When it comes to practising Carnatic music, it is essential to practice your voice. The more you focus on building this muscle, the more improved sound you will be able to produce and maintain. For this, there are no set practice rules or routine to follow, but we are here to share are a few tips with you which will guide you towards a being a better musician of Carnatic music.

Tips on practising Carnatic music

  • A minimum of 30 minutes of practice is essential for all levels of Carnatic music learners from a beginner to an intermediate student. With the advancement in learning capability and mastery in the understanding of the music, this practice duration should increase for up to two hours a day. 30-minute practice should be roughly divided into exercises such as saralis, jantas, alankaras, daatu varasas and their akaaras, reviewing of old material, and learning new carnatic lessons. In addition to this, you should rehearse the names of the raga and tala, arohana, avarohana, other theoretical facts.
  • At the beginning of your Carnatic music practice, sit and listen to the sounds of your Tamboora or Sruti box for about five minutes. Then, arrange it to the pitch you would like to practice and slowly begin following the sounds by singing along with them.
  • Your posture also defines the quality of your practice so, make sure it is appropriate. The ideal seating position is with your legs crossed and arms placed on your thighs. Sit upright and avoid slumping or slouching. Your chin should not droop, but you should be looking straight ahead without holding your breath. Instead, take deep breaths, pushing your diaphragm and stomach outward when you breathe in and letting it sink back when you exhale thoroughly.
  • You may begin with sa. Hold it for as long as you can in one breath. Try again with several breaths. With regular practice, you will be able to extend the duration of how long you hold your breath. In order to push more air out of your lungs, driving your stomach out when you are trying to continue the sa will help you. Take control of your breath but ensure that your voice is prominently audible. Sing from your stomach, letting the vibrations travel from there to your chest, your throat and lastly your mouth providing a rounded, rich tone to your voice.
  • Next, you could practice varying notes, maintaining each as long as comfortable. Begin by modifying around the sa, work your way up to singing ri, ga, ma, pa, da, and ni, and finally end with a high sa. With the training of varying the sounds around the different notes you practice every day, you will be able to extend your range soon. From the beginner ten seconds, you may even be able to progress holding the note for an entire minute clearly and firmly.
  • With the rest of the tips guiding you towards improving your voice and hold on your breath, you may now begin singing each note at a steady pitch and a comfortable speed. Ensure that you split the swaras correctly and sing the Carnatic varnams at the appropriate paces. Be careful with the different phrases of the swaras and make sure you pronounce them correctly.
  • Once you get proficient with the previous practices, you can now move on to beating the tala lightly in the rhythm of your voice while placing it in your lap.

To sum it up, all these tips in addition to an essential routine of listening to Carnatic music as a part of your practice will improve your Carnatic music practice significantly.

Author's Bio: 

Reema Krishnan is a content creator at Acharyanet platform for Carnatic music learners where they can learn music from gurus through 400+ video lessons. Being a music enthusiast and a history buff herself, she is able to provide value for her readers and her content is well-received by musicians, music lovers, and music learners of all ages and at all stages. She loves to volunteer with music therapy groups and bakes up a storm in her free time.