(update Sep 2020) Since last writing, Vidwan B R Somashekar Jois and his World Konnakol Academy have posted dozens of videos on their YouTube channel: Start here!
(updated 8 May ´17) It’s not the purpose of this post to explain what Konnakol is, or how very valuable it can be in your music. I´m assuming you already understand that, and are seeking resources. In my own quest to learn konnakol, I´ve found quite a few wonderful resources. I´ve made this compilation with gratitude to all of the musicians around the world who’ve made their teachings available. It’s really exciting to consider what the next generation of musicians are going to be doing with konnakol.
Free and Online
There is a vast library of wonderful konnakol videos on Youtube; many performances, as well as many instructional videos.
- Shaale – A whole introductory course with Manjunath BC and Somashekar Jois
- Manjunath BC– Mostly advanced material, but has been one of my go-to inspirations
- Somashekar Jois – also mostly advanced, yet extremely inspirational material
- Henrik Andersen – Andersen gives away a mountain of material for free () and has also produced a couple of videos for sale on his website, mentioned below.
- Asaf Sirkis – a great series of introductory videos, along with a few more complex exercises.
- Bernhard Schimpelsberger – this amazing percussionist has a nice playlist of online lessons. Be sure to watch this performance to see the power of konnakol in contemporary percussion.
- Stefan Bulatovic – Gateway to Konnakol series
- Konnakol Pro – Konnakol lessons with Andrey Danilov.
For a cost
- Henrik Andersen – in addition to all of the free material Andersen gives away on Youtube, his for-a-cost videos are a worthwhile expenditure. And unlike Schmidhofer´s, they´re digital downloads.
- John McLaughlin The Gateway to Rhythm – McLaughlin has been cited as one of the earliest and most ardent proponents of konnakol in the west. This DVD is fairly basic, and perhaps a nice thing as an intro to a musician.
- Solkattu Manual: An Introduction to the Rhythmic Language of South Indian Music – I´ve found this book a tad difficult to follow, but there is also a whole set of free videos that you can download here.
- The Art of Konnakol (Solkattu) by Trichy Sankaran: Rich book with CD – great explanations of mora, korvai, and koraippu. Email directly firstname.lastname@example.org. – $60.00 (US) for U.S. and Canada customers and $70.00 for Europe and other countries.
This is for 1 book with audio CD.
- World Konnakkol Academy – Distance learning with B.R.Somashekar Jois
- Christian Schmidhofer – Schmidhofer´s four DVD set is worth the price. He also has a nice way of teaching, methodically walking you through each exercise. I’d really prefer to have the videos digitally, as my first DVD has already gotten damaged. (note – no longer available)
- Lisa Young – an Australian vocalist, Young wrote her PHD thesis on konnakol. She has created quite a few YouTube videos, as well as made her thesis freely available online.
- Loire Cotler – she´s on Youtube with a click-baitish titled piece, (why not, it´s gotten over 125k views!) – but she’s also out in the world doing some interesting performances. Loire, if you read this, come to Bogotá!
- Steve Smith – another great percussionist who has been introducing Konnakol to the world of drumming. Check out this wonderful workshop with Zakir Hussain at Carnegie Hall. Smith DID come to Bogotá, and shared a good day of konnakol.
- Pascal Lovergne – workshops and videos
- Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project – great combination, jazz and konnakol
Doubtless, I´ve missed something. If you have a favorite resource, feel free to share. I see that there is an IndieGogo campaign in the works for an online tutorial or DVD – all good stuff. Meanwhile, I can assure you, the material above can keep you busy for for a couple of years if you work for an hour every day.