Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org (usually answered within 36 hours)
You could be a beginner or been playing for sometime. You want to play Indian music on the guitar: songs fluent like it is sung or rhythm & chords, chord melody…
Learn to play the guitar playing towards what you are familiar with, what made you interested in music in the first place, what you really want to play finally.
You have watched my videos and found them useful/interesting. You want to get to the next step:
- benefit from clear corrections & practice steps
- guidance on what exactly to practice
- to be able to play what you like, without wasting time, money and effort.
We do it using Calls, group calls, recorded content and practice videos, chat guidance, corrections. (details below)
Which topics can you learn?
Any topic that brought you to me. (see sample list below)
I will be personally telling you what you as an individual need to be practising to reach your unique goals based on your current skill level.
So, there is always discussion and deciding a learning path specific to you. It is not a set of recorded videos, trying to fit you into a generic set of courses.
Your interest could be:
– Indian style raga or film songs fluently like it is sung
– Rhythm and chords
– Fingerstyle and Chord Melody
– finding notes and chords on your own
– singing while playing rhythm
… or any other combinations and specific interest that you want to learn from me.
Once you join we will discuss and decide your personal curriculum. I will give you content, watch your practice videos and give corrections, tell you exactly what points to practice, the next steps.
This is how we do it:
I will be asking your specific goals: is it playing songs, playing chords or other skills? Which particular songs? What is success for you in the next 3 months?
Knowing your current skills: Any particular songs you have already tried? Send me a practice video.
Just starting? You will be given the basic steps you need to practice so that you can send me a video.
Next steps: From your video and based on your goals, we will decide our route, the next steps.
We may choose a song or two as learning material. While playing it you will be learning the underlying skills, the techniques and mechanics that you can use on other songs too. Songs are just tools, we use them to understand the errors we make, where we should correct: error oriented deliberate practice.
You get content, You send me corrections and doubts
videos, tabs, audio, text chat…
Hari Krish, California USA
Maddela Avinash, San Jose, CA
Balaji Venkatesan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
It’s not your fault if you have tried learning to play the guitar using generic exercises, unfamiliar songs and quit. We use Indian music, songs familiar to you. That helps you build the feedback loop needed for musicianship: how you are playing, compared to how it is meant to sound. This error gap is corrected using deliberate practice. Build that loss function 🙂
Systems thinking The secret is in the underlying mechanics. A song, a well executed performance you see is just a screenshot. The real learning is beneath the tip of the visible berg.
Often that part is kept hidden from you. You are just asked to look and remember and repeat. That keeps you dependent. That also keeps your playing mediocre regardless of if you play 10 or 100 songs.
We will stop that. Just take 2 songs, learn the principles of connectedness, sustain. Learn the logical fretboard relations to your advantage. Know that ‘advanced’ is just the basics well executed.
Can this really be done? How?
What do you think?
Do you believe I will be able to point out the corrections and tell you the next steps if I watch a practice video from you?
Say, we choose a song to practice. I give you the tutorial. You send me the first two lines of the song with mistakes and doubts, the way you can.
Will I be able to tell you the fingering corrections you can make? What changes to make the sound more fluent, sustained connected? Or do you think I will be able to do it only if I am face to face in person with you or if we do real time 1-1 corrections at an odd hour? 🙂
You know the answer.
1-1 calls are useful – for discussion, for a feeling of completion. Tie all lose ends, discuss next steps. Collect your doubts, ask in 1-1 call. Or if you prefer to stay accountable. It cannot substitute video based correction and content though.
Group calls are used by students to ask doubts, show their progress to me and the group. You also get to listen to other questions and answers, what others are doing. Students started liking the performance in the group, since it gave them more real life practice playing before others.
A specialist guide 🙂
My name is Shyam. I have a BTech from the IIT Madras. I am good with learning & teaching fields including using technology to bring best outcomes.
Started playing our specific style of guitar 3 decades back when I was 11 years old.
Been teaching formally at least for around 1.5 decades.
I have the ability to analyze, sort and build frameworks that you will benefit from. That is what I have done here for you, to your benefit.
Through access to me, you will have clarity on what exactly to do out of the numerous different possibilities. You will know exactly what to correct and do next.
choose your option
Submit videos &
(25 minutes each)
Text guidance with Shyam
Course content access
4 times a month
1 intro call as you join
if needed add more video
8 times a month
1 call each month
(add later as needed)
If needed add more
and group calls later
3 calls each month
2 each month
This is all you need
Cancel or Pause anytime using the button in your profile. Once you join, you have immediate access to the courses. You will get an email from me asking for details, call timing etc.
I guarantee detailed intrinsic improvement to your playing and outcomes that you want as long as you work with me and progress according to our path and corrections.
Anytime within the first 10 days if you don’t wish to continue, I will give you a complete refund. We are anyway connected on Skype and email.
I myself will urge you to take a refund if I understand I am not the right person for you.
Components of our method:
1. Chat guidance. Anytime get answers.
Real examples below:
and I reply with the correct next step for the specific skills and goals along with any necessary content snippet to practice and learn.
– or audio –
– Custom content and private tutorials
Notice, how smoothly it works asynchronous?
– Video practice submissions and corrections
To paraphrase Rumi:
“Be grateful for each mistake,
since each has been sent
as a guide to our progress.”
Send me a video like this (informal, imperfect)
and you get a video correction and next steps from me
(informal, in my natural environment : ))
Shankar, an engineer from California says:
Avinash, another engineer from California says about why video recording corrections method works:
2. Clarity 1-1 real time calls
A student says:
I accidentally ran into Shyam’s free youtube lessons and subscribed to them. I was pleasantly surprised to received more foundation videos and guidance from Shyam’s team without charging a penny.
I joined Shyam’s music learning portal. In less than 2 months, I was learning to play film songs, geethams and even a keerthanai alai payudhe. This is more progress than i have ever made in the several years of trying to figure things out myself or trying to learn from other resources.
Shyam is a gifted musician and a teacher who knows precisely how to teach indian music on guitar in such a way that anyone with interest can start making progress very quickly. I am truly delighted to have started this musical journey through ragacourses.com and becoming a student of Shyam Monk.
– Sarvesh, San Jose, California
5. Group calls. We all benefit
You are in good company
These are small groups – essentially you get 1-1 kind of doubt clearance and guidance without the time fix hassles + learning from other answers.
I was not a group call kind of person.
Once I started it though, I started seeing how everyone benefitted
– the quality of interaction between the group members
– others benefitting from one persons question answer
– exchange of content… Beautiful
6. Ragacourse membership access for FREE
I have been playing for 3 decades.
Been teaching formally for atleast 1.5 decades.
I am good with analysis, frameworks, product development.
I have condensed my years of expertise to core video content that is basic requirement for our styles of playing.
You can use them at your pace – no need to pay 1-1 money. You have me to ask doubts and get corrections.
Topics in the membership vault include:
First touch – the very beginnings
Guitar basics that matter
Rhythm chord basics
Indian guitar first steps
Indian guitar skill growth
Rhythm Chord Mastery
Specializations and electives:
Sing + chords
Fingerstyle and chord melody
Finding chords on your own
This is in addition to the private tutorials and custom content you get as a student who interacts with me.
Manju was working intensely on finding notes on his own, a tough task. Now he has started his own youtube channel and is on his way to complete independence:
I thank my students for bringing me joy:
Why not just Skype classes?
You know the answer already by now.
What is the real goal? Challenge what has been told to be the way to do it. Use the power of internet and new options we have for deeper and surer learning.
With asynchronous methods:
No need to play in front of the screen at odd hours to adjust time zones.
No need to pay for 1 hour or 45 minutes spent on customary greetings, chit chat while the real practice material is just within 1 minute. (Don’t believe me? Spend some time analysing the structure of a skype class and you will know what I mean.)
No forgetting what was taught, not knowing what to practice. In 1-1 I always forget what I had to practice. The details are gone and I have no video or material to review as many times as I want. Why reduce learning to a memory test?
- Video students beat call students Students who pay $300 or $400 per month for real time Skype calls all started doing video submissions once they realized how the video based students were playing with more completion, developing their own feedback loops etc.
Video recording improves self assessment
Balaji, who is a 1-1 skype student since 5 years, who also does video corrections says about why video corrections are beneficial for even self assessment and correction:
Want outcomes? I will help you. Want to just hangout? Call a fixed time content provider. 🙂
Many rely on just skype calls because they haven’t understood yet how real learning happens. Guitar playing is not just about information – it is transformational – involves repetition, feedback, corrections, clarity.
Also, from the teachers’ side, it takes clarity and expertise to be able to make clear videos.
You should be paying only for outcomes, not for being available for a fixed time.
Your Learning progress has a GPS
And he thinks the following about our method:
If you are paying for only per hour real time classes (Problem):
- you miss out on the years of validated expertise and instruction condensed into core videos you can use at your own pace whenever your life permits.
- you don’t get the core knowledge you need, given in the videos, based on which you can build your individual needs and skills.
- you will be paying 1-1 money for standard instruction already available in videos.
- songs and other tutorials are already made and available – I do not wish to charge money to repeat it. Instead the student can go through the tutorials I give them, appropriate to their skill, show me what they have tried, ask any doubts or questions, get corrections where needed and get real outcomes.
- A lot of guitar and music instruction is common to any of us – not individual needs but what we need to learn about the music and the instrument. Learn it from the videos instead of wasting time and money. Then ask doubts and build upon what you have tried.
- you will be wasting time by reinventing the wheel. Instead go through available content in the videos and use the time with me to ask your individual doubts.
- you will be getting diluted corrections. The progress is in the corrections.
- you will have to adjust to the fixed timings, time zones. Recorded practice videos and corrections allow us to do it at our own time – not some job or time commitment we are forced to.
- you will have to wait to ask your doubts. Instead with me, use the text chat and ask me anytime you are stuck. You will get answers specifically for your need.
- you will miss out on videos submission: faster and surer progress is made when we can record our practice, including mistakes and problems. We save time, the content is clearer, I am able to give you better feedback and corrections.