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 day or two.

For example you could tell me details about your needs and ask me how I would plan a learner path for you.

Optimized Video + Interaction

I have been teaching online since around 2011. Over the years I have compiled core material used like text book to make sure of your competencies. PLUS corrections and interactions to take care of your individual needs.

See Ragacourses for the available options.

All enrollment is online. Details are given on those pages.

Classes are hybrid of video and interaction through video corrections or call.
All the core material is already in videos. that will be used like a text book – we won’t be spending time and money on what is already available that the student can go through at their pace.
But, individual needs are corrected based on videos you send me or what you play in a call. the interaction is so that you know exactly what to correct and practice – error oriented.

Who am I?

The only reason someone decides to learn with me is that they have watched my youtube videos or heard my music somehow and have seen my teaching videos. I don’t try to convince anyone to become my students. They are already convinced from my chord work or raga style playing.

I am not transactional – I care for the people I work with or teach beyond the per hour rate. I discourage merely transactional student and other relationships.

I have a background and history of being exceptionally good with learning and teaching. A traditional academic example is: IIT Madras Btech 1998- AIR 716  from a small town in Kerala, preparing using past question papers. Well, let’s say… I know how to practice and perform :).

I started playing music at the age of 11. Luckily since the age of 12 I have known world class musicians (who now play with the best of famous Indian musicians) giving me all the chance to imitate and model them.

They were mainly great performers from whom one could teach oneself. The way you see me play and interpret music was mostly self taught through patient trial and error. Now you can use my experience too, saving yourself the trouble.

At times the discussion does move to other topics, based on student request, because of my experience with business and related (+ I read around a 100 books a year on business, pyschology, life etc, assimilate and help solve others problems). 

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.

You think you will benefit by learning with me?

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


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

    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.”

    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.

    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. But it turned out alright.

    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. 

    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


    Not sure?

    Write to me. I can assure you that the way I will help you is not something you will see often in music teachers. Customized syllabus, growth oriented coaching, how vs just what etc are accessible only through long years of dedicated and aware practice and experience.