Are the varisais and alankarams sufficient exercises for Carnatic Music voice training?
Question from Student:
Dear Sir…I have gone through some of the syllabi of schools that teach western music…In that they have some basic exercises such as Breathing Exercises,Sustaining Notes, Falsetto Exercises. Can similar exercises be created for Carnatic Music as well sir or are the current set of exercises that we have,i.e:Sarali and Jantai Varisais,Mel sthyayi Varisais,Alankaras enough?If yes then how can it be created?
Answered by Shri Chitravina N Ravikiran
All these are embedded in carnatic learning. It just means systematic approach, training either as courses or as routine practice itself when I used to practice, I used to practice multiple speeds up to 6 which helped the voice sustain notes, breathing and control and many others like steady notes, gamaka-based notes wherever there was need for that, depending on the raga we practice whether it was sarali, alankaram etc. All these are designed right from the first sarali varisai to the 10th one to give command over specific notes.
For example, second sarali varisai focuses on the rishabam, third one highlights gandharam and so on. There are very beautiful evolved techniques that was created 500 years back. Apart from that, the Guru will look at the specific voices of students and give them appropriate exercises for their voices that are more adaptable to individual needs. How it is done i based on the time an individual has and access to the Gurus. In the generic level it has to be done at the right level.