Learn to Play Music Keyboard Indian / Desi Style - Which finger to use for Sa?

by tapas

Learn to Play Music Keyboard Indian / Desi Style!

I am planning to learn keyboard - self help for time being since I want to avoid commuting time and the Non- availability of a good teacher in my area.

I have read some web pages. But all are very different. I am fully confused. And need help. Please help me.

• Some say start with 1st black key as Sa, and some say (U also) - start with 1st White key as Sa. My question is which is better & easy to start Sa.

• Any standard finger can I use to play S' for the below three conditions

Please see the followings:
Some say to practice the finger arrangements as follows:

a) Bilawal thaat, S R G m P D N S'
1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 Finger No
Here for S' - little finger is used.

b) Kalyan thaat. S R G M P D N S'
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 Finger nos
Here for S' - 4 th finger is used.

c) Again some say to play S' use finger #1 (thumb) while playing song/ multi octave:
There are so many differences?

What to do??....Shall I practice as you have asked for or use any one finger for S' while playing all the above three conditions

Now I am fully confused!!!!.......Please help.

Looking forward for your reply!


So is the Indian style really different from the western style of music?

Well, notation wise they mean the same thing. You basically use different names to refer the keys on the keyboard. So if a pianist who's always learnt using the western notation, will still be able to play a song on the harmonium (though he/she will need to get used to the keys holding the harmonium comfortably).

Usually, most harmonium exercises/Raagas are played on scales starting on one of the black keys (first black key usually - C#).

Then there are other terms used such as saptak (means octave), komal (flat note), tivra (sharp note) and so on, that are used when you're learning to play the harmonium.

As far as the fingers are concerned, if you're playing a scale of one of the black keys, then usually the Sa (first note) is not played with the thumb. You'll most likely use the index finger.

However, if the Sa (first note) is a white key, it usually played with the thumb.

Here are some videos that talks about learning to play keyboards in Indian/Desi/Carnatic/Raga Style.

(Learn to Play Music Keyboard Indian / Desi Style)

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Jan 22, 2011
Learn to Play Music Keyboard Indian / Desi Style
by: Anonymous

Thank you sir for all your advice.

Jan 20, 2011
Learn to Play Music Keyboard Indian / Desi Style - Which finger to use for Sa?
by: Suresh

Hi Tapas,

It is not that one is good and the other is not. They are two different keys.

If you learn Indian style, they will begin teaching you in the C# key signature, which is the first back key.

Western or the standard notation type teaching will begin in the C scale, which is the first white key. Eventually, you will be taught to play in all the keys, including the ones that start with black keys.

If you are going the Indian way, get yourself a teacher. You can ask somebody to visit your home.

For the standard notation type, you have learning guides available on Amazon.

Useful link: Piano Lessons

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