Indian Slide Guitar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian slide guitar was first introduced to Indian classical music by Pandit Brijbhushan Kabra in the early sixties.  He modified a six string guitar by adding sympathetic and drone strings, which made its sound suitable for Indian classical Music.  His album, CALL OF THE VALLEY, with Pt Shivkumar Sharma and Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia  became a huge success in 1967.

Pt Vishwamohan Bhatt, with his modified Guitar, which he renamed as Mohan Veena, took it to a greater height of popularity, by winning the most prestigious Grammy Award in 1994. He developed a fascinating right hand picking style, where he uses his index and middle finger for the faster runs (taans), and thumb for the drone strings.

Debashish Bhattacharya, from Kolkota plays hollow neck guitars. His guitars have different string arrangements. He has three different names for his guitars, Chaturangi, Gandharvi and Anandi.

Besides taking a few lessons from Pt Vishwamohan Bhatt, I was very inspired by Pt. Brijbhushan Kabra and his disciple Debashish Bhattacharya. Though I play Mohan veena, I felt a strong need to introduce a different right hand picking style, by using index finger and thumb on my main melody strings. It gave me a tremendous advantage for speed. I also experimented by adding an extra base string, which helps me attain an extra half lower octave.