Six guitarists, beautiful instruments and even more beautiful music. Indira Atluri visits the pantheon of Hyderabad’s guitar greats
Independent solo guitarist
Has been playing the guitar since the age of six and was the recipient of the Lady Popworth award in 1982 – the first Indian to win the award in 82 years.
Owns a Godin Multiac Grand Concert guitar and a Yamaha Silent guitar.
Has arranged and performed the National Anthem, Vande Mataram and Raghupati Raghava on a solo guitar.
Jayashanker is credited with making his solo performance on the guitar sound like a music orchestra.
Likes Jimmy Hendrix, Santana, BB King, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt.
His version of the McKenna’s-Gold theme song is popular in countries like Russia Spain, and Thailand.
String speak: “This beautiful instrument can be mastered over time. There is no short-cut to anything in life — have the will to learn it, and you will.”
Vijay Mohan Vadrevou
Band – Alteregoz
Started playing the guitar 24 years ago.
First learnt the Tabla, but became a serious guitarist 11 years ago.
Likes Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin and Robben Ford.
Owns an Ibanz and Parker, but has sights set on a Gibson.
Watch him perform on the 23rd February at Bengaluru at Hard Rock Café.
String speak: “I don’t like to perform in public places on a daily basis — I want the audience to watch my band performance. My shows are for a niche set of audience — an audience that understands music.”
Band – Phoenix
Bought his first guitar while in Class I.
Like Dirty Loops, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Spyro Gyra.
Owns a hand-crafted Godin, manufactured in Canada.
Watch him perform on Wednesdays and Sundays at The Park.
String speak: “There is no simple formula to learning the guitar. Those who are dedicated to master it, will master it — the rest can continue dreaming.”
Band – Phoenix
Held his first guitar at the age of nine. In his words, “brother chucked it, so I picked it.”
Likes Simon and Garfunkel and Santana
Owns Samick six-strings base guitar, two Yamahas, an electro-acoustic base guitar and a regular six-string guitar.
Watch him perform on Mondays and Fridays at the GVK Mall, Tuesdays and Thursdays at Cocos, Wednesdays at The Park and Sundays at Via Milano.
String speak: “Just go buy a guitar and be committed to learning it. With YouTube, it’s so easy to learn to play it. And if you still cannot learn it, man, you are unbelievable.”
Band – Seven Sigma
Comes from the North-east where the ‘scene is musical’. First learnt the tabla, and then moved on to the versatile guitar.
Likes Eric Jensen, Greg Howe, Pete Haycock, Deep Purple.
Owns a Diamond Series Schecter guitar.
Mostly arranges music for his band Seven Sigma.
String speak: “Don’t aim to learn a song or two with the guitar — think critically, practice regularly. Once you have mastered the basics, develop your own style.”
Band – Nile
Watched a band perform in 1986 in his college and was ever since infatuated with the guitar.
Borrowed guitars to play them, and became part of his college band.
Likes Mark Knopfler, Lee Ritenour, Alan Holdsworth, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Jazz music.
Owns a Falcon guitar and is obsessed with its sound.
Watch him perform on February 14, at the Novotel hotel.
String speak: “Be consistent; develop the aptitude to understand your teacher. Spend more time on your guitar, and then get on to the level of manipulating it!”