Ganjira For Bhajans

Deepen your bhajan sadhana

Learn the Ganjira, a Headed Tambourine for bhajan playing - in this six week introduction!

Course Description

The traditional name for the Tambourine in Indian music is called the Ganjira. In its traditional form it is a wooden single frame with a pair of jingles and a drum head that nowadays is typically made from goat skin or synthetic material.

The Ganjira has been a part of Indian music for many centuries as a folk instrument for bhajans. It has a strong presence in South Indian Carnatic music where it is an essential part of South Indian classical performances.

In this course we use the modern tambourine variation that can be found in music stores and online. The tambourine is capable of producing a wide variety of sounds and pitches when played with proper technique, making it a powerful folk instrument capable of creating an ambiance and energy that is hard to match.

“If I was required to perform bhajans with only one instrument, then without hesitation I would choose the tambourine!”
- Br. Ramanandamrita Chaitanya, M.A. Center, Washington D.C. 

  • Open Enrollment

    You can enroll for this self-paced course at any time

  • Instant Access

    When you order this course, it will be visible as an icon on your student dashboard right away and you will get access to the first installment of content

  • New Material Every Week

    Materials will be released to you in weekly intervals after your unique enrollment date

Learn Bhajans at Your Own Pace

Start with basic rhythmic patterns and progress towards learning dynamic playing styles to accompany Arati, Om Namah Shivaya, Jay Radha Madhava and many more bhajans!

Instructor: Ganjira Level 1

Ganjira Instructor

Br. Vipin

The style of tambourine playing taught in the Amrita Virtual Academy is unique in that it was conceived and developed by Brahmachari Vipin who started playing the tambourine at the age of 7. Br. Vipin is self taught and developed his own techniques and methods out of his love and desire to play the instrument. He became a regular performer in the various festival celebrations such as Karthika Puja, Krishna’s Birthday and Shivaratri. A longtime ashram brahmachari, one day during Darshan, Amma told Br. Vipin to start giving classes on tambourine playing. These classes are now available online for all through Amrita Virtual Academy.

Direct and Personal Instruction

Upload videos of yourself playing for direct feedback from the instructor. Ask questions over e-mail and join our Ganjira Community where students post questions and receive answers worldwide.

Purchasing a Ganjira for Class

Follow these simple steps

The Ganjira (headed tambourine) is readily available in USA, Europe, India, Australia and Japan through online shops and music stores. Please read this PDF Guide - How to Select a Ganjira.pdf on what to look for when shopping for the Ganjira.

Course Content

Click on the topic to expand or collapse

  • 2

    Orientation

  • 3

    Course Calendar

    • Ganjira Course Calendar

  • 4

    Support

  • 5

    Community Discussion Board

    • Community Discussion

  • 6

    AVA Facebook Group

    • Private Facebook Group

  • 7

    Getting Started

    • Getting Started: Part 1

      FREE PREVIEW
    • Getting Started: Part 2

    • Tips for Ganjira Playing

    • Metronome Suggestion

    • Tuning the Ganjira

    • Talent & Practice

    • Getting Started Assignment A - Keeping a Steady Beat

    • Getting Started Assignment B - Speaking While You Clap

    • Practice Tips

  • 8

    Sarasvati Puja

    • Lighting the Lamp of Knowledge

    • Sakala Kala Devate Lyrics

    • Sakala Kala Devate recording

    • MA Center Puja

    • Assignment: Practice Space

  • 9

    Week 1: Class 1 - Basics of Ganjira

    • Dhyayamo Prayer

    • How to hold Ganjira (Tambourine)

    • Transcript of "How to Hold Ganjira" Video

    • Basic Techniques - Din

    • Transcript of "Basic Techniques - Din" Video

    • Basic Techniques - Ki and Ta

    • Transcript of "Basic Techniques - Ki and Ta" Video

    • Check for Understanding

    • Closing Prayers for World Peace

  • 10

    Week 1: Class 2

    • Invocation Prayer to Amma

    • Week 1, Class-2, Part-1

    • Exercise (Week 1, Class-2, Part 1)

    • Week 1, Class-2, Part-2

    • Exercise (Week 1, Class-2, Part-2)

    • Question and Answers

    • Closing Prayers for World Peace

  • 11

    Week 1: Submit Assignments

    • Check-in with the Instructor!

    • Week 1 Review

    • Week 1 Assignment A - Playing on the Table

    • Week 1 Assignment B - Playing with the Metronome

    • Week 1 Assignment C - Playing with the Metronome

  • 12

    Week 1: Recorded Live Sessions

    • Recording: USA Week 1 (Live Session), August 2020

    • Recording: INTL Week 1 (Live Session), Aug 2020

  • 13

    Week 2: Class 1

    • The Essence of Music - With Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri

    • Invocation Prayer to Amma

    • Week 2, Class-1, Part-1

    • Exercise (Week 2, Class-1, Part-1)

    • Week 2, Class-1, Part-2

    • Exercise (Week 2, Class-1, Part-2)

    • Closing Prayers for World Peace

  • 14

    Week 2: Class 2

    • Week 2, Class-2, Part-1

    • Week 2, Class-2, Part-1

    • Week 2, Class-2, Part-1 Bonus

    • Week 2, Class-2, Part-1 Bonus

    • Week 2, Class-2, Part-2

    • Week 2, Class-2, Part-2

    • Week 2, Class-2, Part-2 Bonus

    • Week 2, Class-2, Part-2 Bonus

    • Closing Prayers for World Peace

  • 15

    Week 2: Submit Assignments

    • Check-in with the Instructor!

    • Week 2 Review

    • Week 2 Assignment A - Speaking While You Play

    • Week 2 Assignment B - Speaking While You Play

  • 16

    Week 2: Recorded Live Sessions

    • Recording: USA Week 2 (Live Session), Aug 2020

    • Recording: INTL Week 2 (Live Session), Aug 2020

  • 17

    Week 3: Class 1

    • Invocation Prayer to Amma

    • Guest Satsang by Swamini Suvidyamrita Prana, "Raga, Tala and Laya"

    • Kartika Puja

    • Week 3, Class-1, Part-1

    • Week 3, Class-1, Part-1

    • Week 3, Class-1, Part-2

    • Week 3, Class-1, Part-2

  • 18

    Week 3: Class 2

    • Week 3, Class-2, Part 1

    • Week 3, Class-2, Part-1

    • Week 3, Class-2, Assignments

    • Week 3, Class-2, Part 2

    • Week 3, Class-2, Part-2

    • Closing Prayers

  • 19

    Week 3: Submit Assignments

    • Check-in with the Instructor!

    • Week 3 Review

    • Week 3 Assignment A - New Rhythmic Patterns

    • Week 3 Assignment B - Playing without Metronome

    • Week 3 Assignment C - Playing without Metronome

  • 20

    Week 3: Recorded Live Sessions

    • Recording: USA Week 3 (Live Session), Sept 2020

    • Recording: INTL Week 3 (Live Session), Sept 2020

  • 21

    Week 3: Midway Survey & Review

    • Catch Your Breath - Tips for the Midway Point

    • Week 3: Midway Survey

  • 22

    Week 4: Class 1

    • Invocation Prayer to Amma

    • With and Without Rhythm - An Exercise in Listening with Swamini Suvidyamrita Prana

    • Week 4, Class-1, Part-1

    • Week 4, Class-1, Part-1

    • Week 4, Class-1, Part-2

    • Week 4, Class-1, Part-2

    • Week 4, Class-1, Part-2, Bonus

    • Week 4, Class 1, Part-2 Bonus

  • 23

    Week 4: Class 2

    • Week 4, Class-2, Part-1

    • Week 4, Class-2, Part-1

    • Week 4, Class-2, Part-2

    • Week 4, Class-2, Part-2

    • Guest Speaker - Playing in 5, 6, and 7

    • Closing Prayers for World Peace

  • 24

    Week 4: Submit Assignments

    • Check-in with the Instructor!

    • Week 4 Review

    • Week 4 Assignment A - Getting Ready for Bhajans

    • Week 4 Assignment B - Getting Ready for Bhajans

  • 25

    Week 4: Recorded Live Sessions

    • Recording: USA Week 4 (Live Session), Sept 2020

    • Recording: INTL Week 4 (Live Session), Sept 2020

  • 26

    Week 5: Bhajan Resources

    • "Breath & Bhajans" Video with Guest Speaker, Wah!

    • Tips for Playing Bhajans in Live Groups

    • Song List for 4 and 8-Beat Bhajans

    • Song List in 5, 6 and 7 Rhythmic Structures

  • 27

    Week 5: Arati

    • Instructions

    • Playing Bhajans: Arati Part 1 - Explanation

    • Playing Bhajans: Arati Part 2 - Demonstration

    • Handout for “Playing Bhajans: Arati Part 1"

    • Arati Practice Track

    • Playing Bhajans: Arati Part 3 - Similar Bhajans

    • Handout for "Playing Bhajans: Arati Part 3"

  • 28

    Week 5: Jai Radha Madhava

    • Instructions

    • Playing Bhajans: Jai Radha Madhava Part 1 - Explanation

    • Playing Bhajans: Jai Radha Madhava Part 2 - Demonstration

    • Handout for Playing Bhajans: Jai Radha Madhava Part 1

    • Practice Track: Jai Radha Madhava

    • Playing Bhajans: Jai Radha Madhava Part 3 - Similar Bhajans

    • Handout for Playing Bhajans: Jai Radha Madhava Part 3 - Similar Bhajans

  • 29

    Week 5: Submit Assignments

    • Check-in with the Instructor!

    • Week 5 Assignment A: Arati

    • Week 6 Assignment B: Jai Radha Madhava

  • 30

    Week 6: Om Namah Shivaya

    • Instructions

    • Playing Bhajans: Om Namah Shivaya Part 1 - Explanation

    • Playing Bhajans: Om Namah Shivaya Part 2 - Demonstration

    • Handout for Playing Om Namah Shivaya

    • Practice Track: Om Namah Shivaya

    • Playing Bhajans: Om Namah Shivaya Part 3 - Similar Bhajans

    • Handout for Playing Bhajans: Om Namah Shivaya Part 3

    • Closing Prayers for World Peace

  • 31

    Week 6: Submit Assignments

    • Check-in with the Instructor!

    • Week 6 Assignment A: Submit Your Favorite Bhajan

    • Week 6 Assignment B: Submit a New 4-Beat Bhajan

  • 32

    Week 6: Closing Survey

    • Closing Survey

  • 33

    Week 6: Closing Ceremony

    • Closing Remarks

    • Closing Assignment A: Play Bhajans with Swami Dayamritananda Puri

    • Closing Assignment B: Play Bhajans with a Friend!

    • Back Stage Q&A with Br. Vipin

Ganjira is a meditative experience

Deepen your sadhana and self connection by learning this versatile instrument - great for bhajans in groups or self-practice