Practice books

I have 2 books that focus on the practice of playing the harmonium and other Indian instruments. The name of the book is called “The Ultimate Riyaaz book”. It is a 2 book series that are filled with 1000’s of sargam exercises to help you with your riyaaz (practice). Please checkout the “Gallery” tab to see what inside the book looks like.
I also have a book called “The ultimate book of Sargam Patterns”, but this is a high level book that isn’t for beginners. Sold only on Amazon.com

A review from Alam Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’s son -“Your exercise books are very thorough and must have been quite a lot of work! Well done =) thank you for sharing!”
Best,
Alam Khan

For the 2 series set is $80 with shipping within the USA only. (Normally $83 without shipping included.total savings of $12)


Ultimate Riyaaz book vol. 1 & 2



“The Ultimate Riyaaz book”
This is essentially a classical Indian music practice manual. It uses sargam ( Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni) for musical notation. In northern classical Indian music you can make numerous sequences of these notes. In northern classical Indian instrumental music musical patterns that are used for exercises are called “paltas”, where as in the vocal category of Indian classical music these patterns are called “alankars”. There are over 650 patterns in this book. These patterns are used as exercises in order to develop one’s pitch accuracy, tone, dexterity, agility, flexibility, and speed. These exercises also help train your ear. Training your ear helps you recognized patterns, notes, thaats, ragas, and scales. This book will bring your practice to the next level and make you an improvisation wizard. There is a brief introduction on what sargam notes are and the 10 thaats. The 10 thaats are the 10 major modes within northern Indian classical music. This book uses 2 and 3 notes in order to make 3, 4, 5, and 6 note pattern phrases that go up and down a complete scale . Volume 2 focuses on 6, 7, & 8 note patterns. This is not a book on Ragas. This is a must for jazz musicians

A savings of $5.00. On Amazon.com the book is $45.00


Ultimate Riyaaz book vol.1



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Reviews from Amazon.com

5.0 out of 5 stars
This is the Ultimate practice book!!!!
By KeepItReal75 on December 31, 2015
“The is exactly what it says “The ultimate riyaaz book”. Riyaaz in classical indian music means the discipline of practice.

This is a great book! It is the only one that I have ever seen on this subject. This book has over 650+ sargam exercises in total. The notation is easy to follow. S R G M P D N ‘ going up the scale and ‘ N D P M G R S going down the scale.

The introduction of the book explains the notes, their names, and intervals within Indian music. Super easy to understand and follow. There are also a few pages with visual keyboards in different key signatures in order to help you get started.

The 10 Thaats are listed in order to give you the most important scales within northern classical Indian music. Using the 10 thaats gives you at least 10 different ways to use this book. This books does not cover ragas. But it you have a raga that you are learning from your teacher, you will know how to work it within the different paltas / patterns given.

If you are serious about your practice and need something to keep you motivated, then this is the book for you.
It was well worth the price of the book. There is nothing out there that is like this.

I happen to own every book written in English on Indian Classical music and none of them cover the art of practicing like this book does.”

5.0 out of 5 stars
great work Keith
By Amazon Customer on August 2, 2016
“This book along with the second volume is a MUST HAVE for anyone studying Indian Classical Music. Keith has taken the guess work out of riyaaz, making your daily riyaaz session very efficient and hassle free.. great work Keith! i hope to meet you one day and do riyaaz together!”

5.0 out of 5 stars
This is an excellent tool for all students of Indian Classical Music
By C. Ghezzo on January 14, 2016
“After anxiously awaiting it’s arrival, yesterday I received Keith Villaneueva’s new book “The Ultimate Riyaaz Book”!
This is an excellent tool for all students of Indian Classical Music.The book is based on variations of notes/sargam patterns, which you can apply towards any Raag that you might be practicing. He offers simple and complex variations based on lessons he took (and is currently taking) with the Gurus of the Mewati Gharana. But the exercises can be used by students of any Gharana. In Indian Classical Music, we spend many hours doing riyaaz and repeating note patterns in order to improve our sur (pitch), speed and precision. This book will be a great companion to offer you many variations to work with in that practice. The book is dedicated to our Guruji Radharaman Kirtane, and I am happy to say that a few of my photos of Guruji are included in the book, as well as the beautiful artwork of Shyama Art, Monali Rangwala.

Also included on almost every page, are inspiring quotes about the practice of music and the practice of meditation.
I am looking forward to discovering all the gems that this book holds!”

“The Ultimate Riyaaz book Vol.2”
This is a more advanced version of the first book. This is the second book on sargam patterns that can be used for the practice (riyaaz) of classical Indian music. This book uses 6, 7, & 8 note patterns in order to make phrases that go up and down a complete scale. This is essentially a classical Indian music practice manual. It uses sargam ( Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni) for musical notation. In northern classical Indian music you can make numerous sequences of these notes. In northern classical Indian instrumental music musical patterns that are used for exercises are called “paltas”, where as in the vocal category of Indian classical music these patterns are called “alankars”. There are over 400+ patterns in this book. These patterns are used as exercises in order to develop one’s pitch accuracy, tone, dexterity, agility, flexibility, and speed. These exercises also help train your ear. Training your ear helps you recognized patterns, notes, thaats, ragas, and scales. This book will bring your practice to the next level and make you an improvisation wizard. There is a brief introduction on what sargam notes are and the 10 thaats. The 10 thaats are the 10 major modes within northern Indian classical music. This is not a book on Ragas. This is a must for jazz musicians

T.U.R. vol.2

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A savings of $2.00. On Amazon.com the book is $38.00


Ultimate Riyaaz book vol.2



Reviews from Amazon.com

5.0 out of 5 stars
Amazingly useful book for all students of Indian Classical Music!
By C. Ghezzo on August 2, 2016
“I have been waiting for volume 2, and am so happy to finally receive it! All students of Indian Classical music will greatly benefit from the exercises here. With over 400 note patterns included, this is a great companion for students looking to deepen their practice and ability to move fluidly between notes with the various sargam patterns. It is also very beneficial in developing speed with Taans, and the patterns can be applied to any Raag you are learning! An amazingly versatile book, which will surely help getting to the next level with your Riyaaz (music) practice! There are enough exercises in here to stay busy for years!”

5.0 out of 5 stars
This book along with the first volume is a MUST …
By Amazon Customer on August 2, 2016
“This book along with the first volume is a MUST HAVE for anyone studying Indian Classical Music. Keith has taken the guess work out of riyaaz, making your daily riyaaz session very efficient and hassle free.”

5.0 out of 5 stars
I love it! It is focused on longer patterns that …
By KeepItReal75 on August 2, 2016
“This is the sequel to the first book. I love it! It is focused on longer patterns that is amazing for practice. It is Thāat based but once you know the rāgas it is easy to apply any exercise to it. There are examples on how to do that in the beginning of the book. There aren’t any books out there like this. No filler! Just pages and pages of exercises that will really help your practice and take your playing or singing to the next level.

All his books are great! This happens to be my favorite one of the 3. Enjoy and practice hard!”

“The Ultimate Book of Sargam Patterns”
This is a book on sargam permutations. This means that each note can not be repeated within a phrase. Out of 7 notes there are a possible 5,040 combinations without repeating a note within a phrase. 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 x 7 = 5,040. The notation used in this book is done using sargam notes/ swars (Sa, Re, Ga, ma, Pa, Dha, Ni) This style of practicing during riyaaz was the way that some of the greatest musicians of Indian classical music used to practice. This is more common for someone studying carnatic Indian music. This system of training is known as the “merukhand system”. This was traditionally taught orally and learned by memory though hundreds of thousands of hours of repetition. This is also a must for Jazz musicians. This will make you an improvisation master. Here is an example of a 3 number permutation using the same 3 numbers in a phrase 123, 213, 132, 312, 231, 321 These 3 numbers give you 6 possible permutations without repeating a single note within the same phrase.

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Review from on Amazon.com

5.0 out of 5 starsWow!!! This book is what it says! Mind blowing! A true treasure. Thank you!
By KeepItReal75 on January 7, 2016
“Amazing! This is the first time ever that a full book has been written on this system of practicing. This book is hardcore! This is for the dedicated musician. This book is filled with every possible permutation from 1 – 7 notes. (1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 x 7 = 5,040 possible combinations / permutations without a single note being repeated within a phrase.

This is an example. The book goes from 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7 note permutations.
It uses Sargam notes as Sa, Re, Ga, ma, Pa, Dha, Ni, ‘a (SRGmPDN’).

1234, 1324, 2134, 2314, 3124, 3214, 1243, 1423, 2143, 2413, 4213, 4132, 1342, 1432, 3142, 3412, 4132, 4312, 2341, 2431, 3241, 3421, 4231, 4321.
So with 4 notes you have a max of 24 permutations. I did it with numbers but the book does it with sargam notes.

This is 3 notes SRG, RSG, SGR, GSR, RGS, GRS which gives you a maximum of 6 permutations with only using 3 notes.

This is how the Dhrupad singers would practice. Ustad Amir Khan was forced to practice this way by his father as a child. Also the great carnatic musicians of India practiced this way. This is similar to the known “Merukhand system”.
What this book gives you is very similar.

This system was taught orally from teacher to student and memorized over repeating these permutations millions of time. It is amazing that this was finally put down on paper and made into a book. I can see why nobody has attempted to do this before. It’s NOT easy and looks like a lot of work!

It’s like the movie a Beautiful Mind but here the math meets music.
This book is a true gem and well worth the price. This is a completely different book compared to the other one by this author, “The Ultimate Riyaaz book”.
That book is Amazing also. They both cover 2 completely different ways of practicing Indian Classical Music.
These are 2 books that should be in everybody’s Indian music library. A true treasure!”