South Indian Vina Music

Arranged for Scalloped Fretboard or Electric Guitar with Light Gauge Strings

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Ragam: Valaji (1,3,5,6,b7)
Talam: Adi (8 beats)
Arranged by Matthew Montfort

Notation of South Indian Vina Music

Those who wish to study South Indian gamaka (note-bending techniques) on guitar need not have a scalloped fretboard guitar in order to play this arrangement: an electric guitar with light gauge strings or an acoustic guitar tuned very low will work fine.

This example is in a simple pentatonic raga (a melodic recipe for a mood involving ascending and descending scale patterns), which uses the root, major third, perfect fifth, major sixth, and minor seventh. The tala (rhythmic cycle) is a common 8 beat cycle known as adi tal.

MIDI Files

GM Standard MIDI files of this South Indian gamaka exercise are presented here, arranged for General MIDI guitar and conga and bongo:

Further Resources

Indian Tala

To learn more about the rhythmic side of Indian music, check out these online exercises in Indian tala.