Pick & Slide: Indian Guitarists who #unfakeit
When Jimmy Page said, “I believe every guitar player inherently has something unique about their playing. They just have to identify what makes them different and develop it.” not many tried to read much into it. All over the world, you find guitarists trying to copy their idols, wanting to be someone else. But there are only few who identify their inheritance & realize that, to #unfakeit, is the way to go. So here are the top Indian Guitarists, who did just that.
When you introduce your family, you always start with the Patriach. The Grand Daddy of the Indian Guitarists' freternity, Brij Bhushan Kabra, is truly the pioneer of popularizing the guitar in India.
Growing up in the age of pure Classical Indian music, Kabra cultivated his own technique of Lap Slide playing (a rarity in itself) while incorporating the ragas on his guitar. Needless to say, he fit right in
the 70's Hippie Culture, which served as the perfect platform for promoting guitar-playing among Indians. Now that’s the way to #unfakeit, old school style !
Founder member & lead guitarist of Indian Ocean, Susmit Sen was taken by the art of guitar playing at an early age. While not wanting to sound like a wannabe emulating the west & a craving to #unfakeit the Indian way, he started developing his sound on the 6-string by trying to emulate Hindustani Classical intruments like the Sarangi & Mridangam. Combining these virtues with the various Indian rhythms & melodies, the outcome he gave was a unique blend which is matched by no one.
Starting out bright & early at the tender age of 5, Warren Mendonsa is known by most as the lead guitarist of Indian alt-rock band Zero. While casting aside the traditional gimmickry of commonplace riffs & rhythms, Warren has managed to #unfakeit by creating some enthralling & rather captivating tunes which have been his signature. He has now shifted base from Mumbai to Auckland, New Zealand, but you can find him at gigs across the city performing from time to time with his Zero compatriots or his solo project, Blackstartblues.
What do you do when your grandfather is a carnatic musician & your father a Hawaiian guitar player? Apparently, become a second-to-none carnatic guitarist, as was the case with Baiju Dharmanjan. He started off playing Carnatic violin, before promptly shifting interest to guitar. A self-learner when it comes to guitar playing, he usually prefers composing his unfaked classics in secluded places like graveyards, as their tranquility appeals to him & it shows in his masterpieces. Like most of his kin, he too has pursued a (very fruitful) solo-career after a successful run with Kerela-band Motherjane.
Coming from an orthodox Kerelite background, with an accomplished music director for a father, Rex Vijayan had no trouble acquiring all the right tastes to become an accomplished musician himself. He started learning & playing multiple instrument at a young age, but it was the guitar that he took most liking towards. He had a good break playing rhythm guitar for Motherjane, but then, in order to #unfakeit, he co-founded Malayali alt-rock band (yes, you heard that right), Avial. With skilled & immaculate solos, along with catchy rhythms, he gives Avial a rare earthy touch.
So then, are you inspired to pick up that Axe and #unfakeit your way?
Image credits: thehindu.com, emahomagazine.com,blogspot.com
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