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RAGAs on guitar...

 
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lydian_slave



Joined: 17 Sep 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:07 pm    Post subject: RAGAs on guitar... Reply with quote

i just wonder if anyone out could give me some 'guidence' on approaching a RAGA on a guitar....im not necessarily looking to be an expert or particularly super traditional....just looking for some tunings or scales to attempt to play in a RAGA style.
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soulsinginguy



Joined: 19 Apr 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, this is probably not quite the answer to your question and you may already be familiar with it, but Michael Hedges wrote a piece called Ragamuffin, on the Aerial Boudaries record, that is in DADGAD tuning. Not really a key to unlocking RAGA on guitar, whatever that really is, but it does bring flow and rhythm together in staggering ways, inspired partly by Indian muscial techniques - I think. He uses an amazing ammount of incredible picking and rhthmic percussive techniques on the tune to take to you raga land. You can by an amazingly accurate and detailed transcription by John Stropes on stropes.com There is youtube content with MH and others playing the tune, I think.
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Arkansas

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that there are often open string "Drone" notes going. And a lot of sliding. Also, they do (I'm pretty sure) use specific ways of organizing scales with songs. Certain scales will or will not be used, depending on the tune.

This may help a lot:

http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=7006817
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alans



Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Posts: 44
Location: Rollinsville, Colorado

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have that Debashish Battacharya DVD - it's really nice. He's also on one of the newer John McLaughlin releases, Floating Point.

As for playing ragas, I was working on (or rather fooling around with) Rag Kirwani a while back, and one of the things I found helpful as mentioned above was playing in an open tuning to ensure that I had most of the important notes available for sympathetic vibration and/or drones. That tuning will change depending on the raga.

I found that although I could play some pretty things in the Alap format (the non-rhythmic introduction of the melodies and themes), once I got into the rhythmic sections I just sounded very earthbound and Western, and decided I needed to develop a better understanding of the Indian concepts of rhythm before going much further. Since then I've been distracted by other things I've needed to learn on the guitar, so I haven't worked on this stuff for a while. That raga is pretty simple, basically a minor scale with a raised seventh - the harmonic minor scale - and not too many rules (if any) about ascending or descending notes, at least that I've picked up from listening to a few versions of Kirwani by different artists. Each artist composess their own melodies within the raga and then uses those as bases for improvisations, so different players will often sound quite different playing the same raga.

One thing you might want to do is buy a few CDs of Indian classical music (especially but not limited to those on the Moment label), because the liner notes on many of those give specific descriptions of the scales and rules used for the individual ragas on the CDs, so you can pick up some informal training on the concepts. They don't go much into depth on the rhythms, but it helped me to appreciate what I was hearing. The liner notes are meant for the casual listener, so they are pretty basic and easy to understand. Of course there is only so much that can be gleaned from them because of this.

It's a deep and rich musical tradition, and there is lots to learn there. The Northern (Hindustani) and Southern (Carnatic) styles have many things in common but are also quite distinct from one another. I listen mostly to the Hindustani style, but have a few Carnatic CDs as well.

alan
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mc1



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 9
Location: nova scotia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i really enjoy classical indian music and hindustani guitar. debashish bhattacharya is excellent, as well as vishwa mohan bhatt, and also brij bhushan kabra.

i also have a book entitled, 'the raga guide - a survey of 74 hindustani ragas'. it gives a two page summary of each of the 74 ragas in the book, including a brief description, the scale, melodic outline, and a performance excerpt. it also comes with 4 cds.

i don't play in that style, and don't really understand it, other than it is complex and well evolved. very enjoyable to listen to.
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Arkansas

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mc1,

Hello!

You might enjoy going to the "Kimock's Korner" site, and watching the Lessons he has up.
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57tele



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 714
Location: Durham, NC

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just picked this up a few months ago and found it very enlightening. I've read this and that about the tradition over the years but this really tied a lot of things together, as well as filled in a lot of gaps. Pricey, but some r4eally wonderful stuff on it.

http://www.amazon.com/Raga-Unveiled-Evolution-Essence-Classical/dp/B0029N1OWE/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1310167879&sr=8-6


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mc1



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 9
Location: nova scotia

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swain wrote:
mc1,

Hello!

You might enjoy going to the "Kimock's Korner" site, and watching the Lessons he has up.


hello, thank you, and thanks for the tip!

57tele wrote:
Just picked this up a few months ago and found it very enlightening. I've read this and that about the tradition over the years but this really tied a lot of things together, as well as filled in a lot of gaps. Pricey, but some r4eally wonderful stuff on it.


that looks quite appealing.
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