This is my attempt to explain gamakas
Dsiclaimer: I am not an expert by any means.. This is just an interpretation of the gamakas i heard from carnatic instrumentalists.
Slide is simple concept, but the timing of the slide can change the feel of the gamaka. Say you are sliding for one beat from Sa to Ni. You can slide through the cycle of one beat such that the start you at Sa and in the end of the beat you are at Ni.
yoU COULD SPEND 3/4TH OF BEAT AT SA AND QUICKLY GO TO nI BEFORE THE BEAT ENDS
nOTE THAT THE TWO GAMAKAS EVEN THOUGH HAVE SAME ORIGIN and ending CAN HAVE A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT FEEL.
Let me illustrate using time plot by dividing a beat in to 4 parts
| |indicates a quarter and -- indicates slide
|Sa-|-----|-----|- Ni | (here we stay at sa only at the start of first quarter and slide all the duration of the slide ultimately reaching Ni at the end of the last quarter)
|Sa-|Sa|Sa |-- Ni |(here we stay at sa only up to the start of third quarter and slide all the duration of the slide ultimately reaching Ni at the end of the last quarter)
|Sa-|-----|-Ni| Ni |here we stay at sa only up to the start of third quarter and slide all the duration of the slide ultimately reaching Ni at the end of the lthird quarter and continue to stay at Ni up the end)
oNE MAY TRY DIFFERENT COMBINATIONS
Gamaka-2 (Continuous slide up/down between two notes)
One may apply the gama-1 concept. However, one can flutter between the two notes.
Gamaka 3-Progressive slide up or down
This can be used for sliding from high Sa to the lower Sa. For example Sankarabharanam
Instead of playing Sa-Ni-dha-Pa-Ma-ga-ri-sa, You can play as
Sa- (Sa-ni-S-ni)- (nI-DA-NI-DA)-(Da-Pa-Da)-Pa-(Pa-Ma-ga-Ma-ga)-(ga-ri-ga-ri)- sa
Bold font notes-means you have to pick at the corresponding note. This progressive slide requires economical use of your fingers. when doing a progressive slide down (higher Sa to lowerr sa) start from first finger and at every pick, change your finger all the way to little finger (first-middle-ring-little)
When doing a progressive slide from Lower sa to higher Sa (slifing up the fret) start from little finger or what ever is convenient all the way to index finger
Gamaka-4 (a small shake)
Say you are playing Ga at the third fret.One may view the the third fret as a box that is enclosed the two metal bars. Just quickly move slide from the top of thefret box to the bottom of the fret box, while staying in Ga
Gamaka-5 (Braking slide)
Say you want to slide from wESTERN NOTE A TO G to F.The way we do it is quickly slide from A to F#,F# TO G, G to F. The FIRST TWO SLIDES OCCUR AS A PAIR FOLLOWED BY THE THIRD SLIDE. Note that you pick only once at the start of the process.
This gamakam feels as if you are sliding from A to F but, suddenly applied your breaks at G (Had a cup of cofee) andf eventuall proceeded to F.
You guys know this
A comdination of pulloffs and hammeron
Gamaka-9 (sliding with minimal picking)
When one does not pick, the guitar sound decays. this can adda certain beauty to your carnatic song.On combining it with slides, it can sound awesome. For example, try the following by picking only at the start...
Pick at C AND THEN DO THIS:
try different combinations
Hopefully, i am making some sense. this is very difficult to explain.
I shall comeback with more gamakas in the future. Please share your knowledge with the gamakas that you use...
All the experts, please add your valuable knowledge and share your styles of gamakas