Here’s a little tribute to my favorite recordings of the magnificent, incomparable, Ragi Samund Singh Ji.

My little recording is a mish-mash of Raag Bin Shadja with obvious hints of Rag Hameer (but avoiding MA tivar). Some subtle hints of Raga Bilawal also showed up.

Aside from in old school Kirtan, Taal Firodust – 14 beats – is not commonly heard in Indian Classical music anymore. It was challenging to get the hang of, but was very rewarding once I was able to.

Make sure you’ve got good headphones on.

Rohanpreet Singh’s Kirtan Program

Rohanpreet Singh was on holiday in Bangkok last week.
I got to accompany him on Esraj for his Kirtan program.

[download id=”58″]
[download id=”59″]
[download id=”60″]

You don’t really get an idea of how good his voice is because of the distorted sound in the recordings. The speakers in the Darbar Hall were too loud, and my recorder is too sensitive.
I’ve uploaded one file from the practice session as well so you get a clearer idea of how well he sings. Please note that it’s a very informal session that just happened to be recorded. Bhulla Chuka and Interruptions Di Maaf Karna
[download id=”61″]

Right click the links and choose “SAVE AS” to download to your computer.

I wish God blesses him with fantastic success in his music career, and I hope he continues to happily do Kirtan Seva like he does now.


I like this tune – It’s GREAT practice for learning how to use different instances of a Sur in the same composition.
It’s TOUGH ( for me anyway ) – forces me to try and stay sharp … which . as you can see I’m not quite there yet.

I also tried converting it from it’s original fast 4 beat/8 beat rhythm into a relaxed 14 beat cycle .

All in good fun.

Raag Bilawal

This particular composition is the tune for the Shabad “Tere Gun Gavan Deh Bujhayee” .
I accompanied Beant Singh, Birmingham Wale on Tabla as he sang this in a casual, private ( 3 persons ) , Kirtan session at the GNNSJ Gurudwara on SOHO Road in Birmingham.

It’s been stuck in my head ever since (in a good way).

Beant Singh said it’s a modified version of a composition he heard from recordings of Ragi Samund Singh Ji.

It’s Quite upbeat , and yet touching If you read the meanings – I love it . Anyway , here’s whatever I remember from what Beant Singh sang + a few improvisations + a few mistakes. Link to the Shabad & It’s interpretation in English:

Kesariya Balam Aao Ni Padharo Mare Des

I first heard this Rajasthani Folk tune sung on SaReGaMaPa 2007 by Raja Hassan. Fantastic Tune, and Fantastic singing.
Here’s what I could manage to play after re-listening to it just twice. I added my own random alaaps and mistakes 🙂

Personally I’m happier with the Audio recording in the previous post, but this still feels quite OK, so I’ve put it up.

I read in the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, that true mastery of a skill is only achieved after about 10,000 hours of practice. Makes great sense.
After some rough calculations, I’m guessing that I have only about 800 hours worth of practice, including all my lessons.. hahah. ( But in all fairness, I spend quite a lot of time listening to Indian Classical Music. Ustad-ji says listening and trying to pick up nuances from other great musicians is very, very important. )

I’ve come up with 2 conclusions.
1) I can really appreciate the effort and dedication that professional musicians must to put into their practice.
2) As an enthusiast, I’m very grateful for whatever I can do now.

RiyazStudio is definitely worth it.

I bought a RiyazStudio license over the weekend.

I think it’s definitely worth it. The best thing is that it feels alive compared to the physical Tanpura and Tabla boxes. The Tanpura sounds very realistic. The Shruti-box type drone helps add to the atmosphere. Tabla accompaniment works great as expected.

It’s a great tool for practice.
Thanks Jackson for pointing it out to me, and Thanks to Jonathan for a very useful product.

I made a couple of recordings:

The warm up – hadn’t practiced this for a while, and just felt like playing it today. The mistakes you hear are due to indecision on my part.
Jamming – Composition for the Shabad, Mouli Dharti Moulia Akaash in Raag Shudh Basant , DeepChandi taal.

Second Tune:
Jamming – Tune for the Rajasthani folk song Kesariya Baalam

How I recorded these

I couldn’t record myself on a new track over the digital tabla recording because I don’t have a microphone attached to my computer.
RiyazStudio was playing on my speakers, and I positioned my portable recorder close to my Esraj – you’ll have to turn the volume up quite a bit in order to hear what the software Tabla and Tanpura sound like.

Raag Sarang and Raag Tilang

I’ve been working on different bowing exercises for a few weeks now.
Recorded myself playing Raag Sarang recently. This composition is the one I was taught (By Ustadji Maiya Singh) about 4 years ago for the Shabad Aisi Hoi Paree

I think it’s a bit too rushed.

Tried again with Raag Tilang after a couple of days. This is what I remember from Bhai Avtar Singh Ji’s CD Set: 31 Ragas .. Shabad: Halle Yaara Halle Yaara Khushkhabri. May not be entirely accurate as I didn’t look it up before recording, but I’m quite happy with it.

As far as I know, the version of Raag Sarang in the first video is called Brindabani Sarang. ( which means other variants of Sarang also exist ).

Raag Tilang in the second video, I think, is not entirely correct either – so let’s just say it’s semi-classical eh? 🙂 Dha Shudh and Re shudh were used for embellishments – I’ve been told that they should be avoided if you’re playing the proper, classical Raag Tilang.

Anyway, the point I want to make is: did you notice that Raag Sarang and Raag Tilang are similar?
By my estimates, the rules and structure for both Raags are 95% identical ; the key difference being ONE note.

Used the Iphone to record these two videos – I wont be doing so again, volume is a little too low.



Audio Recorded in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – for the 300 Saal Guru De Naal program. Shabad: Tu Thakur Tum Pai Ardaas

Didi (*is a casual title given to females you consider your sister) Arungeet Kaur is singing. We were blessed to have Sahib Singh, KL Malaysia Wale, on tabla. Several people told me he’s the best Tabalchi among Sikhs in Malaysia – I believe them. He didn’t do much fancy stuff in this recording as we had just met. He did a lot more in the following days after we requested he go all-out.

I’m using my friend Bakshish’s Esraj. It’s a RajMusicals teak wood Esraj.. smaller size than mine.  I had to borrow it becuase mine came with a cardboard box, and he has a proper hard case. I didnt want to risk taking mine on the plane.

Imagine, he LET me borrow it. Bro, if you read this, know that I’m very grateful, really.

As usual, kindly pardon my mistakes.

Ok here’s the file already: [download#19]
SAVE AS to your computer please – do not let it stream off this site.

Practice for an upcoming program.

I just learned this Guldasta from Aruna Didi (Arungeet Kaur).

Guldasta = a Raag Mala = More than 1 Raag is used in the composition.  It’s not like “Mishr” though, because you are not bending the rules of the Raag.

In this particular composition, every line is set to a different Raag.  Anyone care to guess + list which ones are used ?

I’ve got a lot more practice to do – I keep missing notes. It’s very confusing and it’s in a different scale from the one I’m accustomed to using.

New High-Tech Stringed Instruments

I’ve shared this with a few friends some time ago on instant-messenger/facebook.

New Style – but Ancient Looking – Stringed Instruments by Peter Biffin of Australia.

I am blown away.   The “Tarhu” sounds like a Cello/Violin/Esraj all in one. Maybe I’m just a little over-excited about this at the moment, but I currently think * * NOTHING * *  I have heard can compare to how good these instruments sound. The use of an internal cone that is safe from string tension to produce sound is brilliant.

I am going to get myself an Esraj from him in the (hopefully near) future.  Make sure to look through EVERY page on his site, and check out the sound samples – especially the “Tarhui” in Raag Desh.

Jam Session with Baba Wadbhag Singh Nihang

Awesome Jam Session in Malaysia

Wadbhag Singh Ji singing
In some tracks- Hargopal Singh Ji is on Tabla, in others , I am.
Kindly forgive my tabla playing – “tripped” too many times.

Also Please pardon any mistakes and “commentary” – It was an extremely casual practice session which just happened to be recorded. It was not intended as a proper recording as such.
The audio has not been edited.

Please only Right click and choose “SAVE AS” to save to your computer.
Do not let it stream from this site.








I have 3-4 more files. Will upload soon.

** Do not re-post these files on any other Kirtan-sharing websites –
why? they
1) are private
2) too casual
3) and full of mistakes **