INSTRUMENTS

Deep is a creative and flexible instrumentalist.  Deep likes to perform percussion on tabla, though he occasionally performs with dumbek and pakhawaj as well.  Deep is trained in Indian classical raga music, and it inspires his compositions and improvisations.  He brings his melodic ideas to life on a variety of plucked string instruments, such as Hindustani guitar, the sarod, the mohan veena, lap steel guitar, and his self-named "banjabab" (a modified tenor banjo). 

Hindustani Guitar

Deep has set up a guitar to accommodate playing raga-inspired music.  He calls this style of playing Hindustani guitar.  He frets with the tips of long-grown finger nails on his left hand so he can make sarod-style glides.  He's restrung his PRS guitar to have open strumming (chikari) strings to play the classical presentation style of jhalla.

Sarod

The sarod is a North Indian classical instrument.  Deep's guruji is the sarod maestro Soumya Chakraverty.  Sarod has 23 to 25 strings.  It is fretless, allowing long slides called meends.  Sarod is played with a jabba, a plectrum made of coconut shell.  Similar to a sitar, it has open strumming strings and sympathetic strings. 

Playing the sarod

Playing the sarod

Tabla

Tabla is a North Indian classical drum.  There are two pieces, a larger drum made of brass or aluminum, and a smaller drum made of wood.  The leather heads are held in place and given tension by adjustable leather straps down the sides.  Listen to a sample.

Playing the tabla

Playing the tabla

Mohan Veena

This is an Indian slide guitar invented by Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt.  It has 3 main playing strings, 5 chikari (open drone) strings, and 12 taraf (sympathetic) strings.  I use a brass bottleneck slide on my first finger, finger picks and a thumb pick to play it.  Listen to a sample.

Tuning the mohan veena

Tuning the mohan veena

Modified Lap Steel Guitar

Deep modified a solid body 8 string lap steel in order to more easily play mohan veena style on it.  One of the characteristics of Hindustani classical melody I like is playing jhalla, fast passages that rely on the strumming  of chikari (open drone) strings, functionally similar to a banjo's 5th string.  Deep added a banjo tuning peg and post half way up the neck to create a high-octave chikari (drone) string, and used a regular string slot to have a second chikari string an octave lower.    Listen to a sample.