Benefit from effective Indian style and chord - rhythm Guidance from Shyam

What is Raga Jayanthashri?

Find the scale associated with Raga Jayanthashri. You can find a janya raga list and search there to get the scale notes of the Melakarta raga from which any raga is derived.

We find that Raga Jayanthashri is a janya raga derived from Raga Natabhairavi. Natabhairavi shares the same notes as the natural minor scale.

The natural minor scale is the same as the aeolian mode (the 6th mode) of the major scale.

For example the A minor scale has same notes as the C major scale: C D E F G A B C.

A is the 6th note in the C major scale. Scale starting from the 6th note is the 6th mode of the major scale.

Chords for natural minor or 6th mode of major scale

We can try the same chords of the C major scale to play with songs based on the minor scale.

C major and A minor are called the relative major and minor to each other.

A minor scale will have the same 'safe chords' as the C major scale.

The diatonic chords of the C major scale, which are the 'safe chords' for songs based on the C major scale, are: C Dm Em F G Am Bdim C

Use the same chords for songs based on the A minor scale.

Since Jayanthashri has the same notes as the minor scale, if you decide to sing a Jayanthashri composition from note A as the Sa, use the chords Am Bdim C Dm Em F G

Transposing to other keys

chords for B Jayanthashri (note B as Sa): Bm C#dim D Em F#m G A

chords for D Jayanthashri (note D as Sa): Dm Edim F Gm Am B C

chords for E Jayanthashri (note E as Sa): Em F#dim G Am Bm C# D


Transpose the chords to the key of your choice, in which pitch you want to sing the composition.

Swara for each note of the A minor scale

For easy reference, here is the swara and note position (interval position) associated with each note of the A minor scale.

A: Sa (Root) B: Ri (maj 2nd) C: Ga (minor 3rd)  D: Ma (perfect 4th) E: Pa (5th) F: Dha (minor 6th) G: Ni (minor 7th)

Use this as the model to find swaras and note positions for the minor scale or Jayanthashri starting from other notes as root or Sa.

Marugelara – vocal and chords on the rhythm guitar

Here is an example of chords on Marugelara, a composition in Raga jayanthashri.


Notes and Swaras in each of the safe chord

A minor scale / A Jayanthashri

Chord Am Bdim C Dm Em F G
Notes A C E B D F C E G D F A E G B F A C G B D
Swaras S G P R M D G P N M D S P N R D S G N R M

B minor scale / B Jayanthashri

Chord Bm C#dim D Em F#m G A
Notes B D F# C# E G D F# A E G B F# A C# G B D A C# E
Swaras S G P R M D G P N M D S P N R D S G N R M

Instead of the diminished chord

Chords of A minor

From the table of chords for the A minor scale,

a. notes of B dim chord: B D F

b. notes  of G major chord: G B D

The two chords above share the notes B and D. One of the chords has F note and the other has G note.

Combining all the notes gives us this set of notes: G B D F

GBDF notes forms the G7th (G dominant seventh) chord, the 5th chord of the C scale. The dominant seventh chord in the 5th position is important when playing harmony for the C scale.

G chords come as the 7th chord of A minor scale harmony.

Instead of Bdim, you may play the G7 chord when playing chords for songs in the A minor scale. If you play the C major chord after the G7th, you get a perfect cadence (V to I motion) also.

Chords of B minor When playing chords for songs in the B minor scale, using similar logic as above, instead of C# dim (C# E G) you may play A7 (A C# E G)

Since Jayanthashri chords are based on the minor scale harmony, the seventh chords as discussed above can be used on compositions of Raga Jayanthashri.

Chords for each note position or swara

The table below shows for each note/ swara, all the chord options possible from within the 'safe chords' of the B minor scale.

Swara / Note

Sa / Root

Ri / 2nd note

Ga / 3rd note

Ma / 4th note

Pa / 5th

Dha / 6th

Ni / 7th


Bm,  Em, G C#dim, A7, F#m, A Bm, D, G

C#dim, A7, Em, A

Bm, D, F#m

C#dim, A7 , Em, G

D, F#m, A

(We saw in the previous section, that C#dim can be extended to A7. So where C#dim can be used, i have added A7 also)

Playing chords for a song using the possible options for each swara

From the above table, we can choose chords for each swara that occurs in a phrase. Decide on a chord based on the sound you want.

  1. In any given phrase of a song, we can find the scale positions: Sa, Ri, Ga etc
  2. The choose the swara on which you want to base your chord for that part.
  3. Find the chord options from the table above
  4. Play, listen and decide on one chord

The final chord sequence will depend on the relation between the chords of the progression. Decisions like which chord has to precede a particular chord to give the kind of movement you want or which chord to come after a chord to form a cadence etc….

Example: Marugelara

First phrase or Marugelara ends in a Sa. Out of the possible chords, you could choose Bm, the obvious chord of Sa or try the sound of Em or G. I would use the Bm, the root chord to ascertain the root. Or use the G chord for the kind of effect it creates.

The first Oh 'raghava' ends in Dha. Dha and Sa have two chords in common. You could try using two different chords for Sa and Dha. You could use an Em or G over the dha (oh ragha va).

The second 'Oh raghava' starts on Ni. We could use D, F#m or A. I choose F#m for the 'minor sound'.


With any song you want to play chords for, proceed as above. Try find the notes of the phrase, decide on which note you want base the chord on. Look at the safe chord options for each swaras. Decide based on what you want or like. More about chords? The chord code. More songs? Studiomonastery 🙂

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