indian music

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by purestmonk, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. purestmonk

    purestmonk Member

    Messages:
    642
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Ive been listening to John mclaughlin play quite a bit recently.
    It seems like he uses some indian kind of scales?
    anyone any idea?

    i was playing around w/ the melodic minor and it sounds quite indian already.

    also, i just wonder, what other stuff characterises indian music?
     
  2. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

    Messages:
    7,026
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Yeah the 5th mode of the Melodic Minor is called Hindu, and is a pretty easy Indian sound

    Hindu 5th mode of melodic minor scale 1 2 3 4 5 b6 b7 so its a harmonic major with a b7

    a list of scales is at

    http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/doc/modename.html

    but the list is so long you would really need to know what your looking for.
     
  3. Sid

    Sid Member

    Messages:
    3,432
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Jersey City
  4. Sid

    Sid Member

    Messages:
    3,432
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Jersey City
    exactly, just playing the scales up and down wont cut it...listening to indian music, you can find the arrangement of the ragas....and also the emphasis on notes and style of playing...
     
  5. 2leod

    2leod Re-Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,241
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Location:
    38 clicks from the town with a woman's name
    Harry Manx is another cool dude who weaves indian phrasing into the blues -

    YouTube

    Check out his website too, lots of audio clips there.

    I love people who wander off the beaten path...
     
  6. Super Locrian

    Super Locrian Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    In muddy waters
    Loved the Manx youtube clip.

    Anyone familiar with Prasanna? His version of the "East meets West" thing is pretty rocking IMO...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e-sx_2pquA


     
  7. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

    Messages:
    25,773
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA

    Ah Shiva ... that was wonderful ..
    Thank you so much for the link up to him ... wow!!
     
  8. soulohio

    soulohio Member

    Messages:
    11,033
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Location:
    vin drin dop
    i love harry manx...first time i saw the guy walking by the telly i froze in my tracks...has this guy won any grammy's? he deserves something. really original guitar style and the fusion of indian and blues music as he plays it...stellar. harry sounds like mark knopfler when he sings.
     
  9. kimock

    kimock Member

    Messages:
    12,604
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Where the Palm Tree meets the Pine
    OK, just a personal observation regarding what I would consider to be the most basic difference in instrumental approach between East and West from the perspective of guitar technique.

    If you want to "keep it moving" or "play a line" or whatever you want to call it in The West, you're probably going to play some consecutive 8th note or 16th note line, using all your fingers, putting them down and picking them up again, using some articulation that seperates those notes at least a little from each other. Maybe a lot.

    If you want East, keeping it moving turns into "don't break the thread".
    You can't take your finger off the string or the thread of the melody will be broken.
    You're basically playing with just one finger sliding. You can finish an ascending phrase with your second finger, but whatever.
    You get the picture.

    So anyway you could reduce it to the difference to between playing across the strings with all your fingers, seperating the notes with fretting hand articulation and playing up and down a single string with one finger connecting the notes.

    That would be a good basic starting point to git what yer after in my opinion.

    peace.
     
  10. gennation

    gennation Member

    Messages:
    6,707
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    This is a great point and one of the hardest things when creating longer lines on guitar. Also, when "jumping strings" there are tons of choices...in turn, there's a lot of "technique" to practice to be able to get things to flow on the fly.

    purestmonk...

    I would definitely suggest spending some time with a couple of tutorials I have:

    1. http://lessons.mikedodge.com/lessons/PhryDom/PhryDomTOC.htm : This tutorial deals with two things...the Phrygian Dominant scale (used much by Shakti, and John in general) as well as a technique to playing droning sounds simultaneously while playing the single note lines.

    I've included audio, tab, and explanations for over 25 lessons on the subject.

    2. http://lessons.mikedodge.com/lessons/IndSld-index.htm : This has two video lessons. They both deal with the sliding techniques you hear Shankar and Shrinivas use with Shatki. They do lean a little more toward Shrinivas, but has Shakti written all over it.

    It's broke out into two lessons, each dealing with a different scale. The first shows you the sliding technique use with a Dominant Pentatonic scale. The second deals with the Phrygian Dominant scale. I show a number of areas to play the scale in, but also how to "get you out of the box" so to speak to create the long lines you hear with music like Shakti plays. Some of it also sounds Mahavishnu-ish, or in the style of Jan Hammer or the style Beck copped from them in the 70's.

    I also show that you don't need some "exotic scale" to create those sounds. A lot of what you here in that type of music is the "style" and not necessarily always a "scale". So, you can cop that sound using ANY scale. I show some of how to do that too.

    I try to keep all the lessons pretty straight forward, but they are advanced concepts. If you want to start checking some of those sounds out, spend a weekend with those lessons.
     
  11. aram

    aram Member

    Messages:
    2,867
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    it's funny, a friend of mine is getting his PhD with a focus on Hindustani Vocal Music.

    Just yesterday, he was showing me some ragas and how to bend certain notes at certain times.

    It's such a complex and beautiful system. I think I'm going to take some lessons.

    Anyhow, I asked him "So when McGlaughlin shreds on that Shakti stuff, is it BS or is he really playing in the correct way."

    He said it's no BS.
    John is playing in the Canartika style very well.
    :)
     
  12. DaveinLondon

    DaveinLondon Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    Prasanna has a instructional DVD on applying Indian music and technique to the guitar.

    John McLaughlin has a recent DVD out dealing with Carnatic rhythms.
     
  13. 2leod

    2leod Re-Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,241
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Location:
    38 clicks from the town with a woman's name
    You're most welcome!

    A buddy and I were doing tag team on the sound board last summer at an all day music festival where Harry was the headliner, and as he had his own sound guy I ended up backstage with him before his set - very interesting guy to talk to. He sometimes calls what he does "Mysticsippi" music - I like that! If he's ever in your neck of the woods he's someone well worthwhile going to see live.

    There was also an amazing tabla player performing with Ellen McIlwaine - it was a fun day!
     
  14. henry_the_horse

    henry_the_horse Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Call it coincidence. Tomorrow I be playing a raga for the First International Day of the Voice (which was on 16/4 b.t.w).
    I play guitar, slide guitar, sing and also improvise some vocal multiphonics and tarana. I will play with a sitarist and tabla player, which are also respectively bass (and contrabass) and drummer in my jazz rock group. They are also very mahavishu/shakti-maniacs.

    I think one of the important things to have in mind when playing hindustani classical music on guitar is:
    - Have you ever try to play melody on just one string? Try it and see how fast you need to play
    - Some ragas have a different configuration upwards (aroha) or downwards (avaroha). And as with all modal music, the dominant tones are different for each mode. Try to improvise with a scale when going up and an arpeggio when going down.
    - Listen to tabla players, learn the different bols (tabla strokes) and try to improvise by slightly altering a tala, for example teental (four phrases of 4 beats each), try to accent beats where they should be in the tala.
    - Hindustani Classical Music is mainly a vocal genre, although its instrumental aspect is more popular outside India than in this country. Listen to dhrupad singers more, specially the ornaments (gamak).
    - Try to sing tarana as much as you can. Those McLaughlin speed burst of notes are nothing but influenced by tabla bols.
    - Listen to Vishwa Mohan Bhatt if you can.
    - At last. There is no quick way to play in the hindustani or carnatic classical music style. Those famous legends that we get to hear in the West have spent 10 years or more with a master to learn their craft. The modern and consumist "I want to do that and I want it now" western style won't lead to anything. The eastern style is patience and contemplation through many years of study and discipline.

    Regards
     
  15. thesedaze

    thesedaze Member

    Messages:
    1,687
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Bakersfield, CA
    Call me crazy, but I get an almost more Persian feel out of John Mclaughlin's playing rather than Indian. Certainly the big meends are more along the Indian style. The two musics are very much related, but I'd be curious to see what a person more familiar in the particular phrasing and scales of each music thinks about the comparisons.
     
  16. henry_the_horse

    henry_the_horse Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Mclaughlin plays in the Carnatic idiom of the Veena, which is from the south, near Bangalore, while most of us people from the West associate Indian music with Shankar and the Hindustani idiom, which is from the valley of the Indus, and akin to Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran musical traditions. Sufi philosophy and music have also influenced hindustani music style for a milenium.

    Regards
     
  17. purestmonk

    purestmonk Member

    Messages:
    642
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    coool cool!
    thanks for all the tips and advices.
    anyone knows how do the indian musicians communicate?
    do they use western notation?!

    and i wonder - what kind of arrangements can make music sound indian?
    what does "arrangements" mean? i see quite a bit of this in John Mc's interviews.

    cheers!
     
  18. 7/4

    7/4 Member

    Messages:
    550
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007

    A verbal tradition, they talk and/or sing.


    .
     
  19. gennation

    gennation Member

    Messages:
    6,707
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Our own Shigihara might be able to answer to this as he did a show with the great U Shrinivas and some other musicians. I know he did have charts, but I bet they were more of lead sheets with improv or simile written on them ;)

    I'm sure he'd be helpful.
     
  20. henry_the_horse

    henry_the_horse Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Hindustani and Carnatic classical music employ the Sargam system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swara). Gamak make use of microtuning and the Ragas system is not well tempered like western XXth century and modern music.
    Music is modal, based on the melody and not on the harmony. Harmony is static or shifts mode once or twice in a piece. Oriental music, like ancient and early european music, has no harmonic theory. In a way it is similar to funk music except that chords are not welcome. Use pedal notes on the fundamental and the 5th. degrees.
    -Pedal notes sound all the time so play open bass strings between melodic phrases.
    -Tune to open tuning, specially C, C# and D, or drop the 6th string to D. -Play melody on the first or just one string (i.e. Beatles' "Taxman", "Good Morning Good Morning", "Tomorrow Never Knows" solos).
    -Use just one scale and emphasize the dominant (not tonal dominant but modal dominant) notes, which are usually two.
    -Some ragas have two fundamentals.
    -If you come from the Blues I recomend to play in Marwa Raga. Which is a major pentatonic with both minor and major 3rd., in other words a hexatonic. The fundamental is the major 3rd. Listen to Harrison play in Marwa Raag here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AutHjqgY3fM
    -As I said in an earlier post, the tala is very important and so your solos must have some rhythm and note duration awareness, with repeating rhythmic patterns and use of rhythmic tension and release.
    -Gamak (ornamentation) is important too. Not every note is factible lend itself to bending or trills ornamentation.
    -Pakad and Chalan are also important. Some ragas have well known phrases that must be used to avoid them sounding like other ragas. This is similar to the western emphasis on the fundamental of say a major pentatonic scale in a major key, instead of just wandering around over the scale, which could lead the listener to think it is a minor pentatonic on the relative minor key.
    -Tabla musicians use bols (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bol_%28music%29) and these are written with sanscrit letters as are also the ragas. Most indian classical musicians read sargam notation and used them for studing and learning a musical piece. It is because the seriousness this art implies as well as long studies, and dedication that it is called "Classical" Indian music. The dedicantion and difficult to play respectable is just as demanding as with European classical music.
    McLaughlin is fond of locrian and phygian modes, at least in the first Mahavishnu LP.

    Regards
     

Share This Page