Shyam is a gifted musician and a teacher who knows precisely how to teach Indian music on guitar in such a way that anyone with interest can start making progress very quickly.

In less than 2 months, I am learning to play film songs, geethams and even a keerthanai. This is more progress than i have ever made in the several years of trying to figure things out myself or trying to learn from other resources.

I am truly delighted to have started this musical journey and becoming a student of Shyam Monk.
Sarvesh, San Jose, California

Any time you have a question about online lessons with me, just mail me at: musicianself at gmail or using the contact form and you will get my reply within a few days. For example you could tell me details about your needs and ask me how I would plan a learner path for you.

One on One skype classes

Reaching your musical goals faster

One on one classes can be used to learn guitar / music.

It can also be used to get your album arranged (individual – not commercial production), help with the recording and release etc too. In this case, whenever arrangement or chords or recording is done for you, price and expenses will be discussed.

I have learned guitar from Shyam for over a year via online classes and also from his videos online.

Simply put, Shyam is the best guitar teacher you can find on the internet if you want to learn to play indian film music on acoustic or electric guitar.

He customizes his teaching based on your interests and is patient with answering any questions you have during the class.

Within the spin of year i was able to learn roughly a dozen indian songs starting from ground zero and learnt techniques to play any scale anywhere on the fret board.” – Hari Krishnan, California, USA

You could be a beginner Guitarist who wants to play Raga or Film Songs on the Guitar, chords and rhythm, sing while playing the guitar…

  • You want to make sure that you are on the right track,
  • that you learn the best practices and a syllabus specifically made to train you towards Raga and Film song playing, instead of a generic western approach.
  • Maybe you also want to learn chords the right way.

OR You could be someone who has been playing Guitar for sometime and

  • want to get better with playing Indian Raga or film songs – better fluency and efficiency resulting in a playing that sounds as if the song is being SUNG.
  • Maybe you are also interested in getting better with chords, finding chords,
  • being able to sing and play chords at the same time or…
  • the ultimate: playing chords and melody at the same time, using fingerpicking and arranging methods.

With me, you will be connecting your skills from where you are now, to your exact goals, while practicing music that matters to you.

Meaning, if your aim is playing Indian Raga or Film Songs on the guitar, then from day one, we will look into which songs interest you, understanding the needed theory while doing it, practising the needed guitar technique while moving towards playing what makes you feel accomplished.

Or if chords are of interest to you, it’s possible to arrange the practice so that you improve your skill from where you are, and connect as soon as possible to playing chords and rhythm so that you are able to attempt your favorite goals as soon as possible.

I will help you make learner paths specifically for you. Not only does that keep your motivation alive, but also saves you time and money in the long run, preventing frustration and chances of giving up. You start seeing the context, the why of what you are practising and how it moves you fast and safe to what you want to play, while building technique and theory that will bring you lifelong musical independence.


90USD per session.

A One on One Skype class session is 45 – 50 minutes long.

2 or 4 classes a month is the usual frequency most students choose. Single sessions are useful too: to clarify your goals, the sub skills you need to focus on, the path you can take based on your skill and interest. If you don’t know if you are going where you want to be finally, progress is an illusion – we will solve that!

An example response after one class with me:

“…whatever you taught me on the first class has changed the course of my guitar learning’s all starting to make sense now 🙂

I was so confused about my guitar abilities and the way i understand guitar patterns…i was even worried and thinking if i had to unlearn whatever i learned so far and start from the scratch to understand the entire concept with better clarity!

Simple concepts like transposing…creating chord progression for any song from the notes…learning notes for every fret! I just realized i’m not lost and on the right track!

I just realized i’m not lost and on the right track! I truly value your lessons and love the way you make me find patterns.”

Video based courses + custom guidance

Here are some video content based options other than one on one Skype classes:
the Raga Leads Video course for Carnatic Guitar.

Ragacourses for video based courses covering the different aspects of guitar playing.

About me

Many of you know me (Shyam Monk/ Musicianself) from the youtube videos and tutorials. I started playing guitar and music when I was 11 years old. I did my Btech from IIT Madras (AIR 716 – 1998 entry). Been continuing music and related fields and been into Internet based systems since.

If you think classes with me will benefit your playing and help you be a better musician, write to me using the form below and I will be in touch. You can ask your doubts, ask for possible learner paths for you etc. Each of us is unique and so are our needs and music paths… Have you found my playing interesting? Found my tutorials useful? Write to me. I want to hear from you

Skype class – Is it effective?
Jayashankar C, Houston says:

I think our classes are going great. It is opening up an endless array of possibilities.

Now i guess, i can gather the courage to look up at the chords of a song rather than looking up instructional lessons on how to play a song.I think i am growing now.

Most guitar classes are suited based on the instructors judgement rather than the student but i think our class is open to choices. It’s like we have an improvised class with a set of goals at the end of each lesson.

Moreover you get the students attention at every moment of the class. It’s that feeling that you have something to look forward to every weekend.

Before even though i used to play, i hit the brick wall very often. But now it is a sort of new experiment all the time. The joy of finding those melody lines is a very good reason not to hit the brick walls again.

I think you are a very good teacher who has that innate patience to share the knowledge and above all always encouraging.

Thanks for all the lessons and motivation.

Sundar Krishnamurthy says:

When I decided to learn to play the guitar, I didn’t even consider Skype-based teaching.

I was looking for someone who can teach Karnatic music on guitar but couldn’t find anyone in the US. Searching online, I stumbled upon Shyam’s website and decided to reach out.

Turned out to be a great move on my part!

Shyam was willing to teach Karnatic music, especially on a guitar. He was willing to work with my schedule and the 12+ hr time difference without any problem.

I wasn’t sure if Skype will help communicate the instructions, especially the frets to play, the techniques to use such as hits, pull-offs and slides, etc. With the right camera and Internet connection**, it became quite easy to do.

Shyam is persistent, detail oriented and above all patient and that makes learning that much more easier, and fun!
* Sundar uses swaras to play Indian songs, mainly classical based, using slides, hammer ons and pull-offs, giving him something satisfying to work with, trying to emulate the vocal movements on the guitar. **Tablet camera and wifi connections have worked fine, by positioning the camera appropriately when needed.

Nancee M -Atlanta, GA USA (Musician/Singer/Songwriter/Recording Artist) says:

I needed to learn basic music production and came upon Shyam’s website, and I emailed him with questions.

He responded quickly and cordially,- with a sense of humor!-and we met on Skype very soon after the first email. He helped me tremendously during that first session!

He is very smart and intuitive and helped me get to where I needed to be with easy to understand and creative explanations, AND he emailed me more information relative to what we were working on, a nice bonus!

I would highly recommend him to anyone needing a great teacher for the services he is offering.

*I am no more teaching recording or sound engineering as the sole topic, although students who are into recording, making videos etc take help from my experience