You have practiced hard for this day ….and you have also performed it for your folks at home…but on the stage you struggle to get the right note …the right scale …and you are not sure if your accompanist is playing the right scale….you get tensed …. Your Vocal chords crack up …..It’s a disaster!
Imagine if you have a harmonium handy …and you know what to play …you tune in your Voice to the note on the Harmonium……warm up the scale on the keys ….sing it in your mind, in the right key…..this generates the mood…. …You are more in control ……. not dependent on your fellow accompanist and simply steal the show….
So, what is it about Harmonium that make it the most popular accompaniment Instrument…..and now also one of the most powerful Indian Classical Instrument that stands out from the rest of the crowd?
Why is it so important for a singer to know how to play the Harmonium?
For every singer whose music is based on Ragas….would any ways agree that playing the harmonium would add as a benefit to their singing ability.
A ghazal singer comes with a harmonium with him as a norm. Sufi singers are very good at playing the harmonium…as this helps them make up with harmonium fillers in the middle …which has become the trademark of sufi singing these days.
It would not be wrong to say that great Singers have always come with this added advantage of playing harmonium while they sing.
The question arises…….Is harmonium playing all that easy , can any one play this instrument OR Do you need to put in a lot of time to develop harmonium skills?
Gulam Ali, Hariharan, Mehdi Hassan, Pankaj Udhas, Anup Jalota, Sonu Nighan, Master Salim, shankar mahadevan etc all of them are very good at using harmonium for their benefits when it comes to singing.
What will it take for you to be the impressive Harmonium Player?
Is there some hidden strategy that isn’t being revealed by the big maestros?
Apart from performing regularly and practicing daily (Yes, we know the drill), what is it that some singers lack?
In case you haven’t noticed, there are some out there on the music circuit……. despite doing everything else correctly in terms of singing, they are making the One big mistake that prevents them from giving that extra,
– 100 % value to the listeners!
Answer honestly…… This answer might well help you make a significant difference to your audience base in the days to come.
‘How do I offer value?’ one might ask.
There are numerous ways to do it.
One big step is to be as much in “control” of your singing: – Learn to play the Harmonium!
“Harmonium playing opens the door for new tips or ideas that can bring about a small or maybe, even a significant change in your music phrases……”
If the song has already been presented about and you would like to add your own tidbits to it, then you have now the mechanism available to think and make use…..
A fresh perspective is always appreciated…as long as it is musical and music to ears.
Quick Start to Harmonium:
Do your basics of Sa Re Ga Ma on the keys….Without going too much in detail get an idea about few scales and chords…their way up and down….
Start a series of simple patterns on a particular raga within your choice…… give out a compilation of your patterns as a presentation, Try and sing the patterns to bring about that added finish,…. Finally, don’t forget to add simple but musical chords to your song now and then….!
This is one of the easiest ways to build your music capacities and expand your horizon as a singer.
It’s easy to follow a winning formula. It’s hard to create one of your own. The least you can do is try.
Share with us how you go…..
Your comments and suggestion are greatly appreciated. Thanks
Author – Amit Diwadkar