Following our objective of venturing successfully into a Raga melody, our next step is to explore and know the specific raga & finger movement, whose melody we want to play.
Each raga is based on a scale and it’s prohibits and allows usage of certain notes. So after the parent scale is done well, we will now take on a particular raga scale in command –
So write down your notes of Ragas as below. For example let’s compare 3 independent ragas as–
a) Raga Bilawal – C D E F G A B C (All natural notes)
b) Raga Yaman – C D E F# G A B C (1 note is sharpened)
c) Raga Bhairav – C Db E F G Ab B C (2 notes are flattened)
So once you know the notes of raga, you will know which finger position is to adapt for that raga and which to avoid. The importance of right fingering results in ease of playing complex zigzag raga pieces.
Remember that Raga phrases may take different position in ascending and descending so our first step is to meditate upon its fingering so that to have a good command on Raga Scale.
Once you settle your finger and memorize each note in synch with your finger, you have attained command on the fingers to be used for that Raga.
Let me explain you this with an example of Raga Bilawal Scale that prohibits certain notes/fingers in ascending and descending
Raga compositions has beauty of its own, Imagine yourself playing any raga tune for 2, 3, 5 minutes to 10 minutes is like a meditation and therapy. The beauty and pleasure of Raga on Guitar playing can only be expressed by those who play it.
Ragas world comprises of a plethora of such unique music melodies, ethnic tunes and feelings for Guitar lovers to cherish forever. In order to achieve your objective of playing Raga on Guitar, I am going to mention some tips that will help you to achieve guaranteed dexterity and Raga success in time. So here is my first tip –
Your 1st tip to play any Raga is to know its scale i.e. Parent Thaat (or Mode). The parent scale should be practiced first in tempo so that the first level of command is achieved.
It will be a demotivating attempt to jump straight to Raga if you don’t practice your parent mode and grow on it successfully. Remember many ragas have different notes selection in ascending and descending order so if you don’t even cover the parent’s exercise accurately, the raga scale will be obviously much more difficult.
So select your raga parent mode (which is out of 10 basic modes of North Indian Ragas) and practice it at your best on guitar at a given tempo as advised by teacher.
Your road to exploring Ragas should start with small successful steps and ‘Scale’ is the key.
Raga is the most complex scale work as compared to any genre of the world as here you play leads for whole song and not just mere filling phrases.
Let me share you one Parent Mode # Marwa for reference
a) Scale Marwa – C Db E F# G A B C (2 Altered notes 1 flat and other sharp)
You will see that ‘ascending’ and ‘descending’ is same for parent mode.
It’s been a great privilege to share that My 3 years research on Ragas on Guitar [RoG] course at Guitarmonk unique is now learnt in 5 countries.
RoG a historic guitarmonk initiative and 1st ever formal Raga on Guitar program produced by my company Guitarmonk and is an offering to the global guitar community.
Also like to mention that the whole world and India is following Guitar from the west but Guitarmonk is the 1st ever Indian brand that is bringing and connecting its Guitar USP and curriculum to Global Guitar Community.
For more details on Raga on Guitar Course | Click here >>>
The following Raga Yaman composition is an extract of Guitarmonk 24 Sessions Online Raga on Guitar Program.