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rain

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Reply with quote  #1 
I was wondering if people on this forum could share methods of practice that have been helpful in increasing the ability to improvise without losing awareness or feeling of the beat cycle
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adunc069

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi, I think that if you really know the gat and a few tans to go with it, a couple pultas and a few variations of the gat in a rag, you can take that with you into any other rag. Like if you learn a bunch of stuff in a pentatonic rag like Bhupali, you can take these structures - not the tans- and apply them with improvising in another pentatonic rag like Hamshadwani, Deshkar, Malkauns, Durga etc.... the point is, the number of notes in the rag don't have to be the same but if you have a good understanding of the cycle with regards to the rag you're playing in, you should be fine.

For instance I'm studying something now that starts on the 10th beat of tintal, and the other lines all start on 2, 6, 9, 13 all with breaks in betwee so that everything feels off beat all the time. But after practicing in my head more than with the instrument, it improved alot. I think mental practice can be as important in music if you're struggling with something.

Another thing that will help is counting on your hand and working things out too. This is something that, if you're struggling with getting lost in the tal, you should do whenever you can. On the bus, at home, work. Anywhere is good. Ustad Afaq Hussain said that even if you're nowhere near your instrument you should always practice in your head whenever you can. 'nuff said

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rain

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Reply with quote  #3 
The challenging part for me is being able to naturally land at any desired point of the cycle, to feel the cycle in such a way that improvisation can flow freely. I don't feel like I can really improvise in the way I would like until the beat cycle is fully internalized. For those who have achieved this internal clock, what methods of practice have best helped you to reach that level?
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Rain,

This is the method that worked for me. It will take you about 3-6 months, but it works:

Start with a drut teentaal gat that you know well. Break it up into 4 sections of 4 beats each: 1 to 4, 5 to 8, 9 to 12, and 13 to 16. First, try and improvisation from 1 to 4, and come back to the gat on the 5th beat. When you're able to do that consistently, move to the next section: play the gat from 1 to 4, improvise between 5 to 8, and then come back to the gat on 9. When you're comortable with the way that feels, improvise betweeen 1 to 8, and come back to gat on 9. Keep working like that until you can fluently improvise within any 4, 8, 12 and, finally, 16 beat section. Like I said, it takes a good 3 months at least of practising about an hour a day before it becomes internalised (well, it did with me, anyway!) but you'll get it. Once you've got drut teentaal, do the same with Dadra and then Keherwa - both of which you will by this time probably find extremely easy. Vilambit teentaal takes a little longer but the method is the same.

You can find more detailed instructions on this method here:

Based on a drut teentaal gat in Jaunpuri by Nikhil Banerjee:

http://www.sitar.co.za/pdf/Improvisation_Drut.pdf

Based on a vilambit teentaal gat in Mishra Jhinjhoti by Ali Akbar Khan:

http://www.sitar.co.za/pdf/Improvisation_Vilambit.pdf

However, if you use the examples above, I suggest that you use gats in any other raags that you know well.

Good luck, and please let us know if there's anything else we can help with!

Cheers,
Rex
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barend

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Rex,

I only get a black screen from your links above.
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povster

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
Hi Rex,

I only get a black screen from your links above.
Me too. Arcobat Reader loads the pdf files but they are black with no contents.

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Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
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rain

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Reply with quote  #7 
Rex,

Thank you for your post. This is exactly the kind of practice I need!
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povster

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Reply with quote  #8 
interesting - it is working on my other computer. Rex - did you modify anything? Pedrps it is the version of acrobat. Whatever - very interesting information there.
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Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Reply with quote  #9 
Great, glad it's working for some of you!! Yes, perhaps it's the Acrobat version...? I endcoded it on a Mac, but I'm not sure which version of Acrobat it was encoded to. Try updating Acrobat, and if some of you are still having problems I'll try a different encoding method.

Cheers,
Rex
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shagird

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Reply with quote  #10 
Rex Bhai,

The NB gat - is this something that you got from NB or one of his students? Very rare in any case! Now how about sharing the rest of the exercises?
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi Shagrid!

Yes, it is very rare! It was given to me by my first sitar teacher, John Campana, who had quite a few lessons with Nikhil Banerjee many, many years ago.

I've got the whole composition (Vilambit Gat, bhistar, Drut Gat, taans, jhalla) in scrawled, hand-written notes that I took when I was 19 (also a long, long time ago!) There are a few small mistakes (which should be obvious to advanced students), but if you're keen I'll try and make it available.

Cheers,
Rex
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shagird

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Reply with quote  #12 
Am verrrry interested! If it is not too much trouble Rex Bhai, could you also post the sound files of these exercises?
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Reply with quote  #13 
Sure, I will try and do this in the next couple of days.. I'll create a new thread for it though. Sadly, there are no sound files that I know of. Aparently Nikhil Banerjee taught these compositions in a small class and everyone just scribbled them down... if there are sound files somewhere, maybe someone out there can unearth them for us? Anyway, another time, another thread

Anyone else got any more tips for Rain?

- Rex
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adunc069

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Reply with quote  #14 
Hi, I've tried to open it and it won't work. I updated my Adobe and it still won't work. Can someone be kind enough to copy/paste it and pm it to me, or post it here in the thread?

Adam

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Sadaqat chup nahi sakti banawat ke usolon
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Surbaharplayer

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Reply with quote  #15 
The coolest thing that happened to me the last year (aside from studying with the Dagars): I started to pratice with a pakhawaj-player every week....Have been doing this now for a month....It amazes me to discover how much my progress is in this last month!! Besides learning the theka (in my case chautal) it's also very good to hold the theka when the pakhawai-player is stretching out...

For practise at home: I recorded the pakhawaj-player for several minutes so I have about a dozen variations of chautal. I just copy and paste these variations at radom so I have a long file (plus I mix in tampura). With this long file you practise at home. The cool thing is: there is more variation than these theka-machines (plus it sounds better)

Remco

P.s. I've taken the high-tech route by turning these files into Recyle-files, which means I can load them into a program called Reason. I can change the tempo of the pakhawaj with out streching the sound or changing the pitch....
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