#1
In order to understand any of this, you will need to know your intervals. Other than that, you need no prior knowledge of ragas or Indian music to play these scales.

To briefly explain, South Indian/Carnatic music has what are called Melakarta Ragas, or parent ragas, which their nearly infinite number of child ragas are born from. These are 72 scales grouped conveniently into 12 groups of 6 called Chakras (and you'll understand why shortly). This evening, I took the time to write down the intervals to each scale. All the sources I could find on the subject only had these scales in a sort of Indian syllable-based tab system, so this will be easier on us Western folk.

Before I list the scales, I will make the process of learning these ragas as simple as possible for you.



I've provided a picture to help the learning experience. The Un-highlighted intervals, 1st and 5th, are unchanging, so expect them to always be the same. The interval in green, the 4th, is perfect half of the time, then augmented half of the time. For the first six chakras (or groups of scales/ragas), the 4th is perfect, and for the remaining six, it's augmented. The intervals in red can be minor, major, or augmented, and the intervals in blue can be diminished, minor, or major. However, there is a rule that if a red interval is augmented, the blue next to it must be major. Otherwise, they may be of any unique combination.

Using this graphic, you can take the one scale provided and turn it into 72 unique scales. You don't even have to know what they are. Take the initial scale listed and make those changes to the scale however you wish, and you will always be playing a raga. This is all you need to know to play any raga/create any scale on the fly. However, I will be going over the relationships of the chakras and ragas below, for those more interested about it. There will also be a bit more info on the usage of all this, so read it anyway.



Something to know is that there are 12 different chakras (or groups of ragas/scales) and 6 ragas/scales in a chakra. If you observe the Melakartas listed below, you will see that there is a constant pattern/formula. The pattern is in the second picture above. When you use this sequence on the 6th and 7th intervals, you are changing ragas/scales in a chakra. When you use this sequence on the 2nd or 3rd intervals, you are changing chakras. If you do the sequence in order, first on the 6th and 7th, then on the 2nd and 3rd, you will be going through each raga, then chakra, in order. However, after doing this six times, you will start again. To keep going, you must augment the 4th, or else you're just starting over.

In fact, you don't even need to know there are 12 different chakras or 6 ragas in a chakra. All you need to know is the first picture. As long as you follow it, you are playing a raga.

In the first picture, there is section called "Raga Mixture". This is a lot like modal mixture. As long as you play a power chord, or a chord with the notes of the scale/raga you're exiting that are also into the one you are going into, you can play all 72 ragas even in one single solo. The only trick about doing this is not exiting on a note that conflicts with the scale you're going into. Therefore, it is easiest to exit on a 1st/8th or a 5th. Since the 4th only changes half of the time, it can also be relied on to make the jump from scale to scale. However, know the 4th is augmented half of the time, if you ever choose to play those ragas. Another trick is that, if you are only to change the 6th/7th, then play down at the 2nd/3rd that you aren't changing, and go back up to reveal the change of scale, and vice versa. This technique should unlock nearly every note on your fretboard for you to play in a song/solo/lick or whatever you want.

Here I will list all 72 scales:

Indu Chakra --

1. Kanakangi:
1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

2. Ratnangi:
1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, b6, b7

3. Ganamoorti:
1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, b6, 7

4. Vanaspati:
1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, 6, b7

5. Manavati:
1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, 6, 7

6. Tanaroopi:

1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, #6, 7

Netra Chakra --

7. Senavati:
1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

8. Hanumatodi/Todi: (Phrygian).
1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7

9. Dhenuka:
1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, 7

10. Natakapriya:
1, b2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7

11. Kokilapriya:
1, b2, b3, 4, 5, 6, 7

12. Roopavati:
1, b2, b3, 4, 5, #6, 7

Agni Chakra --

13. Gayakapriya:
1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

14. Vakulabharanam:
1. b2. 3. 4. 5. b6, b7

15. Mayamalavagowla:
1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7

16. Chakravakam:
1, b2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7

17. Sooryakantam:
1, b2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

18. Hatakambari:
1, b2, 3, 4, 5, #6, 7

Veda Chakra --

19. Jhankaradhwani:
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

20. Natabhairavi:
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7

21. Keeravani:
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, 7

22. Kharaharapriya:
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7

23. Gourimanohari: (Melodic Minor)
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, 7

24. Varunapriya:
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, #6, 7

Bana Chakra --

25. Mararanjani:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

26. Charukeshi: ("Hindu scale")
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7

27. Sarasangi:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7

28. Harikambhoji:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7

29. Shankarabharanam/Dheerashankarabharanam (Major/Ionian)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

30. Naganandini:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, #6, 7

Ritu Chakra --

31. Yagapriya:
1, #2, 3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

32. Ragavardini:
1, #2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7

33. Gangeyabhooshani:
1, #2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7

34. Vagadheeshwari:
1, #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7

35. Shoolini:
1, #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

36. Chalanata:
1, #2, 3, 4, 5, #6, 7

Rishi Chakra --

37. Salagam:
1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

38. Jalamavam:
1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, b6, b7

39. Jhalavarali:
1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, b6, 7

40. Navaneetam:
1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, 6, b7

41. Pavani:
1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, 6, 7

42. Raghupriya:
1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, #6, 7

Vasu Chakra --

43. Gavambhodi:
1, b2, b3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

44. Bhavapriya:
1, b2, b3, #4, 5, b6, b7

45. Shubhapantuvarali:
1, b2, b3, #4, 5, b6, 7

46. Shadvidamargini:
1, b2, b3, #4, 5, 6, b7

47. Suvamangi:
1, b2, b3, #4, 5, 6, 7

48. Divyamani:
1, b2, b3, #4, 5, #6, 7

Brahma Chakra --

49. Dhavalambari:
1, b2, 3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

50. Namanarayani:
1, b2, 3, #4, 5, b6, b7

51. Kamavardini:
1, b2, 3, #4, 5, b6, 7

52. Ramapriya:
1, b2, 3, #4, 5, 6, b7

53. Gamanashrama:
1, b2, 3, #4, 5, 6, 7

54. Vishwambari:
1, b2, 3, #4, 5, #6, 7

Disi Chakra --

55. Shamalangi:
1, 2, b3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

56. Shanmukhapriya:
1, 2, b3, #4, 5, b6, b7

57. Simhendramadhyamam:
1, 2, b3, #4, 5, b6, 7

58. Hemavati:
1, 2, b3, #4, 5, 6, b7

59. Dharmavati:
1, 2, b3, #4, 5, 6, 7

60: Neetimati:
1, 2, b3, #4, 5, #6, 7

Rudra Chakra --

61. Kantamani:
1, 2, 3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

62. Rishabhapriya:
1, 2, 3, #4, 5, b6, b7

63. Latangi:
1, 2, 3, #4, 5, b6, 7

64. Vachaspati:
1, 2, 3, #4, 5, 6, b7

65. Mechakalyani/Kalyani: (Lydian)
1, 2, 3, #4, 5, 6, 7

66. Chitrambari:
1, 2, 3, #4, 5, #6, 7

Aditya Chakra --

67. Sucharita:
1, #2, 3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

68. Jyotiswaroopini:
1, #2, 3, #4, 5, b6, b7

69. Dhatuvardani:
1, #2, 3, #4, 5, b6, 7

70. Nasikabhooshani:
1, #2, 3, #4, 5, 6, b7

71. Kosalam:
1, #2, 3, #4, 5, 6, 7

72. Rasikapriya:
1, #2, 3, #4, 5, #6, 7
Last edited by Nihi at Sep 10, 2014,
#3
In b4 RonaldPoe...
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#5
INB4 sh1tstorm.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#6
Quote by TS
20. Natabhairavi:
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7


Wow what an exotic sound!
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#9
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I'm no ethnomusicologist, but I'm 85-95% sure this is nonsense.

Even if it isn't nonsense, what does it matter? What does knowing the Indian Ragas actually do for you, unless you're playing an Indian instrument like sitar?
#10
@crazysam23_Atax Aesthetic, mostly. They aren't specific only to Indian instruments. A lot of them are chromatic sounding, so they'd be perfect played to metal music. If you're really interested in music theory, knowing the formulas the ragas and chakras come from strengthens your understanding of and familiarity with intervals.

In the video (which I am terrible at talking in), I talked about an idea I had called "Raga Mixture". That is, because the fifth is always perfect in this system, if you drone power chords, you should be able to, just like in modal mixture, play from any raga. This means that you get infinite possibilities for your solos and can open yourself up to really crazy chromaticism, which would be harmonized by the power chords.

These scales don't have to just be applied to Indian music, in other words. Given that there are a lot of them, they could be applied to anything, to be honest. And, after analyzing the way the ragas and chakras are put together, I would say that it is door opening for me when I add it into my playing. It's helping me break out of diatonic harmony and understand very weird intervals (like Salagam for example).

Knowing the scales isn't that important to me, honestly. Knowing the formula to create the scales is what is really expanding my mind. Because then I can just look at the fretboard, apply what I know, and just play through ragas without thinking about what they are or the theory behind them, whilst simultaneously making effortlessly complex and unique music.
#11
Quote by AlanHB
Wow what an exotic sound!

From now on I'm going to start calling the minor scale the "Natabhairavi scale".

Edit: And the major scale "Dheerashankarabharanam".
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Sep 9, 2014,
#12
I'd like the Suvamangi with some extra pepperoni please. Oh and could you not make the 4th too sharp? I'm quite sensitive to spicy food. Thank you.
#13
Quote by MaggaraMarine
From now on I'm going to start calling the minor scale the "Natabhairavi scale".

Edit: And the major scale "Dheerashankarabharanam".


Not going to lie, I'd feel like a mlg pro saying scales like that.
#14
Quote by Nihi
@crazysam23_Atax Aesthetic, mostly. They aren't specific only to Indian instruments.

Great...

Quote by Nihi
A lot of them are chromatic sounding, so they'd be perfect played to metal music.

...yes, chromatic = metal, sort of. Kind of. But not really. #evilsoundsmetalblahblahblah

Quote by Nihi
If you're really interested in music theory, knowing the formulas the ragas and chakras come from strengthens your understanding of and familiarity with intervals.

Except, you know, it still is useless. Knowing 1000s of scales doesn't actually do anything practical for you.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Sep 9, 2014,
#15
@crazysam23_Atax It gives you versatility as a musician, an arsenal of sounds and color to play at any given moment, and gives you a greater understanding and familiarity of your instrument. I don't see what the problem with that is.

Scales are like languages. The more scales you know, the more languages you know, and the more people you can communicate to and with. And it's like being bilingual, in that, when you know another language, it gives you a better understanding of your native tongue.

I can understand if this isn't your cup of tea. In all honesty, I don't really like listening to Carnatic or Hindustani music by itself. But that doesn't mean it deserves to be degraded. Also, because of the way I am teaching the system of ragas, it isn't so much that you are going through a terrible and tedious process of memorizing 72 scales, but you're instead learning how to derive 72 unique variations from one scale. Just the technique of doing that rewards one with a certain mastery that I find immeasurable. In my opinion, being able to do that is way more valuable than the scales themselves, since it gives you the ability to pull unique scales, licks, riffs, and solos out of thin air. It's musical magic.

But if it's not your thing, man, I respect it.
#16
Quote by Nihi
Scales are like languages. The more scales you know, the more languages you know, and the more people you can communicate to and with. And it's like being bilingual, in that, when you know another language, it gives you a better understanding of your native tongue.

Actually it's not, you could know 100 scales and it wouldn't increase your musical language that music.

Quote by Nihi

I can understand if this isn't your cup of tea. In all honesty, I don't really like listening to Carnatic or Hindustani music by itself. But that doesn't mean it deserves to be degraded. Also, because of the way I am teaching the system of ragas, it isn't so much that you are going through a terrible and tedious process of memorizing 72 scales, but you're instead learning how to derive 72 unique variations from one scale. Just the technique of doing that rewards one with a certain mastery that I find immeasurable. In my opinion, being able to do that is way more valuable than the scales themselves, since it gives you the ability to pull unique scales, licks, riffs, and solos out of thin air. It's musical magic.

Don't delude yourself, it's not muscial magic. Pulling out random licks using some random scales isn't going to be any better than a teenager who has just learnt their pentatonics. Like those people who abuses pentatonics, you are just abusing these sounds, not actually making music with them.
#17
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Even if it isn't nonsense, what does it matter? What does knowing the Indian Ragas actually do for you, unless you're playing an Indian instrument like sitar?

wow

because maybe music is a creative endeavour and you can draw influence from sources that only share a tenuous link with your desired outcome


tbh i feel like insane funeral could use a bit more raga
#18
Nihi, thanks for posting this (I find it very interesting). Also do you know how to do the Indian style improvisation (I want to know more about it other than slides)? I personally enjoy the sounds of the Indian Ragas and believe learning to do this will help my improvisation skills (like my attempt to learn jazz). Thanks again and have a nice day.

C Raga Ahira-Lalita: C C# E F F# A A# C
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#19
@GoldenGuitar I understand where you're coming from. In fact, I agree with you to an extent. Just knowing random scales doesn't make you a competent musician, but having this sort of musical expertise in your arsenal as an already skillful musician only makes you better, not worse. I think you guys are confusing knowing scales and music theory with being a terrible player, which I find absurd. How are those two things mutually exclusive? Beethoven, Chopin, and etcetera, they knew how to formally play their pianos, and they were also talented players, and we all know how those two facts complimented their playing.

Like I said, I agree with you about people needing to know how to play their instrument. But please don't confuse what I'm trying to share with people as some variant of not knowing how to play music. The point of this isn't music trivia, it's musical expansion. In the same way you can implement modes into your playing, making modal music absolutely practical, this can also be implemented. In fact, in the exact same way, and I plan on making a video purely dedicated to that as soon as I can.

@RonaldPoe Since Indian music is almost wholly improvisation, I think it should improve your improv wonderfully. That's one of the ways it is helping me personally.

However, I can't say I am an expert, or even knowledgeable, about their musical techniques. That is where a lot of this stuff gets overtly complicated (which I am trying to avoid, especially as I share this with others). These Melakarta ragas (parent ragas) give birth to nearly infinite number of child raga scales. More or less, those are ascending and descending patterns based on the parent scales they come from. They play only a certain collection of the notes going up, and then a certain collection of the notes going down, just like melodic and harmonic minor in the West. I can't say I know more about it than that, as it is really complex stuff. That, and the microtonality (where they play notes between semitones) are the two things that are trademark about their musical styles.

On the more optimistic side, I do think I know how to incorporate the microtonality directly into guitar playing, so here is where I can help you. When you have notes only a semitone apart, try to perfect your bends to where the note you're playing becomes only half of itself and half of the note a semitone away. While Indian music has certain rules about what notes you can play microtonally, this method of bending will ensure that you keep your notes, even and especially the microtonal ones, in the scale (as long as the note you're bending from and the note you're bending halfway to is in the scale). This should give you an aesthetic more like when you hear actual Indian musicians playing these ragas, and should help you in practicing bending (which I know is really important for bluesy music).

To avoid spamming this thread, I'll just put this announcement here: Edited: I said here originally that I would make a video, but I decided to just take the images of what I would be going over and re-do my original post. Hopefully it is easier to understand, since I am better at writing out my thoughts than speaking them.
Last edited by Nihi at Sep 10, 2014,
#20
The general mindset of the people on this forum seems to be: 'Don't think of 9000 individual scales, instead think KEYS with ACCIDENTALS'.

What you're suggesting with this list is exactly the opposite. Learning 9000 patterns. Of course crazysam won't accept this. 50% of his posts say something like "learn keys, not scales!"
#22
Quote by Elintasokas
The general mindset of the people on this forum seems to be: 'Don't think of 9000 individual scales, instead think KEYS with ACCIDENTALS'.

What you're suggesting with this list is exactly the opposite. Learning 9000 patterns. Of course crazysam won't accept this. 50% of his posts say something like "learn keys, not scales!"

Why would I? Learning 9000 scales or 9000 patterns is inefficient.
#24
@Elintasokas That's exactly the opposite of what I was trying to teach. I created the formula to make going through the ragas as easy as memorizing ONE SCALE/ONE FORMULA instead of 72 different scales. But I am not a teacher, so I've been struggling.

I've just updated my original post with a new and, hopefully, better way of explaining it. It even includes pictures/color coding. I hope it better reveals my intention, because I have been saying all along that I also think memorizing a plethora of scales is useless. But this system I have been working on, I don't think it teaches you how to memorize 72 different scales, but instead open you up to new and unique note patterns practically on the go as you're playing.
#25
These scales are used in loads of genres of music. It ain't gonna be Raga unless you study the rhythm, timbre and song structures of raga.

How about you do a lesson on that instead instead?
#26
Quote by TS
@AlanHB

Yeah, it took me a moment to realize that was just Aeolian. A few of the scales are just their names for Western scales, and there is a feud between Westerners and Indian musicians about whether it's X Western scale or Y Indian raga.


There's no feud in this forum, where we discuss Western music theory. It's the minor scale. I knew it was going to be in you list somewhere because it's just a list of the major scale with different degrees altered.

If you are insterested in Eastern music you'll need to understand a lot more than the notes they use.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#28
Quote by AlanHB
If you are insterested in Eastern music you'll need to understand a lot more than the notes they use.


Of course. I will learn it gradually over time as much as I can, or at least as much as I'd like to, but it'll be challenging. Not just because learning new musical stuff is always a bit of a challenge, but because a lot of it is in Indian music theory, which is complex and I'm not sure if I want to learn that or not.

Their Tala/rhythm stuff is interesting, and I use a very basic variant of it to keep time, but I don't incorporate any of the crazier stuff into my playing, and I don't know that much about it to teach it to others.
#29
That theory and rhythm that you so quickly throw to the wayside is what makes it raga though. The scales are basically meaningless without it.

Lordy lawd
#30
Quote by MapOfYourHead
That theory and rhythm that you so quickly throw to the wayside is what makes it raga though. The scales are basically meaningless without it.

Lordy lawd


Yeah, you do have a point. But it's not that I'm throwing the rhythm to the wayside, it's just that I'm not very knowledgeable about it yet. I don't want to just regurgitate the minimum understanding I have of it to you all and have nowhere to go from there, as that'd be pretentious of me.

As for the theory, what I am reluctant to learn isn't so much the way they play the music, it's mostly the notation. I would have to re-learn everything I know about music, except in their syllable based musical system, and that is a lot for me to ask myself to just do casually. Imagine having to re-learn to play your guitar from scratch. That wouldn't be very fun, because the entire time you'd be thinking to yourself "but I already knew this, damn it!" As for their musical system in a way I can already understand with my Western understanding of music, I wouldn't hesitant to look into it and study it as intimately as I might.

If I do have anymore breakthroughs like I had with these scales that I feel is shareable, I will do so. But if I am really terrible at getting my ideas across like I have been with the Melakartas, I apologize in advanced.
#31
Quote by MapOfYourHead
That theory and rhythm that you so quickly throw to the wayside is what makes it raga though. The scales are basically meaningless without it.

Lordy lawd
Well, see, this is probably the most important part, to me. I don't really give a shit about the actual scales. But the theory and rhythm -- that part is substance! If TS laid out that out (maybe in a UG lesson or something *hint hint*), then I (and others) could do something with this. Maybe take the most commonly used scale and then discuss the theory and rhythm. That would be cool, man!