Online Carnatic Vocal Lessons 101: A Beginner’s Guide

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The Indian classical genre, especially Carnatic music, has drawn worldwide attention because of its rich melodies and intricate rhythms, which promise a divine musical experience for listeners. The core aspect of Carnatic music lies in vocals, meaning the rich compositions are meant to be sung even when played on instruments. Carnatic vocal lessons are challenging for beginners, but with the right guidance from seasoned vocalists, the learning curve becomes more simplified for students.

That said, let’s understand why Carnatic music is so popular. It is the ancient classical music of South India, which carries a rich tradition offering profound musical experiences to the singers, musicians, and audiences. It has captivated the global audience for years.

With the advent of digital technology, accessing this heritage has never been easier. This guide will walk you through the essentials of getting started with Carnatic vocal lessons online, making the process smooth and enriching for beginners.

Why Choose Online Carnatic Vocal Lessons?

The traditional approach to learning Carnatic music involves finding a guru, attending classes regularly, and dedicating significant time and effort to practice. While this method remains invaluable, online Carnatic vocal lessons provide several advantages, especially for beginners:

  •  Accessibility :No matter where you are in the world, you can connect with experienced teachers and access high-quality lessons.
  • Flexibility: Online Carnatic vocal classes offer the convenience of scheduling lessons around your daily routine.
  • Variety of Resources: From video tutorials and live sessions to recordings and practice tools, the online format offers many learning resources.
  • Cost-Effective: Online lessons often cost less than in-person classes, making them a more affordable option for many students.

Finding the Right Online Carnatic Vocal Classes

Embarking on your Carnatic vocal journey online begins with finding the right teacher or platform. This critical step can significantly impact your learning experience and progress. With numerous options available, it is essential to choose a class that matches your learning style, goals, and schedule. Here are some key considerations and strategies to help you make an informed decision when selecting online Carnatic vocal classes.

1. Research and Recommendations

The first step in starting your Carnatic vocal journey online is finding the right teacher or platform. Here’s how you can go about it:

  • Recommendations: Seek advice from friends or family members who have taken online Carnatic vocal classes.
  • Online Reviews: Check reviews and testimonials of various platforms and teachers.
  • Trial Classes: Many online music schools offer trial classes. Utilize these to gauge the teaching style and compatibility.

Established Platforms

When it comes to choosing the best online Carnatic vocal music classes, the market is spoiled for choices. Several reputable online platforms are offering Carnatic vocal lessons; one of them being BMusican Academy. Some of the reasons to select BMusician for your Carnatic vocal lessons include:

  • Experienced Faculty: The academy has tutors and musicians hailing from prominent musical gharanas in the country. They bring years of experience, knowledge, skills, and proven expertise in their respective fields. Most of them have earned many accolades on the global stage for their musical prowess. At the academy, students get a chance to select their tutors and train directly under their supervision.
  • Individual Guidance: In addition to offering an immersive learning experience through live classes, the academy also provides one-to-one sessions for every student, so they get individual attention in perfecting their skills.
  • Strong Knowledge Base: The online classes are recorded and shared with every student to allow them to learn at their own pace. Every possible support is extended, from theoretical knowledge and study material to practical sessions, assignments, and assessments of their progress.
  • Flexibility of Timings: Students can decide class schedules according to their preference and learn Carnatic vocals online from home at their convenience.

2. Setting Up for Online Carnatic Vocal Lessons

To ensure a seamless and effective learning experience, it is crucial to properly set up for your online Carnatic vocal lessons. This involves meeting technical requirements, gathering necessary materials, and creating an optimal learning environment. By preparing your space and resources in advance, you can focus fully on your lessons and practice sessions, thereby maximizing your progress and enjoyment in your musical journey.

Technical Requirements

  • Reliable Internet Connection: A stable internet connection is crucial for uninterrupted live sessions.
  • Device: A laptop, desktop, or tablet with a good camera and microphone.
  • Headphones: High-quality headphones can help you hear the nuances of the music better.
  • Learning Space: A quiet and comfortable space where you can focus without distractions.

Materials and Resources

  • Shruti Box or App: This provides the drone or tonic pitch, essential for practice.
  • Notebook and Pen: For taking notes during lessons.
  • Recording Device: To record lessons for future reference.
  • Music Books: Books like “Carnatic Music Theory” by Ranga Ramanuja Iyengar can be helpful.

3. Beginning Your Carnatic Vocal Journey

Starting your Carnatic vocal music classes online can be exciting! It is an important step you will take into the rich tradition of South Indian classical music.
Our Carnatic vocal lessons for beginners focus on the genre’s fundamental concepts. You will be introduced to the basic exercises and follow a structured practice routine that will lay the foundation for your musical development. Understanding these basics and establishing a consistent practice habit is essential to building your skills and deepening your appreciation for Carnatic music. This section will guide you through the initial stages of your learning process, ensuring a solid and confident start.

Understanding Basic Concepts

Before diving into singing, it’s important to understand some fundamental concepts of Carnatic music:

  • Shruti: The pitch or tonic note.
  • Swara: The seven notes (Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni).
  • Raga: A framework of notes that conveys a specific mood.
  • Tala: The rhythmic cycle.

Basic Exercises

For beginners, the initial lessons typically include:

  • Sarali Varisai: Simple exercises that help in understanding the swaras.
  • Janta Varisai: Exercises with double notes to improve voice control.
  • Alankaras: Patterns set to different talas, helping to internalize rhythm

Practice Routine

Consistency is key in learning Carnatic music. Here’s a suggested practice routine:

  • Warm-Up: Begin with breathing exercises and simple humming.
  • Shruti Practice: Spend a few minutes aligning your voice with the shruti.
  • Swara Exercises: Practice Sarali Varisai and Janta Varisai for 15-20 minutes.
  • Raga Practice: Spend time on specific raga exercises as per your lesson plan.
  • Tala Practice: Clap and recite the talas to internalize the rhythm.

4. Enhancing Your Learning Experience

To make the most of your online Carnatic vocal lessons, it is important to continually enhance your learning experience. This involves seeking regular feedback from your teacher, utilizing additional resources, and taking advantage of performance opportunities. By actively engaging with these supplementary tools and practices, you can deepen your understanding, improve your skills, and stay motivated throughout your musical journey. This section will provide tips and strategies to help you enrich your learning process and achieve greater success in your Carnatic vocal studies.

Regular Feedback

One of the advantages of online lessons is the ability to get instant feedback from your teacher. Ensure you:

  • Record Your Practice: Share recordings with your teacher for detailed feedback.
  • Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask questions during or after the class

Additional Resources

  • YouTube Channels: Channels like “Carnatic Vocal by Smt. Sudha Ragunathan” provide valuable insights and lessons.
  • Apps: Apps like Riyaz and Tanpura Droid can assist with practice.
  • Community Forums: Engage with other students and musicians on forums like

Performance Opportunities

Look for online platforms that offer virtual performances or participate in community music groups. Performing, even in a small online gathering, can boost your confidence and provide practical experience.

Staying Motivated

Learning Carnatic vocal music is a long-term commitment, and staying motivated is crucial. Here are some tips:

  • Set Goals: Define short-term and long-term goals for your learning journey.
  • Celebrate Milestones: Celebrate your progress, no matter how small.
  • Stay Inspired: Listen to performances by great Carnatic vocalists like M.S. Subbulakshmi, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, and more.
  • Connect with Fellow Students: Join online groups or forums to share your experiences and learn from others


Embarking on your journey with Carnatic vocal lessons online is an exciting and rewarding experience. With the right resources, dedication, and a structured approach, you can delve deep into the beautiful world of Carnatic music. Whether you are looking to pursue music professionally or as a hobby, Carnatic vocal lessons provide a flexible and accessible way to achieve your musical aspirations. So, set your shruti, find your tala, and let your musical journey begin!

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