Learn to play Chords for Songs, Scales and Indian Ragas – the Complete Chord Affair

Instantly Downloadable Pdfs, notation etc

If you are have any questions about this resource, just send me a message. See below for buy buttons if you wish to buy.

For a short period, there was an offer on the price and an option to join me for group coaching sessions.

Please note that the price has gone back to usual and the group coaching option is closed now.

If you are interested in knowing when the offers will be open again or in coaching sessions with me related to playing chords for any raga, scale, song etc, please let me know by clicking this link and  entering your name and email where you would like to be contacted . Thanks.

Any questions, ask me at: musicianself@gmail.com

What you get: the whole method my students and I use to find chords for ragas, songs, melodies, scales PLUS the COMPLETE chord pattern/naming/formula/structure method.

For those of you who know me through youtube, this wont’be a surprise… You know how my free stuff is definitely worth than what most paid teachers can give you…

Thank you (I mean, you who is reading this) for caring and for supporting. For appreciating the work, the tutorials I have provided and for using them to move closer to your goals and dreams without compromise.


Would you like to know how to find and play chords for any song, any melody? 

It could be songs that you like or songs you wish to compose:

being able to play songs for chords you like without having to search for chords, or depend on someone else’s taste of chords.

Being able to understand how melody and chords are connected to the extent of almost being one and the same. Being able to compose with melody and chords.

Here is what you have been looking for. This resource will teach you how.

In addition, I have also included the COmplete Chord CODE Guides that will make you a master at chords, their names, shapes, patterns and how to learn them and construct them the sensible way – using logic, patterns, connecting the shapes to the root notes based on the strings.

And for a short time… I offer you the option to interact directly with me through office hours, 2 times a month for 3 months, where the participants of the course can meet me online to ask your specific doubts and make your learning specific to your needs, surer and faster. That way we can make sure that you are able to assimilate the information well, and make sure that you are able to create solutions specific to your needs…

That way we can make sure that you are able to assimilate the information well, and make sure that you are able to create solutions specific to your needs…

Online meetings with me (closed now)

USD 97 option: The complete content unrestricted + 3 months of online meetings with me (group coaching calls, doubt clearing, setting goals for your next step), 2 times a month + possible email support. The meetings will be every other weekend, with two time slot options. The meeting times will be mailed ahead of time to you, to which you can also reply with your questions and doubts, which I will make sure of answering.

When we used to learn Carnatic, this is how it was: We would go to the teacher’s place at the given time, sit there while the teacher teaches the other students, listen to them, learn from what they learn and then when it is our turn, the teacher teaches us.

In our course, the complete content is provided to you the moment you buy the course. There is no restriction on that. You can start immediately, using the whole content without waiting for me to provide you anything more.

During our online meetings, the participants of the course can ask me their doubts, which I will address an clear up one by one. You can directly talk to me during the call or you can type to me your doubt or even email me your doubts beforehand. For some reason if you are unable to come for the online meeting in time, i will record the answer for you which you can watch at your convenient time.

Since our group is going to be small, there won’t be too many participants during the group calls – it could be even just you and me at times. Login to the call during the given time, post your question or tell hi on the chat. One by one I will clear each doubts – you can also talk to me, show your doubts, what you are practising, what you should do now, any specific song or melody you are working on etc.

What is not possible is: if someone comes and asks me to do the chords for a XYZ song, for example. It is not an option to make me work and find chords – I have done that already when I learnt how to find chords. Now it is the student’s turn to learn how to be independent as far as chords are concerned, how to work them out or find them. My job is to help you go through the process, to help you learn how to find chords etc. For that, ask me doubts, show me melodies or songs you want to try, I will guide you as to how to go forward with it.

Hope that is clear. Benefit from the group learning (my one to one classes are much more expensive), use the complete content I give you, get custom made paths by interacting with me, asking your doubts and questions.

Hope that works.

Please note that the amount maybe displayed in EUROs because my accounts are in Germany. USD 67 is approximately EUROS 57. Naturally it will vary slightly. 

The price

One main request I have for your own advantage is: don’t fall for a course or teacher just because their per month rate is low. We know that trick. It is like taxi/auto drivers who put the metre and then show the foreign traveler the same Marina Beach 6 times… and finally drop them where they didn’t ask for.

Like I mentioned before, the price is a fraction of what is charged for one to one sessions.

If you know another source which will give you the same quality of content that will definitely help you reach your goals, then it is a no-brainer, don’t buy the course from me.

But if you think you will spend around Rs.7000 (USD 97) during your lifetime, trying to understand and master chords, finding them, learning to use them with songs – your own or other, then… this is the best chance you have.

We will make sure that you go through the process, solve any doubts you have, carrying you to the next step. I have done this myself and with numerous other students that I can make it very easy for you. The content alone is not the easiest, but it has everything you will need as far as chord patterns, chords, finding chords etc are concerned – which is the basis for composition, improvisation, arranging, chord playing,

I have done this myself and with numerous other students that I can make it very easy for you. The content alone is not the easiest, but it has everything you will need as far as chord patterns, chords, finding chords etc are concerned – which is the basis for composition, improvisation, arranging, chord playing, freedom and independence.

Make sure your goals are being met in your musical education, make sure that the total sum you pay does give you back what you wanted, in the right quality, making real transformation.

Like I said, if you know that you will pay more than Rs.6000 during your life time for the topic, don’t look for a short time saving – save time, confusion, money lost in the long term etc… and instead start learning with me now.

If it doesn’t work, you know I will give you the money back.

Learning how to

There is no point in learning to play chords for one song or any number of songs, for that matter. The aim should be to learn how to play chords for songs, ragas or scales so that I have my independence; so that I have actually had growth in my skill level; and have accomplished something that will stay with me for life.one good student told me once.

Internet is a very good source of chords. It probably has chords and other material for any Western song you would want to work with.


  • what if we want to find chords for an Indian song of your choice (or for any song for which you can’t find chords online)?
  • What if you don’t want to anymore depend on chord sheets to play chords for songs you love?
  • What if you want to understand those easy ways of remembering what chords to play?
  • What if you want to make your own songs, play chords for your own songs?
  • What if you knew that you could learn to be able to find and play chords for any melody or phrase or song or raga you wish?

What are the family of chords? How come some chords always seem to come together?

How do some of us guess the chords of a song even without listening to the whole song?

How to look correctly at melodies, songs, ragas to find the chords already embedded in them without struggling or wondering how to find the right accompaniment or chords or arrangement?

Each of us has our own reasons for why we want to learn how to play chords for melodies, songs, phrases, ragas, scales…

But one thing in common is the independence that comes from learning a skill. Learn it once and you have gained freedom for your lifetime.

Re-chord, Re-harmonize, Re-arrange

Examples using famous A R Rahman songs  (the songs are hosted on youtube. The respective copyright owners claim their share of the mechanical license through youtube’s systems so that whoever has a share to its usage, gets it).

The second video is usually considered a very very unlikely candidate for unplugged guitar vocal rendition. Decide for yourself if I have done a good work with the chords…

 The difficulty

I understand how difficult the topic of chords and finding chords can be. I should admit that since I was 12 or 13 years old, I have been working with chords, finding chords for my favorite Indian songs, playing along and singing with them during my childhood.

Over the years I have understood the intricacies, the difficult choice questions that come up when dealing with chords. What are the arrangers or composers thinking? Am I right with this chord? The other one sounds right too…

Or… this song melody doesn’t seem to fit into any of the usual family of chords logic. What to do now?

Or… these chords are too dry. Just 5 of them again and again? How do I find variations? How do I master this thing once so that I can use it for all the songs that I so love to sing?

There is probably not enough easily available and reliable guidance for us when it comes to being able to find chords, harmonize melodies, songs, phrases, ragas. Chord theory for Western music will need a lot of learning and adapting to use those principles to Indian music.

There is probably not enough time either for most of us to dedicate time to trying to solve the mystery by collecting and analyzing available evidence and then trying it for your situation. (I spent my teen and adult life till now on the quest… you don’t have to 🙂 )

And in my experience, without the help of a reliable musician guide, it is almost impossible for us to be sure of what we are doing.

Also, if we don’t have a background in music theory, it may be not an easy task to make sense of the different chords used.

Useful for you, if…

If your aim is to know ‘How to’ find and play chords for phrases, songs, melody, then this resource will help you.
Material is given to clearly show you what I think when finding chords – the method by which anyone gets good with finding and playing chords.

Have a look at the videos on this page, to see how chords are used for a few Raga based songs. If you think being able to find chords like that is useful, then the explanation in the resource will help you in that direction.

Importance is given to the logic behind ‘how’ instead of just chord sheets. Our basic idea is using “how” parts of the resource to find the chords for ragas and any scale. ‘chords for major scale’ and therefore minor scale, gives in detail the basics of how to find chords from scales. Later, the examples of flat 9 scale and melodic minor gives the logic behind finding chords for any scale, using the scale notes.

Don’t know much about scales and other terms used? Nothing to worry: major, minor, flat 9, everything is explained in an easy to understand language.

The ‘How to’ way of doing it gives us all the possible options, from which we can choose what we ‘feel’ good for our situation. Naturally, this gives us wider freedom than learning from just a chord sheet. Even when we have chord sheets and examples, the ‘how to’ part let us know what the maker of the chord sheet was thinking.

Chord sheets for Raga based compositions are given. Popular songs and compositions have their chords derivable from our knowledge of major scale chords and derivatives thereof.

When you get this resource today for USD67, you get access to a complete resource that will help you play chords for any raga, scale, song or melodic phrase. 

OR IF YOU think meeting me online and asking your doubts and getting answers for your specific needs will help you have a faster and surer Learning Experience, choose the PLUS option. Total 6 group meetings (2 meetings a month for 3 months) through open office hours, where participants of the course can come online and discuss with me and benefit from custom answers in a group setting (your doubts, progress, next step etc will be addressed directly with you – everyone will get their time).

How to use the guides to help you get good with chords?

For example, understanding chords of the melodic minor scale (Raga gowrimanohari),

  • one understands the logic behind finding chords based on the scale,
  • from each note position,
  • how those chords can be used with the scale from different note positions etc.

This gives us a clear idea of how the notes in the song or scale or raga can be used to find the corresponding chords of the scale.

Ragas give us a good opportunity to go beyond major and minor scales and to use chord finding methods on scales that have flat nines, flat 6ths, sharp 4ths etc. This lets us become really good with chords based on the melody notes.

Then we have essentially covered a wide range of possibilities, situations, cases, so that we will be able to extend this understanding to any song, scale, phrase or raga that we will come across.

After all, any song is made of ragas or scales. And once we have seen different kinds of possibilities using ragas and scales, in finding chords, naturally we will find it easy to find chords for songs and phrases in real life, however different or complex they may be.

What is included:

This site already has free posts with a lot of information to get you started with playing Ragas and Chords for Ragas. In this Raga Chord resource, we will get into more details, more resources to help you learn ragas and chords for ragas, a deeper and complete understanding of the logic behind being able to play chords for any Raga, Scale, Song, Phrase or Melody.

  Arohana Avarohana (ascend and descend scales with characteristic Indian music movements) of each Raga, comparison with associated Western scale – lets you understand the Raga on a western instrument and based on western theory, thus helping you understand the relation between Indian melody and Western harmony.

  Chords for Raga phrases and Complete compositions – Geetams, Varnams, Krithis etc. Examples of all different possible note combinations – makes you prepared to find chords for any melody or phrase you may come across. And, also the reverse, where you will find it comfortable to find melodies for chords and chord progressions.

  Pdf downloads explaining each raga, associated scale, chords, applications in detail which will help you understand the logic behind finding chords for any melody based on the phrase or scale notes. The notes of the ragas are mentioned as ‘A A# B C etc’ (western note naming), ‘major 3rd minor 3rd etc…’ (western interval naming) along with the swaras. Chord names are explained, the chords are explained while mentioning the notes played in each chord

Don’t listen to me…

The above video shows an example of an original composition/improvisation based on Ragas/scale on vocals with Chords on the guitar (recorded in ordinary life environment with birds, people and roads around). Don’t listen to me, listen to what one can do with information of ragas/scales and chords.

Not sure about the ragas?

Ragas are explained – arohana avarohana, phrases. Raga phrases are explained from basics. So you don’t have to worry even if you don’t know Indian ragas. First the ragas are given in detail and then the chords are looked at.

Downloadable PDF documents are used mainly to explain the content. As mentioned before, the notes of the ragas are mentioned as ‘A A# B C etc’ (western note naming), ‘major 3rd minor 3rd etc…’ (western interval naming) along with the swaras. Chord names are explained, the chords are explained while mentioning the notes played in each chord.

Notation and tab are used when needed to explain in detail each phrase and chords. When useful, Tuxguitar – a free notation and tab software – is used to play the melody along with chords. The notes, swaras, chord name, chord diagram, chord notes etc are also given. It has a keyboard view also, suitable for piano or keyboard players to watch the melody or chords played.

Numerous phrases of Indian Ragas ready for use

Detailed phrases are presented in videos, tab and notation, images. These are discussed for the melody and possible chords and the chord logic.
So, you get to know, learn and play a good number phrases in different ragas. Needless to say, you can use them in your music context, especially with the understanding you gain about the chords they are associated with.
The examples are shown on guitar fretboard where I play them real time. So if you are a guitarist, you can use the videos to learn to play carnatic phrases on the guitar.

Raga to scale relationships

Arohana avarohanas for a number of ragas are listed, along with how they connect with the corresponding western scale.
So if you want to understand Indian ragas in terms of western notes, scales and western instruments, these scale to raga connection will make things clear for you.


Below is an example video on improvising over a song using basic concepts of chord finding. Note that most of the chords used are simple major and minor triads (3 note chords).


What is useful for you

It is good if you have  a resource or guide that would help you understand chords for songs or ragas and scales, in easy steps.

Not a bunch of content that would overwhelm you and make you feel there is a lot, but something that is straightforward, clear about what is really the path to take, what you have to do or think that is absolutely useful.

Once you start understanding the basic principles of finding chords for songs, scales or ragas, you will be able to build the whole skill from the basics. The field of arranging or chord playing is not random – it is based and built on solid principles.

Since major and minor triads are the most basic of chords and since the sound is easy for us to relate to and play, you may want to learn to play any song in any scale using just major and minor. Especially if you are a singer/performer.

Includes a method to play exact and simple triad chords for any phrase, without having to find out the root or knowing much theory, just by finding the notes of the phrase.

The very beginning of the course is about using major and minor chords, and shows you the list of possible chords you could use for most popular songs. So you have practical, useful information which can immediately change the way you view chord playing and will bring noticeable difference to your skill.

The solution

‘How to play chords for songs ragas scale and phrases’ or ‘How to play chords for songs’ are step by step guides starting from the very basics, linking the steps in an easy to understand manner. No fluff, straightforward instruction that the human mind can easily absorb and integrate.

This is a digital download. You can gain access to it now, without any delivery time delays or charges. Instantly downloadable course material – pdfs notation

Here is an example video of playing chords for songs. In this case, the song is also an example of playing chords for Indian raga based ghazal.

How to play chords for any song, scale or Raga teaches you how to play chords for any phrase, scale, song or Indian raga.

We look at it from different perspectives.

  • Knowing the scales to play its chords
  • Playing chords by the phrase, without having to know the scale or raga
  • Finding exact chords from the scale notes
  • Approximating all chords to major and minor, regardless of how different the real notes of the scale are from major or minor scales or modes.

Also explains to you

  • In detail, the method to find chords for most songs we come across, starting from the basics.
  • Then you are introduced to finding chords for songs in scales other than what is usually used in western music. This covers how to play chords for any song.
  • Includes an universally useful method to find simple major and minor chords to fit for any phrase regardless of the scale, or its origin.

Want to play carnatic geetams with instrument backing? Arrange raga based compositions, phrases and melody? Get better with arranging, finding chords for any raga scale or song? Understand ragas in chord perspective to get better with improvizing?

Here is how to play chords of your choice for any song, scale, phrase or raga. Gain access and use the information at your own pace.

Chord sheets for the Geetams and other compositions

Chords for the ragas are explained using chords for Geetams and other compositions. 

e.g.Chords for the Geetams (short introductory compositions)


Complete chord sheet for the Geetams (pdf). The chords are based on the same logic or method discussed in the minor major chord section. Therefore, you will have a clear understanding of why you are playing the chords, and also make your own choices and variations if you feel the need for.

Variations of chord progressions are given for the same phrases, so that you can mix and match, and choose different combinations for variety.

The Chords for 4 Malahari Geetams part has the following:

  1. Sree Gananatha chords using simple minor and major chords (an occasional simple 7th chord to spice up the situation)
  2. Padmanabha Geetam chords using just minor and major chords
  3. Kereya Neeranu Geetam using minor and major chords
  4. Kunda Gowra Geetam using minor and major chords
  5. Analekara (Suddha Saveri)
  6. Varaveena (Mohanam)
  7. Kamalajathala (Kalyani)

Chords for ragas based on most used western harmony

In the section ‘How to play chords for most songs’ we noted how the seven major scale chords are enough to play songs for most popular songs we come across.

The same seven chords of the major scale can be used to find chords for Raga Shankarabharanam, Raga Natabhairavi, Raga Keeravani, and… all the janya ragas of any of these three ragas. (In fact you can play Raga Kharaharapriya, Raga Kalyani, and a few other ragas and its janyas too).

The janyas of these ragas are the basis of many very popular Indian classical compositions.

This resource will cover how simple chords can be used to play numerous songs and ragas.

Using simple major and minor chords to play ANY raga, scale or song

A simple method that works to use simple major and minor chords for any phrase. 

This technique alone will be enough for you to have your freedom and independence when it comes to finding and playing chords.

The method is based on a basic observation of the structure of major and minor chords. Take any phrase, know the notes, then you don’t need any other skill or information. You can take two notes of the phrase and find the third and be sure that the chord is a simple major or minor and that it will fit over the two notes.

These methods of approximation are satisfying while at the same time, making chord playing easy.

Finding chords of any raga or scale starting from chords of the major scale

We can understand any raga or scale by comparing it with the major scale. Major scale is something we come across a lot, which one is familiar with among scales. Find the relation of any raga with the major scale. Then we can include those differences to the chords of the major scale to get chords that can be used for the new raga.

Here is an example of using simple chords for playing a minor scale based raga

Finding exact chords for any raga or scale

This is a fairly simple thing to do. You get chords with only those notes which are in the scale or raga. Depending on the scale or raga, you may get chords with names more than seventh or 9th etc. But once you get familiar with how to find these chords, that skill remains with you for life.

Raga Mayamalavagowla and Malahari geetams can be played using the exact scale notes. (included in the resource).

Another way is to use simple minor and major chords to play Ragas like Mayamalavagowla and Geetams of ragas which do not directly let us play minor and major over all its notes. How do we make these approximations to be able to use minor and major chords instead of more complicated chords, on ANY raga?

Relations between scales, chords and ragas

The major 7th chord and Mayamalavagowla

Mayamalavagowla has a major 3rd note. Big Ri. It has a major 7th note – Big Ni.

To find chord for a scale, one tries to find the chord with Root-fifth-third-seventh.

In the case of Mayamalavagowla, we would get a chord with the following intervals: Root – major 3rd – fifth – major 7th. This is a major 7th note.

Now, the major 7th chord does not represent the flat ninth and flat sixth notes and hence the characteristic sound of Raga Mayamalavagowla. How do you find a chord or change the major 7th chord to have the feel of the Raga?

Hamsadhwani as the major 9th chord

Once you start getting familiar with how to find chords from scales, you will notice that it is easy to choose the scale notes to form chords you can play for the particular phrase or the raga in general.

Raga Hamsadhwani is a 5 note scale derived from the major scale. Understanding basic chord formation principles lets us see that the notes of the whole raga can be expressed as a single chord – the Major 9th chord.

Understanding chords as chosen scale notes suddenly makes the connections much more obvious and brings you freedom and confidence about finding and playing chords for any raga, scale, phrase or song.

Hamsadhwani using simple triads

Content Overview – chords for songs raga scale phrase (partial overview)


The chords of major scale

The chords of minor scale

the extra major in minor scale chords

How to play chords for a large number of ragas (Shankarabharanam, Natabhairavi, Keeravani and its janyas) using the above chord study

Chords for songs

How to play chords for MOST songs

songs based on the major and minor scale

trying out the diatonic chords for each part of the song

connecting notes and chords completely

which note to base the chords on

where to change chords

How find simple major and minor chords for any scale, song or phrase

Finding the note

The pattern

The formula to add appropriate note to get the triad

Ragas and scales

Finding the scale of a raga – starting point

Melakarta of carnatic

Examples of Indian raga – scale relationships

Chords for ragas/scales

How to play chords for a large number of songs and ragas using the major and minor scale diatonic chords

The long list of ragas you can play chords for using just the major scale diatonic chords.

How find chords for ANY scale

Using exact chords for any song/scale/raga

Using just the triad minor and major to play chords for ANY song/scale/raga

Exact chords of Mayamalavagowla

Triads to play Mayamalavagowla

Chords for ragas based on the major scale

The major scale raga – Raga Shankarabharanam – safe chords of Raga Shankarabharanam

All the chord/note possiblities of the major scale or Raga Shankarabharanam

Chords for janyas from what we know already

Chords of bilahari

Chords of hamsadhwani

Chords of mohanam – major pentatonic


Chords for ragas based on the minor scale

Minor scale and major scale relations

Diatonic chords for minor scale from chords we know already

Associating notes and chords of the raga

Chords for jayanthashri

Chords for hindolam


Chords for ragas based on the modes of the major scale

Chords for Kalyani

Chords for Kharaharapriya


Chords for mayamalavagowla and malahari geetams

Chosen few

Nattai, Charukesi, Chakravakam among others

Same chords for all ragas in the cycle of 5 note ragas – suddha saveri, hindolam, mohanam

… more

What are the composers or musicians thinking when finding and deciding chords for melodies?

Once you know the basics behind playing chords for melodies, you won’t have to look for chords on the internet. You will know what to play. And you will play them with grace, your own style, your own decision. That makes you a creative instrument player, performer or arranger; a master of the craft.

Most songs

Most of the songs we come across, that are popular, are based on the major and minor scale.

Chords based on the major scale are called ‘diatonic chords’ which simply means ‘within the scale’.

The major scale chords

For any pitch there are only 7 chords you have to know to play chords based on the major scale. For example C Em Dm F G Am Bdim (or G7) are the only chords you will need to play a large number of songs, if you sing at the C pitch.

Once you know how to use the chords for the C pitch, transposing or changing the pitch to some other key is just addition and subtraction – basic arithmetic.

The minor scale chords

Interestingly, the same chords used for the major scale can be used to play minor scale songs. You will just start from a different note.

Guess, by now, you get the hint on how knowing to use just a few number of chords can actually make you able to play chords for a very large number of songs.

Popular chords

C2, sus chords, major 7th etc are found in popular genres of music. Just additions.

These ‘other chords’ are just variations that you get by changing a finger or two from the basic chords you master.

A very good grip on playing chords

“I don’t  know how i can remember the chords. i have to always look them up on the internet”

This is true only because you don’t understand the relation between chords. Why are some group of chords present? How can you guess the most probable chords?

Understand chords as part of the families they come from, the group they belong to. Understand the logic behind finding chords for popular songs, phrases.

Know what the composer, musician, performer or arranger is thinking while making beauty with chords.

‘Chords for any Song, Scale, Raga or Phrase’ is priced at 67 USD. Students usually pay for at least 20 hours of skype class to get a grip on this material. This is again for you who is keen about the topic and knows that 67 USD is worth the money, in return for a complete, authoritative guide to  specific instruction that you have been looking for.

The material will remain on the server for you to access any time. You can download the material or come back to the page each time you want to check something. Since you will have unlimited access to the material, you can revisit it any number of times to master the material or reference the material according to your need. I have spent much of my life, time, energy and other resources trying to understand chords and harmony, linking Indian and western music. I will be happy when you find my work useful for you.

Being digital downloads, there is no delivery time delay or charges 🙂 Click below to gain immediate access to downloadable pdfs which you can start using right now.


No questions asked refund. Just let me know any time in 60 days if you want a refund for some reason, and i will be happy to return your money.

When you make the payment with paypal, you will be redirected to the resource page. You can access the study material at your own pace, any time from anywhere as you wish. They are in the form of easily downloadable pdfs.

The prices will go up with time. This kind of chord playing instruction is what many consider unique to me, and what I am asked the most to teach.

Chords for Raga Nattai

Example video of playing chords over Indian Raga Nattai


Another video with Raga Nattai