How to play guitar with singers trained in Indian classical?

Song Lyrics

Hey Awesome musicians , hope your practice and performance going well. Yes many of you perform on stage solo or with your friends. Playing with friends is fun.
What if you find situation where you have to play guitar for a singer trained in Indian classical? And added he or she is really good singer. So you want to collaborate with he or she. But there is a problem in conversation about scale and then you find difficult to accompany him or her.

So questions arise in your mind at that time may be one of these :

  • HOW to accompany singers trained in Indian classical on guitar?
  • What is Kali 1 and Safed 2 and all that stuff?
  • He is singing in major or minor key? 
  • How to convert scales like Safed 1 or Kali 3 into western chords? 
So if you have one if these questions then your are on right place. Your doubts will be solved here. 

Before going further have look at the Keyboard

So as you can see here Iin the keyboard , C is considered as first note in any octave. Same is for Harmonium also , obviously.  So there are 7 white keys and 5 black keys in one octave. According to this calculating you can easily find in which key the song is based on.
For those who don’t know : Safed = White      and     Kali = Black
I think you’re pretty much clear now. So quickly take examples to understand completely. 
Whenever a singer say that give me Safed 1 , then imagine keyboard in your mind. It’s simple 1st white key is C. So give him or her C chord. Ha…but Major or Minor? 
Let’s take another example if she is asking scale Kali 3 then which chord?  Imagine the keyboard in ur mind… Ya its F#… Hmm smart Ha! 
One more? Ok let’s take he is saying white 3 then ? Yes you’re right yhat will be E. 
Now another thing came here , which chord to play? MAJOR OR MINORR? 
For that see, Each chord is made of three notes. 
For major : 1 3 5 and for Minor : 1 3b 5. See the ddifference is only for the 3rd note.
now in Indian classical sargam ,  Sa re ga ma pa dha ni Sa….so as 3rd note is GA then ask that singer that in your song is there GA komal or Ga Shiddha is used? 
Now you will ask what is Komal and Suddha? So it’s nothing but Komal = Flatted Ga means flatted third and Suddha Ga = Pure Third. So he will say Komal or Suddha Ga.
If she is saying that it’s Suddha Ga then it’s a Major Chord and if it’s Komal Ga theb its major chord. Simple! You  got it.
But what if singer don’t know about GA KOMAL OR suddha then? Then just listen thr song if it’s popular song you might know it’s in major or minor so just transpose that chords according fo her scale. or by playing some initial notes of songs you can find is it based on Major scale or minor scale. You can do that no?
So basically when They say Kali 1 pr Safed 3 that specific note represent the SA of their songs. Got it? 
that’s a simple trick to make conversion faster. Other wise all thr half hour you ill try to match each and every chord and sound will come khar khar khar. Zo this will give bad impression over Singer. So take care and Rock the stage. Your audience is waiting for you 😉 Good Luck

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