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Lesson 1 - Sarali Varisai

To start learning Carnatic music, one needs voice training sessions called Varisais. Varisais are swara patterns that train a student to handle a particular raga to equip him to learn carnatic music. It also initiates the students to the concept of tala or rhythm. The 3 types of basic varishas are:

  • Sarali Varisai
  • Janta Varisai
  • Madhyastayi & Tarasthai Varisai

Sarali Varisai are the fundamental sequences. They allow you to get a feel for the melody and the rhythm. The sequences follow a logical order - ascending and descending, up to the 7th varisai.

The last 3 exercises help you move smoothly up and down the scale. Concentrate on getting the notes right, then add taaLa. Then, learn to sing the lesson in four speeds. Finally, sing all the notes in akaaram, singing only aaa...

NOTATIONS USED:

In these lessons, a few symbols are used. Check the symbols page for more information, but a summary is below:
s = sa, r = ri, g = ga, m = ma, p = pa, d = da, n = ni

lowercase notes (s r g m p d n) = notes in normal (middle) octave
uppercase notes (S R G M P D N) = notes in upper (mEl, taara) octave
note + dot (s. r. g. m. p. d. n.) = notes in lower (keezh, mandra) octave
note + apostrophe (S' R' G' M' P' D' N') = notes in octave above upper (ati taara)
note + two dots (s.. r.. g.. m.. p.. d.. n..) = notes in octave below lower (anu mandra)
vertical bar (|) = taaLam division of drutam or anudrutam or laghu
double vertical bar (||) = end of one taaLa cycle
dash (-) = separation of phrases. You must sing so
that each phrases is continuous and the notes are only split where the dashes occur. 

Listen to each part of this lesson as you learn it! - All lessons are in the shruthi of 5 (G).

sarali varisai (lesson 1)
raagam: maayamaaLava gowLa
15th mElakartha
aarOhaNam: S R1 G3 M1 P D1 N3 S
avarOhaNam: S N3 D1 P M1 G3 R1 S
taaLam: aadi

  1. listen
    s   r   g   m   |   p   d   |   n   S   ||
    S n d p | m g | r s ||

     

  2. listen
    s   r - s   r - |   s   r   |   g   m   ||
    s r g m | p d | n S || S n - S n - | S n | d p || S n d p | m g | r s ||

     

  3. listen
    s   r   g - s   |   r   g - |   s   r   ||
    
    s   r   g   m   |   p   d   |   n   S   ||
    
    S   n   d - s   |   n   d - |   s   n   ||
    
    S   n   d   p   |   m   g   |   r   s   ||

     

  4. listen
    s   r   g   m - |   s   r   |   g   m - ||
    
    s   r   g   m   |   p   d   |   n   s   ||
    S n d p - | S n | d p - ||
    S n d p | m g | r s ||

     

  5. listen
    s   r   g   m   |   p   , - |   s   r   ||
    s r g m | p d | n S ||
    S n d p | m , - | S n ||
    S n d p | m g | r s ||

     

  6. listen
    s   r   g   m   |   p   d - |   s   r   ||
    s r g m | p d | n S || S n d p | m g - | S n || S n d p | m g | r s ||

     

  7. listen
    s   r   g   m   |   p   d   |   n   ,   ||
    s r g m | p d | n S || S n d p | m g | r , || S n d p | m g | r s ||

     

  8. listen
    s   r   g   m   |   p   m   |   g   r   ||
    
    s   r   g   m   |   p   d   |   n   S   ||
    
    S   n   d   p   |   m   p   |   d   n   ||
    
    S   n   d   p   |   m   g   |   r   s   ||

     

  9. listen
    s   r   g   m   |   p   m   |   d   p   ||
    
    s   r   g   m   |   p   d   |   n   S   ||
    
    S   n   d   p   |   m   p   |   g   m   ||
    
    S   n   d   p   |   m   g   |   r   s   ||

     

  10. listen
    s   r   g   m   |   p   ,   |   g   m   ||
    
    p   ,   ,   ,   |   p   ,   |   ,   ,   ||
    
    g   m   p   d   |   n   d   |   p   m   ||
    
    g   m   p - g   |   m   g   |   r   s   ||

     

  11. listen
    S   ,   n   d   |   n   ,   |   d   p   ||
    d , p m | p , | p , ||
    g m p d | n d | p m ||
    g m p - g | m g | r s ||

     

  12. listen
    S   S   n   d   |   n   n   |   d   p   ||
    d d p m | p , | p , ||
    g m p d | n d | p m ||
    g m p - g | m g | r s ||

     

  13. listen
    s   r   g   r   |   g   , - |   g   m   ||
    p m p , - | d p | d , || m p d p | d n | d p || m p d p | m g | r s ||

     

  14. listen
    s   r   g   m   |   p   ,   |   p   ,   ||
    
    d   d   p   ,   |   m   m   |   p   ,   ||
    
    d   n   S   ,   |   S   n   |   d   p   ||
    
    S   n   d   p   |   m   g   |   r   s   ||

     

First speed - one note per unit listen

   1    |   2    |   3    |   4    |   5    |   6    |   7    |   8    |

   s        r        g        m        p        d        n        S  

Second speed - two notes per unit listen

  sr       gm       pd       nS       Sn       dp       mg       rs  

Third speed - four notes per unit listen

 srgm     pdnS     Sndp     mgrs     srgm     pdnS     Sndp     mgrs 

Fourth speed - eight notes per unit listen

srgmpdnS Sndpmgrs srgmpdnS Sndpmgrs srgmpdnS Sndpmgrs srgmpdnS Sndpmgrs

credit: karnatik.com