What is Ragas on Guitar?
Before answering your question, it is important to know what is Raga? In one line, Raga is a music world unto itself. As per our Indian History, the root of raga lies in Samaveda (the Veda of melodies and chants). Raga is like a hundred times enhancement of a scale. There are thousands of ragas in Indian classical music and hundreds/thousands of compositions can be played on each raga. A scale never sounds boring, never remains confined and monotonous when allowed to implement ragas. There are some ragas, where even a single raga of them is bigger than some of the contemporary music world genres. That’s why I reiterate that raga is a music world unto itself. Ragas on Guitar, is an untouched genre that drives every human into the unmixed world of neat emotions.
How this idea of Ragas on Guitar came to your mind?
Let me share with you my own journey to the ragas. I was a much trained guitarist, part of record labels. I used to perform lead, chords and I was even part of TV channels. I used to do live concerts and play regular pop melodies. When I heard the raga melodies, it used to take my attention a lot because the kind of music they used to produce was very different. So, I was kind of stunned to hear them and I wanted to approach them on guitar. I used to copy them on my guitar but I didn’t know even 1% of the ragas. I used to copy the exciting part of the ragas such as Jhaalas. So, from the limited approach of my inclination towards ragas I later on got very much motivated that I should be playing these ragas. When I went to various teachers they initially refused me stating that your instrument is guitar. Then I ventured and dedicated myself on learning sitar just to adopt the ragas. My basic purpose then was to extract and explore various melodies which sound different. Later, as I understood the mathematics of ragas I tried to create my own compositions adapting to the anatomy and richness of guitar instrument. I also have a radio section called Indian Guitar Radio on ragas where you can listen to my own compositions. And that used the strength of guitar instrument which includes 3 octaves, changes, the speedier plucking and other ornamentation techniques etc. As a guitarist, you can use my homework to the point without investing years of research work on ragas, the way I have done it. I am happy to see that you are having a flavour for ragas melodies so let’s start playing some ragas on the guitar.
How people responded to it when they heard you playing ragas on guitar?
They were captivated with such application of Indian classical ragas on guitar. They mostly observed guitarists playing western pieces or contemporary Bollywood/film music pieces. And when it came to playing ragas, they only envisaged instruments like sitar, sarod, sarangi, Hawaiian guitar and other similar instruments. But playing raag on the guitar was like never expected to them. I still remember how music students keep knocking at my place just to hear ragas on guitar.
Why you pioneered this as a course?
People started liking my Ragas on guitar compositions both offline and on social media. They started inquiring and asking me if I can teach this particular art, if I can share the notations to them. And people included not just practicing guitarists/students but also professional guitarists, music teachers, and professors etc, who are not just based in India but other countries too. So, I felt the need to introduce this as a program where both beginner and non-beginner can learn this art. And now I am happy to share that it has been loved by students from more than 40 countries. To know more about the course, visit https://guitarmonk.com/online/ragadlp/
Can a beginner also learn ragas on guitar?
The roadmap of generic guitar development and ragas on guitar development are common in the start but their path changes at the later stage. As ragas have their own concepts and focus points. But still the initial path is same in terms of rudimentary guitar knowledge that students must have to go through. Considering, many absolute beginners started to develop craze for ragas on guitar. So, yes, we have created a special program called Flavours of ragas with basic guitar sessions which also comprises of basic initial sessions that a beginner should know before starting the dedicated ragas on guitar journey. Know more at https://guitarmonk.com/online/ragadlp/
We came to know that you are doing Amazing India Heritage Raga Guitar Journey. Please tell us more about that.
Well, Amazing India Heritage Sites Raga Guitar Journey is a creative amalgamation to highlight our ancient heritage sites. Wherein I am composing and dedicating one unique ragas on guitar composition to one heritage site and also filming at the site. Our target is to achieve 100 heritage sites and we have already completed various sites starting from New Delhi. In the year 2021, we are also releasing our first video.
To know more visit – https://guitarmonk.com/amazing-india-guitar-journey/
At your website, you have introduced Ragas on Guitar’ Radio. What is that?
Ragas on Guitar’ Radio is a dedicated playlist of my relative works so that ragas on guitar lovers can listen and enjoy to my compositions compiled at one place i.e. Visit https://kapilsrivastava.com/indian-guitar-radio-club/
What are your next steps on this venture?
Well, our next step is to continue our shooting under Amazing India Raga Journey and to work on the lines for inquiries looking for Ragas on Guitar Franchise.