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I learnt Veena by watching Veena Srivani


Radhika Basantrao

I have learnt to play Veena, all by myself. And, I’m so proud of it that I could do it at the age of 38. True, age has nothing to do with learning music, or anything for that matter.

My grandpa-in-law used to play Veena. My husband was around 7-8 years when he passed away. Since then his Veena was gathering dust in our house. About a year ago I watched this girl named Veena Srivani on YouTube. She is so good at playing Veena. I immediately got motivated by her melodious song playing on Veena. I’m sure most of you have watched her extraordinary Veena play. If you have not, you must now.

But, the problem was who would teach me Veena? I live in Matunga and there are hardly any teacher who could teach me this instrument. I asked my father-in-law, who is in his 70’s now, if he knows anything about this instrument. He told me that he only knows how to play Sa Re Ga Ma on it and also that it was years ago when he touched this instrument. I insisted him if he could teach me that much. He taught me, how to hold Veena, how to sit, and how to play Sargam on it.

I picked up playing Sargam soon. And, then after watching may be over 500 videos on YouTube of Veena Srivani and many other players, I gradually picked up playing some tunes and songs on it.

Although time is a constraint for me as a housewife, but still I manage to take out 30-40 minutes daily to play Veena. My father-in-law is particularly very happy that his father’s possession is now being used finally.

I hope one day I will also be able to upload my videos on YouTube like Veena Srivani.

And yes, I learnt many songs through this webiste as well. Thank you notes and sargam.

[image only for representation]

One Response

  1. That is an excellent story. There is a new Veena teacher (Durga Maithreyi) on youtube that seems very dedicated to music – you can find her videos on this channel:
    I view her videos and try to reproduce on the guitar!
    I did not know about Prashant’s website. Today I heard Satyam Shivam Sundaram and wanted to see if anyone posted notes for it. That is how I came to site.

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Useful Resources
How to read SARGAM notations

  • CAPITAL LETTERS = Shuddh Swars (Flat Notes)
  • small letters = Komal Swars (Low Notes)
  • A Note with # [hash] = Tivra Swar (High Note)
  • Letter/Alphabet ONLY = Medium Pitch/Normal blow on flute
  • Letter/Alphabet PRECEDED BY a ” . ” [full stop] or  a ” , ” [comma] = Low Pitch/Softer blow on flute
  • Letter/Alphabet FOLLOWED BY a ‘ [single quote] = High Pitch/harder blow on flute
  • Notes in { } = “murki” have to be played very fast without any pause
  • A Note in ( ) = “kaan swar” has to be just touched before moving on to the next note
  • A “~” between two Notes = “meend”. That is, you have to glide from one note to another slowly to produce that wavy effect.