South Indian Vina Music

Arranged for Scalloped Fretboard or Electric Guitar with Light Gauge Strings

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Ragam: Valaji (1,3,5,6,b7)
Talam: Adi (8 beats)
Arranged by Matthew Montfort

Notation of South Indian Vina Music

Those who wish to study South Indian gamaka (note-bending techniques) on guitar need not have a scalloped fretboard guitar in order to play this arrangement: an electric guitar with light gauge strings or an acoustic guitar tuned very low will work fine.

This example is in a simple pentatonic raga (a melodic recipe for a mood involving ascending and descending scale patterns), which uses the root, major third, perfect fifth, major sixth, and minor seventh. The tala (rhythmic cycle) is a common 8 beat cycle known as adi tal.

Pallavi MIDI Files

GM Standard MIDI files of this South Indian gamaka exercise are presented here, arranged for General MIDI guitar and conga and bongo:

Further Resources

Indian Tala

To learn more about the rhythmic side of Indian music, check out these online exercises in Indian tala.