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For beginner students, the most important step is to hold the kanjira instrument correctly. Students need to adjust their grip to make sure the instrument is perpendicular to the hand in which they’re holding the instrument. Knowing Carnatic music basics will help a lot in learning kanjira. For most students, having a teacher who takes them step by step has proven to be the best way of learning kanjira. So, when local classes are not available, they turn to online lessons. This ensures that they have a teacher who guides them regularly and can learn kanjira while sitting at home. Youtube or other pre-recorded videos do not offer personalized guidance which is extremely important in setting the right foundation for beginners.
Top kanjira players who perform worldwide usually cannot offer private lessons locally since they’d be travelling. Online private lessons are usually the most convenient for them. At ipassio, students get access to such top talent, right from the comfort of their homes. Students also have the option of taking a minimum number of two classes at a time. Our teachers customize the lessons based on the students’ skills and level of knowledge. This lets beginner and advanced students to perform better. Some of the teachers are trained under the renowned Kanjira artist G. Harishankar.
The courses begin with a brief history of the instrument as well as Carnatic music in general. Then the students will delve into several playing techniques including hand positioning, finger tapping techniques, etc. Basic structure of talas in Carnatic music style is covered, which will educate them of time based rhythmic patterns. Certain fingering exercises will enable students to play kanjira faster and more precisely. Students will also learn about elements/angas that constitute a tala, which are aghu and avartan, anudrutam, drutam. 4 beat phrases, 8 beat phrases and 16 beat phrases will also be learned by the students.
Kanjira is a south Indian percussion instrument of the tambourine family. It is often described as Indian tambourine. Kanjira has also been referred to as ganjira, khanjiri and khanjari. Hand drums had been originated almost 6000 years ago. In India, around 200 and 400 BCE culture of sophisticated drumming began. This was mentioned in sanskrit texts Panchatantra and Natyashastra. The term kanjira is likely to have evolved from Tamil words ‘kanja’ meaning skin and ‘jari’ for small jingling anklet. This term and iconography depicting this instrument were prevalent in the 16th century. This is when the modern kanjira is likely to have been developed.