspirants, The aspirants can practice them regularly and get their items tested by exhibiting them before knowledgeable persons or post the relevant Youtube clippings in this thread to enable me to listen to them and to inform their success or otherwise through this thread. amsharma.

http://www.youtube.com/v/rX_0fC8UsNw
http://www.youtube.com/v/0jeMPtiCLaE
http://www.youtube.com/v/jctteXYGvTY
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praveena
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 15:15

#25

Post by praveena » 07 Aug 2007, 03:37

Dear sir,

My humble Pranams to you............

In technical-development of the fingers Method, I understood the two finger technique, but I have a doubt in using three finger technigue, do we have to place all the three on note, how can we place the three notes? Like, in two-finger technique, to go down we use the lower finger and going up we use upper finger. But in three-finger technique, how the procedure goes?

While playing Janta swaras, do we emphasize on fingers for doing Janta or do we emphasize the bow.

In Jati-bow playing technique, is TA KI TA on one bow and another TA KI TA on the other bow?

Your videos are helping me a lot, thanking you for all your kindness.

Seeking your blessings.........................
praveena
Last edited by praveena on 07 Aug 2007, 03:39, edited 1 time in total.
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