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Learn Carnatic, Play Anything!

What is Carnatic Music?

Carnatic Music is an Indian Classical Music that evolved from ancient Sanatana dharma sciences and traditions, particularly the Samaveda. Ancient treatises also describe the connection of the origin of the swaras, or notes, to the sounds of animals and birds and man’s effort to simulate these sounds through a keen sense of observation and perception. The Sama Veda, which is believed to have laid the foundation for Indian classical music, consists of hymns from the Rigveda, set to musical tunes which would be sung using three to seven musical notes during Vedic yajnas. The Yajur-Veda, which mainly consists of sacrificial formulae, mentions the veena as an accompaniment to vocal recitations. References to Indian classical music are made in many ancient texts, including epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Moreover, unlike any other form of music, Carnatic music is not just a genre of music that uplifts your mood, it is a divine force that can uplift your life energies and can be used as a great tool for spiritual growth.

Why Learn here?

You’ll be learning Carnatic Violin from Sanath Kumar Naibhi who’s been practicing Carnatic Violin for 16 years, performing on concerts for 13 years summing up to over 400 concerts so far, and has been teaching for 3 years now, both offline and online.

“It’s my personal mission to make you a better musician than I am”

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Testimonials


“It is my fortune to have Sanath sir as my violin mentor. I have been learning violin past 2 and a half years and it has been a great experience.

He is very patient and friendly while teaching and he makes sure that I understand things well and keeps motivating me all the time. The process of learning from him is very effective, his teaching techniques are student-friendly, he also explains everything in detail which helps me progress well. He is a wonderful teacher.

It is my greatest pleasure to recommend Sanath sir as a violin teacher.”

– Navya Shree M

“I am very lucky to have Sri Sanath sir as my guru ..who never thought of teaching as a duty but as worship. when we commit mistakes he never loses patience. When we lose confidence in learning he patiently encourages and makes to learn more efficiently.

 Many times I blame myself for starting learning from him so late. 🙏”

 – Shalini S

“I am RV AKSHAY age 16. I have been in the Carnatic music field for the past 12 years. Recently I grew interested in learning the Carnatic violin. I contacted Sanath Kumar anna, and we started the journey. It has been a great journey till now, learning many things, musical discussions, etc. Sanath kumar anna has been very helpful and supportive. He teaches each and every swara of the krithi neatly, he expects perfection in every class when we present the previous class portions. Being with Anna has improved my Carnatic knowledge 

 I expect more and more to learn from him.”

– RV Akshay

“I was a violin student earlier, but could not continue due to many reasons. However I was in touch with violin, and I came to know Master Sanath Kumar, and I am his student for one and a half years now. I have learned a lot and his teachings were very useful, and I liked his style of teaching. I am eager to learn more from him and thank him for his patience and guidance.”

 – P. Laxminarayan Bhat

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FAQs

  1. Can I learn violin even when I’m an adult and old?
  2. Is there any age limit for learning violin?
  3. What is Carnatic violin?
  4. How to learn Carnatic violin?
  5. How effective is learning Carnatic violin over skype?
  6. How do I learn Carnatic violin for free online?
  7. Is it possible to learn Carnatic violin by watching YouTube for a beginner?
  8. How far can one self learn violin in the Carnatic style?
  9. How to play Carnatic violin?
  10. Is it essential to learn Carnatic vocals before learning the violin?
  11. How can I get a learning cd for Carnatic violin?
  12. Which should be preferred while learning a violin, Carnatic or western?
  13. Violin western vs Carnatic?
  14. What is the major difference between the western violin and Carnatic violin?
  15. In what aspects does Carnatic music violin differ from western music?
  16. Which is better for learning violin: western classical or Carnatic?
  17. For a beginner learning violin, can we start with Carnatic, western, or film music?
  18. How do I play film songs in Carnatic violin easily?
  19. Carnatic classical or western music which one to be selected for violin learning beginner?
  20. How long does it take to learn Carnatic violin?
  21. How many years to learn Carnatic violin?
  22. How to tune Carnatic violin?
  23. Who introduced the violin in Carnatic music?
  24. Carnatic violin history
  25. How and when did the violin become an important part of Carnatic music?
  26. How to hold Carnatic violin?
  27. How to practice Carnatic violin?        
  28. Which is the best violin brand for Carnatic music?
  29. Which is the best violin for beginners learning Carnatic music
  30. Can I learn Carnatic music on an electric violin?
  31. What will be the cost of violins used by professional Carnatic and Hindustani violinists be?
  32. Which violin strings should I use?
Can I learn violin even when I’m an adult and old?

Yes, you can learn violin at any age starting from 5-6 years, age does not matter! All you need is intense passion and dedication toward the art.

Is there any age limit for learning violin?

No, age does not matter! You can learn violin at any age starting from 5-6 years, age does not matter! All you need is intense passion and dedication towards the art.

What is Carnatic violin?

“Carnatic” is the most indigenous form of Indian Classical music. It’s considered to be one of the most advanced and the form of music with the highest scope for creativity.

How to learn Carnatic violin?

The best way to learn Carnatic violin is to find and join under a well-versed, qualified, and walk-the-talk kind of teacher.

How effective is learning Carnatic violin over skype?

Even though online learning cannot match the efficiency and effectiveness to that of offline classes, Online classes are not too bad either. There are students who continue to learn over Skype and manage to learn very well even in the advanced classes. Online classes are definitely extra work for both the teacher and the student as the image is in 2D, and the inputs that are given by the teacher take a longer time to process by the students. If you are placed more than a 3-5KM radius from your violin teacher, it’s better to go for online classes, considering the travel time, expenses, moreover, your mental and physical energy depletion.

However, speaking of how effective? It depends on the student. Moreover, learning depends more on the amount and effectiveness of the student’s practice than the way of learning.

How do I learn Carnatic violin for free online?
Is it possible to learn Carnatic violin by watching YouTube for a beginner?
How far can one self learn violin in the Carnatic style?                            
How can I get a learning cd for Carnatic violin?

There are a few free YouTube videos that can teach you the basics. However, free learning/self-learning can be a waste of time if you want to pursue Carnatic violin seriously. Because, the art of Carnatic violin is not that which can be learned by one-sided transmission, instead it requires constant feedback and corrections from the master. If not, the student may learn a lot of mistakes in the beginner stage itself and may find it very hard to correct them in the later stages. So, learning Carnatic violin for free on YouTube/CD or whatever the source is not recommended.

How to play Carnatic violin?

Avoid self-learning. The best way to learn Carnatic violin is to find and join under a well-versed, qualified, and walk-the-talk kind of teacher. Even if you’re a well-versed violinist in other forms of music, the best way is to start learning Carnatic from a well-versed, qualified, and walk-the-talk kind of teacher.

Is it essential to learn Carnatic vocal before learning the violin?

Not necessarily. Although, knowing to sing Carnatic vocal can be highly beneficial and can accelerate the learning process for Carnatic Violin pursuers. And, singing will be part of the process while learning Carnatic Violin, because to play something, you must be able to sing it, and singing ensures the master that you’ve learnt a particular lesson and then can teach the nuances of playing the same on violin.

Which should be preferred while learning a violin, Carnatic or western?
Violin western vs Carnatic?
What is the major difference between the western violin and Carnatic violin?
In what aspects does Carnatic music violin differ from western music?    
Which is better for learning violin: western classical or Carnatic?
For a beginner learning violin, can we start with Carnatic, western, or film music?
Carnatic classical or western music which one to be selected for violin learning beginner?

It totally depends on your preference. However, these points may help you make your choice. Learning the western violin gives you the most flexibility and control over the instrument, as the instrument (violin) itself is from the west. Learning Carnatic violin can be even harder but if you are someone who’d like to stick on to it for the long term, Carnatic music gives more space for your spontaneous creativity. Carnatic music is not only a tool to change your mood, but also a tool that can be used for your spiritual growth. However, once you’re well-versed in any type/form of music, you can switch to any other form, if you wish to, takes a lot of practice, but it’s doable.

How do I play film songs in Carnatic violin easily?

Playing film songs on violin is like a piece of cake to a Carnatic violinist. As, pitch, pattern, and melody recognition is an automatic and instantaneous process that happens in a Carnatic Violinist’s mind whenever he/she listens to any form of music. Of course, this is the case assuming the violinist has put in years of dedication in practicing, accompanying, and performing music.

How long does it take to learn Carnatic violin?
How many years to learn Carnatic violin?

Learning Carnatic music is a never-ending process. However, if you mean to ask how long does it take to play simple songs/krithis, 1-2 years, depending on your speed. 4-5 years for better refinement of songs and introduction to spontaneous creativity, i.e, music. 10+ years for excellent refinement in the rendition of songs and naturally flowing heart-touching music.

How to tune Carnatic violin?

In Carnatic, instruments are tuned to the base Sa ( Aadhara Shadja) on the preferred pitch. And the usually preferred pitch for Carnatic Violins is D#. Accordingly, the violin will be tuned as A#, D#, A#, D# ( 1-4 strings ), as A# is the panchama of D#.                

Who introduced violin in Carnatic music?
Carnatic violin history
How and when did the violin become an important part of Carnatic music?

Around 1790, the violin was introduced in India. It was adapted to Carnatic music by Baluswami Dikshitar, brother of the famous composer Muthuswami Dikshitar. Over the course of time, it became an integral part of the concerts as the violin is best suited to the unfettered gliding and wavering gamakas that characterize the Carnatic ragas. A violinist must also develop acute ‘listening’ skills as often he has to play without a music sheet, by just following the vocalist. 

How to hold Carnatic violin?

The Carnatic violin is played sitting cross-legged, the instrument pointing to the ground with the scroll resting firmly on the ankle of the player’s right foot. This allows the left hand to slide freely up and down the neck. The aim of tone production in violin is to imitate the Carnatic vocal style.

How to practice Carnatic violin?

Finding a well-versed, qualified, and walk-the-talk kind of teacher is a must for learning Carnatic Violin. And assuming you’ve already got a great teacher to teach you, consider these points in addition to your teacher’s instruction. Practicing the basics is a must for beginner, intermediate or advanced students. Practicing the basics help you stay connected to your violin,( i.e, your brain is rewired every time you practice anything and a highway of neural pathways is formed when you repeat the basics, and then the flexibility and control gained from the basics can be used to play music), then practice compositions, and the currently taught lesson and abstract music. Your practice should be a package of all that you can do and that you wish to become. Your practice should be like a balanced diet. Of course, in a particular session, you may focus on one aspect, but overall, you must balance practicing the basics, compositions, mathematics, and abstract music.        

Which is the best violin brand for Carnatic music?
Which is the best violin for beginners learning Carnatic music

There’s no such thing as such. The best violin for you is the one you choose to get in your budget! Yes, it’s that simple! Because violin quality definitely depends on the cost of it. And since the violin is originally a western instrument, its price ranges from $1000 to $5000+. And that’s nowhere near the affordable prices here in India. A beginner can start with a beginner level and decent violin of Rs5-7K. Of course, depending on your budget, you can go for a higher-priced violin too. And comparing violins in the same price range is up to your ears, it’s a subjective preference.

Can I learn Carnatic music on an electric violin?

Sure you can. But for a better understanding of the various dynamics of violin playing, it’s better to start learning with an acoustic violin. And unless you already have an electric violin, buying an acoustic violin is way less expensive considering the fact that you must also buy an amp for your electric violin to play through. And you can play the acoustic violin without power, so you don’t have to wait if there’s a power cut or you’re in an isolated nature spot to practice.

What will be the cost of violins used by professional Carnatic and Hindustani violinists be?

The violins used by professionals in India cost around Rs50K-1L+. And many professionals use even expensive violins which are gifted to them by their admirers. Western violinists use way more expensive violins than what we use. Our professional violins are beginner-level violins according to their charts.

Which violin strings should I use?

Depends on your preference. For a beginner, however, any Low-tension strings are preferred. And it’s ideal to not waste money on trying out various strings for beginners, as the violin strings do not matter more than your level of skill in playing the violin. However, if you’re an intermediate or an advanced player and you want to see if you can increase the tonal quality or loudness of your violin for your concerts, then, it’s best to try out various types of strings. A general tip: Medium and High tension strings can give more loudness, but may reduce flexibility. Medium is preferred by most violinists, as it lies in the sweet spot. However, it is your preference. And, the loudness and tonal quality depend mainly on the violin body, so there’s a limit to how much you can change/upgrade your violin tone and loudness by swapping strings. Hence, try out various types of strings, and gradually, you’ll get an understanding of your violin and your preferred type of strings.

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