The Tanpura is an instrument that does not play a melody of its own. Instead, it provides a hypnotic drone (‘shruti’) that gives harmony to the performance by supporting and sustaining the melody produced by the other musicians. It is an essential part of Indian music, and the perfect accompaniment for Hindustani Vocal practice because it helps the singer stay in sync with the rhythm and stay in control of their pitch. In performance, you’ll often hear the resonant drone of the Tanpura as a prelude to Indian classical music. The drone is produced by continuously adding or subtracting long notes to create one sustained sound. It’s a remarkable instrument, and quite beautiful in its simplicity.
You might also have heard the Tanpura called ‘the tambura’ or ‘the tanpuri’.
The Tanpura consists of 4 strings, a long neck, and a resonator. The strings are plucked gently one after the other using the tips of the middle and index fingers. Traditionally, Tanpura are made of seasoned wood and dry hollowed-out pumpkin gourd, but electronic Tanpura are also available. It’s a popular instrument throughout the world, and it’s regularly used in a lot of different musical genres.
If you’ve ever attended a classical Indian concert, you may have noticed the Tanpura player sitting slightly behind the main artist. Very often, that’s because they are the main musician’s students.
I offer private face-to-face or online Tanpura lessons for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. Each student receives my undivided attention for the entire length of the lesson, and either 30 minute or 1-hour sessions are available. I design the lessons according to the students’ own pace and do everything I can to make the lessons as convenient, enjoyable and satisfying as possible.
Vijay is a truly wonderful sitar player! He creates a very beautiful sound that was perfect for our event. Our guests were all very complimentary of his music and Vijay was professional and organised to work with.
Ustad Jagtap-ji is an excellent teacher. His passion and love for music is manifested through his teaching.
When I had my first lesson with Vijay my intention was to have a one off class, but in that first hour I learned so much and I understood there was so much more to learn that I immediately signed up for 10 classes.
We thank you for the music you played 'for us'. How truly delightful it was and it was a magical moment for us to hear it.
Thank you very much for the lesson - it was great and I learned loads.
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