the sitar project  
last updated October 10, 2009
   

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Chakradhar
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Improvers
Play concluding chakradhar

Chakradhar is a phrase ending with tihai which itself when played three times forms a tihai. It is vey commonly used at the end of a performance as an exciting climax. It is a good idea to learn several different chakradhar patterns so that you can confidently end your performances. The only difficulty with the chakradhar is to remember how many times you are repeating the phrase and the fact that it tends to be played very fast and with emphasis on the cross rhythms.

Here is an example of one of the most common chakradhars in rag Yaman:

Practice this at about speed 100. Once you have this mastered, practice combining together the composed jhala with this chakradhar.

 


Intermediate
Play concluding chakradhar faster

Gradually speed up how fast you can play the chakradhar until you can reach about 220 beats per minute, the same as for your composed jhala. As always focus on accuracy rather than speed in this exercise. It can be quite hard to fit a chikari stroke in at speed so give special attention to your technique on this aspect.


Higher
Play concluding chakradhar very fast

Keep speeding up how fast you can play the chakradhar to about 300 beats per minute, the same as for your composed jhala.

 

Ability to play several chakradhar

There are many different types of concluding chakradhar, built on different rhythmic patterns. Here are a few suggestions for concluding your performances - these are shown in rag yaman, so you will need to adapt them for other rags. Some will be more suitable for some rags than others.

It is very common before the final chakradhar to play an alenkar or scale passage. Sometimes this itself forms a tihai (often of 16 beats played three times). Here are some examples:

A descending alenkar pattern:

A descending scale with repeated notes played three times:

A scale passage down and up played three times:

Slower notes followed by faster passage up to sam.

After these types of passage signalling to the tabla player and the audience that we are nearing the end of the performance, the sitarist would typically play a chakradhar like one of the following to conclude.

The first is a very simple variation of the chakradhar we have already learnt, but you need to be able to play the double note very fast.

This chakradhar is built on a 6+6+4=16 rhythmic pattern with use of gaps to create the sense of chakradhar.

This one uses a more complex rhythmic structure. The chakradhar itself is made up of repeated melodic line in a 4+4+3=11 beat pattern. Because 3x11=32 this fits into two cycles of tintal with one beat over, which therefore falls on Sam. The melody is designed to finish on high Sa coinciding with the Sam.

This chakradhar is based on exactly the same rhythmic structure of the one above, but varies the melody between the repetitions of the 11 beat phrase, whilst keeping its essential shape.

This chakradhar is built on a different pattern - it fits into two cycles because of the use of gaps. This is particularly effective if the high Sa is approached using meend from Pa.

Finally, another chakradhar based on a 6+6+4 beat pattern. Playing this chakradhar three times means it lasts three cycles and allows its effect to cumulate.

Practice all of these starting very slowly, insisting on rhythmic accuracy as you very gradually increase the speed.