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Kanjeera Lessons: Manual


By ksp9. Filed in Kanjeera Lessons | Tags: Kanjeera Lessons

Introduction One of the classical instruments. Used primarily at bhajans by Sai Devotees

Sairam All, I am not a professional teacher but this training is being shared as a offering to Swami. All of the lessons prepared are my own imagination. As there is no reference for any of the information on this website anywhere else I would kindly request everyone to forgive me for any non-clarifications. I will clarify as much as possible with Swamis Grace! Right Click and save Kanjeera Training Manual here

Typical Kanjira.

Typical Tambourine (Kanjeera)

Primary Sounds Kanjira a. b. Tha or ka What fingers produce the two sounds? produces two main sounds. Ghum

Primary Fingers Position

Kanjira Holding Positions Let us see how one should Hand hold a kanjira. We have two situations and

a. Those who play kanjira with their right hand and hold the kanjira with their left hand (Right (Left Hand Players)
a. Right Hand Players: Please look at the figure to check the position of Kanjira and finger positions

Players)

b. Those who play kanjira with their left hand and hold the kanjira with their right hand

Right Handers Kanjeera Playing Position b. Left Hand Players: Please look at the figure to check the position of Kanjira and finger positions

Left Handed Kanjeera Playing Position

Fundamentals The fundamentals for any kanjira player will be to produce the sounds both Ghum using the thumb and tha using the rest of fingers. Therefore first thing would be to feel the sounds and also the moments of the fingers (in general your hand). You will have to practice them forever to keep your fingers flexible enough to play kanjira even after you become a good player Fundamentals 1:

Using (Index / Middle / Ring and Little Finger) all together hitting in the assigned area to produce the sound THA. Therefore play 8 times to produce tha i.e. hit with all fingers except thumb in the middle of the Kanjira for 8 times produc ing tha sound. Maintain the speed with which you hit. Practice non-stop at least for 5 minutes.
tha tha tha tha tha tha tha tha

12345678

Fundamental 1

Fundamentals

2:

Using Thumb hitting in the assigned area to produce the sound Ghum. Therefore play 8 times to produce Ghum i.e. hit with thumb only in the assigned area towards your body side of the Kanjira for 8 times producing Ghum sound. Maintain the speed and practice for 5 minutes non stop.
Ghum"Ghum"Ghum"Ghum"Ghum"Ghum"Ghum"Ghum 12345678

Fundamentals

3:

Play 4 times to produce Ghum i.e. hit with thumb only in the assigned area towards your body side of the Kanjira 4 times producing Ghum sound. Maintain the speed with which you hit and immediately with your rest of the fingers hit 4 times to produce tha sound. Continue this for 5 minutes non stop
Ghum"Ghum"Ghum"Ghum"tha"tha"tha"tha 12345678

Fundamental 3

Fundamentals

4:

Varying your force exerted sometimes by hitting very hard and some times softer (Lighter). Varying the first couple of fundamentals interms of force would add little melody to the sound. Please see the figure for your understanding how to produce sound varying force

Hard Light Concept Ghum"Ghum"Ghum"Ghum"Ghum"Ghum"Ghum 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Hard Light Light Hard Light Hard Light tha"tha"tha"tha"tha"tha"tha 1 Hard 2 Light 3 Light 4 Hard 5 Light 6 Hard 7 Light

Now to understand how the flow of the beat will be? Please look at this figureto get an idea

Fundamental 4

Fundamentals 5:
Now based on the Fundamental 4 beat we will vary some force of hitting bringing in some rhythm as shown below. Now we will use a combination of the Ghum and tha together to get some meaningful sound Ghum"tha"tha"Ghum"tha"Ghum"tha 1 Hard 2 Light 3 Light 4 Hard 5 Light 6 Hard 7 Light

Check this figure for your understanding of Fundamental 5:

Fundamental 6

The Most Common Bhajan Beats


90% of the bhajans are covered using the following beats. We are going to learn from the basics of this beat to the refined full fledged beat that will bring in the melody to the please kindly practice these beats for these bhajans
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Arti Sai Jaya Devi Jaya Ram Gopala Baba Anjaneya Tera Ganesha Guru Omkara Bhavani Jagadeesha Ram Radha Naam Lola Sathya Veera Subramanyam Maa Harey Bhajomana Murali Sai Baba Sharanam Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Sharanam Sadguru Sai Harey Lola Tera Naam Omkara Bhavani Govinda Ganesha Om Maa Harey Harey Nandalala Sura Subramanyam

bhajan.

The following are some of the bhajans that can be played using these beats..Therefore

Hanumantha

Please note that these are not the only beats that we play for these bhajans. As said we have to refine to bring in melody to the beats and those refinements will be discussed in later lessons. Therefore, these beats are used most often. All the bhajans that fall in the above categories can be played using these beats. Please feel free to play for any bhajans. Based on my personal experience I used to just play for a Sundaram Bhajans on the Tape or CDs or Center bhajans but very low and slow until you get hold of the beats and can control the sound with your variations of hitting the kanjira. Well, enough said lets begin to start with our first basic lesson 1 and so on

Lesson 1
Based on your understanding of the two primary sounds. Now we will start using different combinations of the two sounds to create a beat Ghum Ghum (dragging of ghum) tha

The First Ghum will be lighter one and followed immediately by a harder Ghum creating the feel of a drag (to make a gap) before hitting finally tha (harder).

Lesson 1

Lesson 2
Based on your understanding of the two primary sounds. Now we will start using different combinations of the two sounds to create a beat Ghum tha Ghum (dragging) tha

Note that the first Ghum will be regularly hit by thumb followed by tha (lighter) and then by harder Ghum and dragging more and concluding the beat with tha. The gap between the dragging Ghum and ending tha (harder) remains the same as of Lesson 1.

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Based on your understanding of the two primary sounds. Now we will start using different combinations of the two sounds to create a beat Ghum Ghum (dragging) tha tha

If we add tha at the end to Lesson 1 becomes Lesson 3. Here the first Ghum will be regular Ghum but Second will be dragging ghum and the last two tha will be hit immediately with out any gap between them.

Lesson 3

Lesson 4
Based on your understanding of the two primary sounds. Now we will start using different combinations of the two sounds to create a beat Ghum tha Ghum (dragging) tha tha

If an additional tha is added at the end of Lesson 2 becomes Lesson 4. The only

difference will be that the last two tha will be hit immediately without any gap between them.

Lesson 4

Using your fingers:


By now you should be feeling comfortable working with the sounds and feel little flexible with your hands. Therefore lets start using your fingers mainly INDEX and MIDDLE FINGER. Fundamentals 6:
Now based on the Fundamental 1 beat we will vary some force of hitting bringing in some rhythm as shown below. We will replace Tha with two fingers INDEX and MIDDLE FINGERS instead of whole hand. How?????? Tha"tha"tha"tha"tha"tha"tha"tha Index Middle Index Middle Index Middle Index Middle

Check this figure for your understanding of Fundamental 6:

Using your fingers

Fundamentals 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10:
Based on the Fundamental 6 we will now only replace the thas with MIDDLE and INDEX fingers. Please follow the rules as stated when you replace thas with your fingers(it is applicable to both right and left hand players)

1.

GHUM

remains

the

same

(USE

your

thumb

always

2. Order of thas to be replaced in any fundamentals 1 through 5 will be..


a. First tha will be played by MIDDLE FINGER ONLY b. Second tha in the fundamental will be by INDEX FINGER c. Third , Fifth and Seventh thas will be played by MIDDLE FINGER in the designated area only d. Fourth , Sixth and Eight thas will be played by INDEX FINGER in the designated area only

Therefore lets see how this applies to our fundamentals 1 through 5 respectively
FUNDAMENTAL 6:

tha - tha-

tha-

tha-

tha-

tha-

tha-

tha

Middle-Index-Middle-Index-Middle-Index-Middle-Index FUNDAMENTAL 7: This remains the same and no change with respect to Fundamental 2 FUNDAMENTAL 8: Ghum- Ghum- Ghum- Ghumthathathatha

Thumb-Thumb-Thumb-Thumb-Middle-Index-Middle-Index FUNDAMENTAL 9: Note: In this there are only 7 beats involved. But you will follow t he concept Hard Light Light Hard Light Hard Light thathathathathathatha

Middle(harder)-Index(light)-Middle(light)-Index(Hard)-Middle(light)-Index(hard)-Middle(light)) FUNDAMENTAL 10: GhuthathaGhumthaGhumtha

Thumb-Middle-Index-Thumb-Middle-Thumb-Middle

Main Lesson Beat 1


This is main lesson beat that covers almost 90% of sai bhajans. If you can master this then you will have no problem in leading the bhajans at sai centers. What is the beat? Ghum ku tha ka Ghum Ghum tha

(thumb)(Middle)(Index)(Mid/Ring/Little)(thumb)(thumb)(All fingers) Note: There should be no gaps betn all of the sounds. It should be read (sound produced) shall be something in rhythm ghum(ku)tha(ka)(here a small gap)ghumghum(tha) Please check the following visual description of the same.

Main Lesson 1 What are the bhajans you can play with this beat?????? Please understand that speed varies for first and second time. Few of the said bhajans can have different beats in the first speed and second speed can have some little variation of the above beat. But this beat is the primary beat for all of these bhajans. It is more important for someone to play the same beat as slow as possible and still maintain the rhythm and also you can just continue to increase the pace of the beat as the song goes from 1st to second speed and increase as the singer varies his speed. In other words, it is YOU who is following the singer and not vice-versa.

Therefore, please try to play all the lessons you have learns from 1 5 and main lesson and all of the above lessons will fit into these bhajans.. As you have noticed that how small combinations is bringing the melody to the sound in terms from lesson 1 5 and then main lesson beat. Therefore it is more important to have a control of the sound / speed / variations of your playing hand. So much said and lets see what bhajans you can practice Follow these rules to practice.
* Always follow the singer

* You will be only playing a supportive role * Listen these songs from Sundaram Bhajans / Student bhajans / Live bhajans at center / any other resources. and start playing your beat and check how it is fitting with the song. * Do not expect that you will sound great overnight. Its not the case, the more you sound boring indicates that you are falling into right path. * Once you start realizing that the sound that is produced brings in your satisfaction then only it means you are progressing. It takes time. REMEMBER. * This is not the end. understand its only the beginning * There are plenty that you can bring into melody..which we will eventually learn.. * Do not forget to love yourself and appreciate yourself how much you have accomplished. Just imagine that couple of months before you could not even hold Kanjira and today you have started playing for Baba. Motivate yourself. It helps you and everyone around us. * Finally I would sincerely request that do not learn / play because you have to but instead play / learn this as a sadhana or spiritual growth. Hence, Please pray to Swami / Baba that it is him playing through your hands / mind.

Ganesh: 1. Ganesha Sharanam Sharanam Ganesha 2. Sundara Sundara Vinayaka Shuba Mangala dayaka vinayaka 3. Hey gananatha gajanana hey rambha gajanana 4. Many many others in similar category of the above bhajans.. Guru: 1. Manasa Bhajorey Guru Charanam 2. Jaya Guru jaya Guru Sai Ram..Jagath Guru Sathya Sai Ram 3. Sakshat Para Brahma Sai 4. Guru Deva Priya Deva Sai Deva Daya Maya 5. Guru Nanak Ji Ki Jai Jai Kar 6. Bhajorey Manuva Sadguru deva..parama dayalo sai maha deva 7. Many many others in similar category of the above bajans.. Devi: 1. Devi Bhavani Maa..

2. Tripura Sundari Maa 3. Durge Durge Durge Jai Jai Maa 4. Many many others in similar category. Shiva: 1. Shiva Shambho Shambho Shiva Shambho Maha deva 2. Shankara Shankara..Sai Shankara , Nadasharira Vedo Dhara. 3. Shambho Shankara Deva.. Bhole Baba Maha Deva 4. Kala Theetaya Siddhi Roopaya Yogeeswaraya Namah Om 5. Mrityamjayaya Namah Om. 6. Many many others.. Rama: 1. Sri rama charanam sri rama charanam 2. Rama Ram bajamana harey harey 3. Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram 4. Rama Rama sai rama parthi pureesha sai rama 5. Many many others.. Krishna: 1. Sundara vadana sarasija nayana 2. Sai Sathya palana baba sathya palana 3. Giridhara gopala sai giridhara gopala 4. Gopala Radha lola 5. Chita chora yeshoda key bal 6. Many many others. Govinda: 1. Govinda Gopala Prabhu Giridhari 2. Krishna Rama Govinda Gokula Nandana Gopala 3. Srinivasa venkatesha sritajana paripala govinda 4. Govinda Govinda Bhajamana Radhey govinda 5. Many many others. Sai: 1. Jaya jagadeesha harey jaya gopala harey 2. others in similar category

Sarva Dharma: 1. Sai hamara hum saiye kay 2. Sai baba tera naam sathya sai baba tera naam 3. Guru nanak ji ki jai jai kar 4. Rama Harey Sai krishna harey sarva dharma sai 5. Allah ho akbar allah ho akbar 6. Many many others in same category.. Anjaneya: 1. Anjaneya veera hanumantha sura 2. Ram lakshmana janaki jai bolo hanuman ki Subramanyam: 1. Subramanyam Subramanyam. Arti: 1. Om jai jagadesha harey

Main Lesson Beat 2


This is main lesson beat 2 that covers almost 90% of sai bhajans only mainly for first speed. If you can master this then you will have no problem in leading the bhajans at sai centers. What is the beat? ["Ghum" "ku" "ku" "tha" "ka" ]["tha" "Ka" "Ghum" "tha"]

Set1 -Set2 (thumb)(Middle)(Index)(Mid/Ring/Little)(Index)(Mid/Ring/Lit)(All) (thumb)(All fingers) Note: There should be no gaps betn all of the sounds. It should be read (sound produced) shall be something in rhythm ghum(ku)(ku)tha(ka)(here a small gap)(tha)(ka)ghum(tha) Please check the following visual description of the same.

Main Lesson 2 This will be used only for FIRST SPEED but for few selected bhajans that might start very slowly. Most of the above bhajans stated can be started using this beat. Again it depends on the singer and how he starts. We will continue with the rest of the lessons as we progress. If you have any questions please feel free to email me p_saikishore@yahoo.com and until then JAI SAI RAM