Chandresh Kudwa

Chandresh Kudwa is one of India’s most worshipped guitarists, and has played with a number of bands including Thor, Freedom, Nexus, Vedic Chant and Dream Out Loud. He is also involved in a project called Axe-Tortion, a collaboration of various guitarists from across the country. The Scholars’ Avenue caught up with Kudwa this Spring Fest, and he obligingly shared his views on life, the guitar and everything…

TSA: What is your inspiration in life?
C.K: Life is inspirational in itself. You could choose to look at it in the most negative way possible and it may feel like a real downer or you could look at the various people and things around you with a more positive perspective and get inspiration on a daily basis. As far as music and guitarists go, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani inspired me most. Some drummers have also been pretty inspirational for me.

TSA: At what age did you first pick up the guitar?

C.K: 14 years.

TSA: Any guitarist who inspired your style of playing?

C.K: At this point of time, I feel I have a style of my own and a way of playing that makes me come up with stuff more naturally without having to pause and think about what to play. It is only through years of practice that you reach a stage where you don’t get stuck. Now, I can take up a guitar and just strum away without worrying about what ‘line’ to choose.

However, if tomorrow I am asked to play for a T.V commercial and they ask me to play something bluesy or Hendrix, I will try to search inside me for that, but that is not me…it will just remain a job where I lend my services to a commercial project.

TSA: A career in music is not the most sought after. Moreover, you are an improvisation guitarist which appeals only to a small community of people. How do you manage?

C.K: It is upon the individual to figure out whether he/she has the talent to succeed, since today a career in music is much easier due to exposure through Internet and social networking websites. Luckily, my parents were very supportive so I had no problems. However, it’s about earning that faith in you. Going and playing in a rock band and doing all the stuff you are not supposed to won’t inspire that confidence. Deep down inside even you need to realize how good or bad (talent wise) you are for others to have that faith in you. You could be a good musician and not get enough support from your parents – in that case you are plain unlucky. However if you are just another ‘so-called’ musician then maybe you deserve it.

TSA: Improvisation is really advanced guitar work. Did it come to you naturally?

C.K: Improvisation cannot come naturally to anyone. It only comes with a lot of hard work, learning and practice. If I listen to a two-second part today, it might take me as long as two years to get it right. A lot depends upon individual skill too.

TSA: There is a lot of blood and toil behind C.K, so to speak, and love for the guitar. One piece of advice you would like to give any guitarist/musician just starting?

C.K: Yes…I just love it (playing the guitar). One piece of advice I would like to give is to develop patience, not just for music but for life in general. If you want something fast, it’s not going to happen. Develop patience and determination and you shall achieve what you want.

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