[free training video] Music learning for Smart People

Revealing methods and approach that i use to learn and teach music. Watch the video to get started on the path.

Why keep Hitting when you can make you Guitar Sing? You can… it is just a matter of knowing techniques, methods and mindset that will lead you down an effective path.

Not sure if you saw these videos: ARRahman song as chord melody, another ARRahman song Lead on Guitar with all the details as the singer, a video on chord pattern for your benefit, Michael Jackson’s Beat It raga version for fun and profit. Find them here

Who else wants to know the definitive methods to make YOU an independent chord finder and player WITHOUT having to depend on chord sheets from others, and instead start composing and arranging, finding chords for your own or your favorite songs, ALL BY YOURSELF: learn once, benefit for a LIFETIME.

Save yourself a lot of time, money, effort and frustration…

p.s. Just a note. There has been a need for some kind of structure with Skype class admissions. So, starting this month, I may keep some dates till when I will be able to accept requests to join Skype classes.

How to Alai (Tabs, Staff Notation, Swaras) | Indian Raga Carnatic song that A R Rahman made popular

Alaipayuthe Kanna (Raga Kaanada) Indan Raga song How to videos (on Guitar) along with the tabs, western notation, swaras and lyrics that can be used on any instrument or by singers. (Thanks to Sashi. E for taking the initiative to modify and use Lilypond to make the final layout.)

Below is the Indian Carnatic Raga song played from start to finish in one go, on a steel string acoustic guitar (done a few years back). Below this video is a playlist with 4 videos that show you in detail how to play the song with all the slides and moves that make it Indian Classical Raga.
Like it? Learn with me.

See here for the explanation on western notation with gamakas.

Subscribe to the youtube channel for more tutorials, how tos and teaching videos.

Alaipayuthe Kanna Carnatic Indian Raga Song Tabs and Western Notation

 Right click and open the image on a new tab to view it in its real size, download or print. I have kept the ratio correct for A4 printing.

Simple and complex chords for b9 b6 Ragas: Mayamalavagowla (Malahari)

The video shows a few harmonizing or arranging options for non major scale/natural minor scale kind of scales or ragas.

Here we have the Raga Mayamalavagowla (Double harmonic major, gypsy) or notes of Rag Bhairav as the example.

The scale has a b9 and a b6 note.

We look at finding diatonic, safe chords, using notes from within the scale, going through the modes to be thorough with the process.

Then we have the option to use major and minor chords or 7ths at the most. This is done by creatively adding a third note when needed, when we can match only two from the melody to any. The knowledge of chords as patterns will help one do this faster.

Below are a few clips from a pdf on Mayamalavagowla harmony.

The notes of the Raga when C is the Sa or root or pitch.

The interval names associated with the notes of the Mayamalavagowla raga (same for Raga Bhairav).

Using mode thinking to find chords of the Raga

This method can naturally be used for other ragas or scales too.

Similarly for the second mode of the Raga.

For example one sees that Dbm7, DbM7, Db7 and DbmM7 can all be used in C Mayamalavagowla harmony.

If you are interested and intrigued by finding exact chords for Ragas, scales, songs, melodies, phrases etc…

You will like this Resource

Effective: Tab running, Human playing Fretboard How to for Sree Gananaatha (Lambodara) Raga Malahari

Below is a video for you to learn Raga Malahari, derivative of Raga Mayamalavagowla (same scale notes as Rag Bhairav).

In the video, you see the fretboard and finger moves as I play the song, and above you see a video with the tab playing, the currently played note being in red.

Pause, clarify, learn, play.

How to Kanne Kalai (Sadma) | Think Efficient Fingers and Slides

Raga Scale Fretboard Mastery | Extreme Freedom by Patterning | 10+ Example Workouts

It started with a video how and how not to practise scales, comparing it to the 50 first dates movie. Why are scales important anyway?

Then came one example of how to convert the only 3 patterns needed, to find the natural minor scale.

Now, in the below video, we have made the process complete by extending it to show clearly how any scale, any pitch, anywhere on the guitar can be played by just knowing the 3 major scale patterns (yes, just 3 to remember, which are in fact just one pattern with minor shifts), changed as needed. How to change it is just a matter of counting and using rules of scales available freely on the internet.

Starting with the Major scale, moving through

  1. the Major scale modes:
    1. Raga Kharaharapriya/ Dorian
    2. Raga Hanumathodi/ Phrygian
    3. Kalyani/Lydian
    4. Raga Harikamboji/ Mixolydian
  2. the minor scales:
    1. Harmonic (Raga Keeravani)
    2. Melodic (Gaurimanohari) and
    3. Natural (Natabhairavi) minor scales
  3. to b9 scales of
    1. Mayamalavagowla (Double harmonic major)
    2. Kamavardhani
    3. Chakravakam …

All you need to do is, be willing to pause as needed and try with me what is being done in the video. Through the example workouts, the process is learnt and then it is just a matter of repeating it again and again according to your need.

Since the age old PJ that one can’t learn Swimming through a distance learning course, is true, let us watch, copy, practise and learn.

Why ‘waste’ time on scales? The reasons

Play Natural Minor Pattern using the Major scale | Any pitch, anywhere on the Fretboard

In the post about learning just 3 patterns to be able to play any scale anywhere on the guitar, we saw how the 50 First dates way of playing scales is not close to the reality of music patterns.

That post used the Major scale patterns as an example. This time, let us see how by using the major scale as a reference, we can find out the 3 patterns for any scale, just by comparing the scale to the major scale. The natural minor scale (Raga Natabhairavi notes) is taken as an example here. (Different kinds of minor scales)

One of the earlier videos already talked about converting the C major scale to C Mayamalavagowla, the basic Raga used in Carnatic Music Lessons.

See this post for a few notes about the usefulness of knowing scales.
See the video below to start understanding how to change the major scale pattern to play other scales.

Click to see and subscribe to the youtube music lessons channel.

How to find the only 3 patterns to play any scale: e.g. the Natural Minor scale

See below to use the patterns explained in the video.

The major scale patterns: Review

The below pattern can be used to play the major scale starting from anywhere on the 6th string. Remember which string the pattern associates to, while learning each of them.

6th string root major scale pattern

R, M2 etc are Root, major 2nd, major 3rd and so forth… the intervals.

5th string root major scale pattern

Want to play major scales starting on the 5th string? The same pattern used for the 6th string, when started on the 5th string, gives us the solution.

4th string root major scale pattern

Start the same pattern from the 4th string, adjust for the second string and you have the way to play the major scale starting from anywhere on the 4th string.

S R2 etc are the swaras… equivalent to Root, Major 2nd etc. More on them at the Indian Raga – Western notation post.

Of course you can rearrange the notes and get other patterns too. Here is an example where the 3rd (G3) and the 6th (D2) notes have been shifted to the strings just below them.

3rd string root major scale pattern

Similar to the 4th string pattern, on the 3rd string too, shifts can give us new patterns. For example:

How to get the Natural minor scale patterns?

The difference in notes between the Major and Natural minor scales

Know the difference. Which notes need to be changed. Change it in any of the patterns and  you have the new pattern.

Below are the C major scale and Natural minor scale notes

The number superscripts are the note position within the scale. C being the root, has a superscript of 1, F being the 4th note has that number as the superscript etc…

C major scale: C1 D2 E3 F4 G5 A6 B7 C

C natural minor scale: C1 D2 Eb3 F4 G5 Ab6 Bb7 C

See the notes that have been flattened?

The E A and B notes are flattened in the Natural minor scale.

E is the 3rd note, A and B the 6th and 7th notes respectively.

That’s it.

Now you know which notes have to be changed or flattened from any known Major scale pattern, to get the equivalent Natural minor scale pattern.

Let us use them on the Major scale patterns that we know.

For example, the 6th string root pattern is shown. The 3rd 6th adn 7th notes have to be flattened, as indicated by arrows with the b sign.

Extend the ‘flattening’ to the 4th string too. The two octaves are shown below.

The Flats needed for the 5th and 3rd strings are as shown below

As simple as that: the natural minor scale patterns

For your convenience, the final patterns are given below.

Now you can use the changed patterns to play the scale anywhere on the fretboard, any octave or pitch. We will look at other example scales too, to be thorough with the process and for scale mastery.




The Guide to sing and slide (tabs, western notation) Raga Malahari Padumanabha Geetham

Below is a how to video, guitar tabs and western staff notation (with all slides included within) for the swaras of Padumanabha paramapurusha, an Indian Carnatic Raga Malahari Geetham, one of the basic compositions used by students.

This malahari geetham is a bit different in structure and phrases from the other three (Lambodara/Sree gananaadha, Kereyaneeranu and Kundagowra).

The topic of Malahari geethams has enough content to be made about including: The structure of Geethams, the lyrics version of the song, the comparison between malahari geethams while noting the similarity and reusage of phrases. One may realize that through the repeated structures in the 4 compositions, the composers have let us known what could be the core characteristics of Raga Malahari.

Further, since Malahari is a Janya or derivative of Raga Mayamalavagowla (similar in notes to Raga Bhairav in Hindustani), understanding the scale pattern of Mayamalavagowla and how they are distributed on the practically playable fretboard for ones needs, is of interest.

If you are someone interested in this topic, or in Indian raga playing, scales etc you may please subscribe to this site or the youtube channel by clicking the Subscribe button below (the button is made from code generated by youtube).

Learn with me?

Please open the image in a new tab to see the complete song tabs and notation. This version is when one sings the song as its swaras. The lyrics version is to be made, with slides connecting the swaras, avoiding hits where there are no consonants (to follow soon).


Do not learn more than 3 patterns to play any scale anywhere on the guitar

The video talks about learning scales the right way understanding the pattern nature of scales and not in a short term memory kind of manner (similarity found in 50 First Dates movie premise).

Please note that all the patterns will work on a standard tuned guitar. Naturally we can use our understanding of notes on the first 5th frets (and more as you wish), to be able to play any scale.

Looking for a good nylon string Guitar to start with? Have a look at Yamaha c40 at http://amzn.to/2g2MfkF (amazon.In) or http://amzn.to/2f7M7Pi (Amazon.com)
There will be more updates on the topic or similar topics including raga guitar. Just subscribe to the youtube channel to get them when published. (The subcriber count has been increasing the last few months at 20% per month – it’s encouraging to see the interest. Thanks 🙂 )

Shown below are examples using the major scale. What about other scales?

When we know which notes to be changed from a major scale pattern to get another scale of interest, then we can modify the pattern and again we get just 3 patterns that we need to remember in order to attain scale playing freedom on the guitar.

Just 3 patterns = any major scale

The below pattern be learned to play any major scale with starting note on the 6th string.


The same pattern in terms of Carnatic Raga Swaras.


When the pattern starts from the 6th string 1st fret, it is an F major scale, the notes of which are shown in the image below.


Shift it up to start playing on the 5th fret of the 6th string and  this is how the patten will look like. Compare it with the interval pattern image shown before and we see that they are the same.


But now, the same pattern, just by shifting and starting from a different fret on the same 6th string, gives us the A major scale as shown below, with no additional learning time or effort.


The below pattern be learnt to play major scales starting from any fret on the 5th string. As you may notice, it is the exact same pattern that we used to start playing major scales on the 6th string. No extra learning time or effort spent. Just a little bit of time spent looking at how the pattern is the same will do.

No extra learning time or effort spent. Just a little bit of time spent looking at how the pattern is the same will do.


This is a pattern to play major scales starting from the 4th string frets. Anywhere on the 4th string, you may start the pattern to get a major scale. Which major scale it is is determined by the note on which you start the pattern.

For example, since the below pattern starts on the 2nd fret of the 4th string, the E note, it is an E major scale.


A pattern to play major scales starting from the 3rd string frets. Anywhere on the 3rd string, start the pattern and you get a major scale.

If the pattern starts on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string, like shown below, the result is an A major scale. Instead if from the 5th fret of the 3rd string, it is a C major scale, the 3rd string 5th fret being a C note.



How to Sundari Neeyum (Ilayaraja) with slides | Guitar Tabs, Western notation & Swaras (Raga Kedaram)

Here is a video explaining the moves of the song Sundari Neeyum Sundaran Njanum by Ilayaraja.

Below the video you will find the Guitar Tab, Western Staff Notation and Swaras for the song, with the gamakas included in the notation. Towards the end of the page are the chords (for now, simple chords. I will be uploading a more detailed Jazz worthy version of chords soon).

Learn with me

Raga Kedaram is based on the Raga Shankarabharanam, which uses the same notes as a Major scale. In this example, the C note has been taken as Sa, giving us the notes C D E F G A B C to play with (although Raga Kedaram will not need the A note, the Dha).

The guitar used in the video is a Japanese made Nylon string guitar, the name of which I am unable to find. Yamaha C40 (Amazon.com, Amazon.in) will be a good economical Nylon string guitar if you need one.

Tabs and notation for Sundari Neeyum (Raga Kedaram)

Right click and open image in a new tab to see in full size.


Swaras for Sundari Neeyum (Ilayaraja, Michael Madan Kamarajan)


Charanam Swaras for Sundari Neeyum (Raga Kedaram)


Below please find the chords for the song in Raga Kedaram using very simple C major scale based chords. Will add a more detailed set of chords soon. Please subscribe for future updates.


The Core Methods Revealed: The Real Methods and Techniques that make Music Work

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