INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am actually embarrassed to put this up on the forum, the sound quality is that bad.
It sounds like this was recorded with the world's worst microphone after it had been dropped into a fish tank.
And left there to make this recording, of a flight of pure improvisational genius. I was unable to turn it off.

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Lars

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Reply with quote  #2 
Very nice, I love the over 2 hours in one raga. Don't see that much anymore....

Lars

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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #3 
Actually Lars - and this was quite interesting to me - VK transitions into OTHER RAGAS during the course of this piece. Truly wild flights of improvisation and the shocking thing is how EASILY he transitions to the other rag, just automatic, and this can only be from endless hours of practice, so many that he had to have grown sick of it.

IT IS SAID THE TRUE DISCIPLINARIANS AMONG THE GURUS OF INDIAN MUSIC REQUIRE 12 YEARS OF PRACTICING SCALES, ARPEGGIOS, AND EXERCISES BEFORE THEY WILL TEACH YOU ONE NOTE OF A RAG.

I have thought about this a lot and come to the conclusion they knew and know exactly what they are doing. If you endlessly practice a PIECE OF MUSIC you can practice the feeling and the inspiration right out of that rag. Practicing scales, arpeggios and exercises endlessly carries no such penalty in fact you LONG for the day to come when you can actually play some MUSIC.

During the entire year I was with him VK gave me ONLY scales, arpeggios and exercises and of course I found this unbearably frustrating and spent more time playing/practicing music IE rags etc. WHAT A FOOL I WAS !!!

In hindsight it has become apparent to me that the ONLY way to truly master the instrument without destroying musical feeling and inspiration while doing so is to AVOID music and concentrate on gaining the technical mastery with scales etc. The fact that VK never gave me a rag I now understand to mean that he had very high hopes for me, what a jackass I have been. GF
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barend

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "fossesitar"
In hindsight it has become apparent to me that the ONLY way to truly master the instrument without destroying musical feeling and inspiration while doing so is to AVOID music and concentrate on gaining the technical mastery with scales etc.
I understand what you are saying but I don't agree. I love practicing scales and exercises but they are just that. It is not music. It is only for technique. Why not practice actual music? practicing compositions and tans and alap will also develop your technique in the same manner and is more musical. And for most people it is more fun. The time that sitar players (in India) were only practicing scales and exercises for 12 years and were not allowed to play a raga is long gone I think (if it ever was the case in the first place...).

Btw what do mean by arpeggios on sitar? can you give an example? I know what an arpeggio is but curious what exercises you mean precisely.
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #5 
It's an idealized view that has its place. You can always "out-extreme" people. You can advocate spending the first 20 years with sitar practicing sargam 16 hours a day, and then, and only then, are you ready to tackle your first raag. But then some other chap will come along and say, no, to truly appreciate things you must spend 30 years practicing sargam, and 20 hours a day minimum...first 5 years you must only play Sa Re Ga, then you graduate to Ma, etc etc etc.

I think there are balances to be struck, and it depends on who you are, what culture you are in, what your goals are, who you are learning from, and many other factors. There are many wonderful musicians in all sorts of music (eastern, western, classical, popular) that didn't spend a decade practicing the mechanics before approaching the music.

Also, to be considered...such "rules" can work, because say you are one of UVK's sons (or a son of another famous master)...you start learning sargam and playing the sitar at a very young age by default, and so 12 years of practice may be more justified there...and additionally, you'll be so utterly immersed in hearing and observing ragas that even though you haven't been learning them officially, by the time you are a teenager and your guru starts to teach you raags, you know Yaman and all the others intimately already, just from a sort of musical osmosis. So the student in that case wouldn't be completely "green" to the concept of a raag.

Methods and customs vary pretty widely in ICM education. A friend of mine from India went through a more formalized school-based education (that ends in a certificate, I believe!) for tabla. I should ask him about the details sometime...assumedly closer to WCM style education.
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #6 
Within the Indian tradition it is really between the guru and the sishya. So individual traits and preferences will definitely hold sway and each relationship will be a law onto itself. It is up to the teacher to determine the best path for the student and just like any other area of life there will be good teachers, wonderful teachers, poor teachers and awful teachers.

The point I am trying to make is that the traditional ways had a lot of experience and wisdom behind them. Only if you have truly DONE IT yourself - practiced 14 hours a day for years on end and reached the level of a virtuoso - do you know what it takes and how best to get there. Everything else is just meaningless patter and the other point \I hope I made is that we in the west are simply not patient enough or respectful enough to even comprehend the methods used by those who have climbed the mountain.
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mahadev

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Reply with quote  #7 
Gregg,

how are you my friend ?

This is a good recording mangled by low bit rate mp3 encoding. If you can mentally subtract the encoding artefacts this is actally quite good. Maybe worth contacting the poster and ask about the orignal tape and get this transferred properly.

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Tucker Fleming

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Reply with quote  #8 
Make your scales and exercises sound and feel like music.
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