Basics/ Introduction

We will be using tux guitar, a free notation and guitar tab software that allows us to show and playback notation, chords, along with the lyrics or swaras. Get Tux guitarSee a few usage instructions. We can see the chord notes as standard notation, in the chords track – useful for any instrument. We can listen to how the chords sound along with the melody, while noting the chord notes used, the melody notes etc in notation and tab format.

Naming conventions – Big small and one more – pdf

Introduction to music theory – Intervals, tone – semitone, major and minor scales

Finding the pitch of a song vs Fixing the pitch of a song

Ragas and scales

Finding the scale of a raga – starting point

Melakarta of carnatic

How to transpose – use the chords for any pitch or root of your choice

Click to Download:Transposing-Chart-and-Excel-Sheet + How to

Click to See Transposing Notes Chart (jpg)

Resources that will help you understand and harmonize ragas will be added to this page constantly, which will remain available to you whenever you wish to access. 

Click to see update May 18

Scales and notes from raga movements

(Right click and save each link) The videos show raga and related scale played on the guitar fretboard illustrate the usage of scale notes to play the raga. 

Ragas based on Raga Shankarabharanam (the major scale)

Raga Shankarabharanam and The major scale (video) See the articles below on using major scale chords, to use chords on Raga Shankarabharanam. (added Apr 29 2013)

Raga Mohanam– major pentatonic 

Raga Suddhasaveri

Raga Hamsadhwani – 5 note scale (Sa Ri Ga Pa Ni Sa)  (added Apr 30 2013)

Raga Bilahari (added Apr 30 2013)

Raga Neelambari

Raga Kalyani (Lydian mode of major scale) (added Apr 30 2013)

Ragas based on the minor scale

Kharaharapriya (Dorian minor scale)

Keeravani (Harmonic minor)

Anandabhairavi (derived from Dorian)

Kanada (Dorian derivative)

Chandrakauns (Harmonic minor derivative)


The chords of major scale and minor scale

Chords for Ragas Shankarabharanam, Kharaharapriya, Hanumatodi, Kalyani, Harikamboji, Natabhairavi (Overview)

Ragas from each mode of the major scale

Chords for ragas using the mode relationship

Comparison of the 6 mode ragas of the major scale + chords for the 6 ragas by comparison with major scale chords 

Chords using exact scale notes

Understanding Mayamalavagowla + chords for MayaMalavaGowla from the scale notes

Janyas of Raga Shankarabharanam

Using chords of the major scale for Janyas of Shankarabharana – Raga Hamsadhwani Part 1 

Chords for Mohanam and Bilahari

Chords for Geetams


Chords for Geetams in Any Pitch

(Click on a link below, use the drop downs in the pages to choose your pitch)

Analekara (Suddha Saveri)

Varaveena (Mohanam)

Padmanabha (Malahari)

Lambodara (Malahari)

Kundagowra (Malahari)

Kerayaneeranu (Malahari)

Minor and major chords for Mayamalavagowla + example using Padumanabha

Padumanabha full chord sheet (pdf)       

Padumanabha – wider format to play without scrolling (jpg)

Sreegananatha (Lambodara) full chord sheet (pdf)      

Kundagoura full chord sheet (pdf)

Kerayaneeranu full chord sheet (pdf)

Geethams based on the major scale

Suddha Saveri – Analekara – full chord sheet (pdf)

Mohanam – Varaveena – full chord sheet (pdf)

Flat nine scales

Chakravakam (Mixolydian flat nine )

Song Sugunamule Raga Chakravakam in Tux guitar format (get Tuxguitar for free to view the notes and to listen to the file. this file lets you see the notes, play them as they move through the notes. Tuxguitar is free and includes guitar tabs if useful.)

Explanation of chords for Chakravakam + chords for Sugunamule (pdf) 

Chords for Raga Nattai

Raga Nattai: S R3 G3 M1 P D3 N3 S   (Root – Min3 – Maj3 – 4th – 5th – Min7 – Maj7 – Octave)

Chords for Raaga Naatai – Introduction (pdf)

Chords for Raaga Naatai – Swara pairs (pdf)

Raga Chalanattai and Nattai Ascend and Descend (tuxguitar file) 

Raga Nattai Phrase 01 – chord pairs with chords (tuxguitar file) (with chord names, melody notation, swaras and a chord track) 

Raga Nattai Phrase 02 – vamadeva with chords (tuxguitar file)

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

the three notes in each chord of the major scale

3 chords for each note of the major scale

finding the note on the phrase

which note to base the chords on

frequency of chords

where to change chords

How find chords for any scale, song or phrase

start with alternate notes

find the note 2,3,4 notes away

add m3 to the front and back of M3 interval

add M3 to front and back of m3 interval

the 4 note gap – add m3 or M3 to the second note

Chords for ragas/scales

How find chords for any scale – more scales

Using exact chords for any song/scale/raga

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

Chords for ragas based on the major scale

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.

The major scale raga – Raga Shankarabharanam and its janyas

Chords for ragas based on the minor scale

Chords for each swara of minor scale / natabhairavi and keeravani

Chords for jayanthashri

Chords for hindolam

Chords for modes of major scale

Chords for Kalyani

Chords for Kharaharapriya

Chords for mayamalavagowla and malahari geetams

Chosen few




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