Every other day I ride my scooter down to the Gurukul and have my vocal lessons. I take two lessons: one with Ramakantji and one with Umakantji. This is unusual. Most of the students work with one or the other for a while and then switch, but because I’m living “off campus” they agreed to this arrangement. It’s working really well. I do a different raga with each of them.
Their styles are different. Ramakantji tends to favor a softer, mellower tone color for the voice. His own voice is like golden silk. It’s unbelievably smooth and elegant. Trying to match his tone and pitch precision is nearly impossible. I feel like a lumbering elephant next to him.
Umakantji has a huskier, deeper voice. He is one of the few singers in the world who can consistently reach the low “Sa”, and powerfully so. His voice is incredibly powerful and deep. It is like the voice of God. His pitch precision is also frighteningly consistent and precise. My natural vocal color is closer to Umakantji’s, and it is fun to work on the low register with him.
The lessons are one-on-one and typically last about 20 minutes each. However, there are other students in the room, sometimes as many seven or eight. This is great because I’m constantly singing with other people around. It naturally builds my confidence as a singer and I’m also able to learn things from listening to the other lessons. The community of students is quite friendly. We’re all on a never-ending path to musical bliss.