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Beginners' Lessons

The beginning lessons in Carnatic music were created about 500 years ago by the great composer Purandara Daasa and are still in use today. Whether you are a beginner or an expert in Carnatic music, whether you sing or play an instrument, these exercises will improve your technique. In singing, they strengthen your voice and they will help anyone hit the swarasthanas correctly. These lessons are meant for beginners but all students of music would be wise to practice them regularly.

The Lessons are listed below, along with a brief description. Be sure to read "Before you begin" before starting.

NEW! Now you can also download the PDF versions of these lessons (for personal use only). Click here to download. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader. In addition, you can get a zipped version of all of the audio files (personal use only!) by following the instructions here.

Before you begin

Lesson 1: sarali varisai
Fundamental sequences - Listen and learn!

Lesson 2: janTai varisai
Duplicate notes - Listen and learn!

Lesson 3: taaTu varisai
Zigzag sequences - Listen and learn!

Lesson 4: mElstaayi varisai
Higher octave sequences - Listen and learn!

Lesson 5: mandrastaayi varisai
Lower octave sequences - Listen and learn!

Lesson 6: alankaaram
Multiple taaLams - Listen and learn!

Simplest songs

More complex simple songs

Simple, light songs

Sophisticated songs for raaga and swara practice

How to practice singing

How to TEACH singing

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updated on 03/20/2009