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How to Sing Like Rafi Saheb?

This article is by Vishal Kulshrestha and Pratik Kumar.

Computers, the most famous buzzword of modern times can be a great aid for singing. Here I only touch on their use for analyzing and reproducing song’s of rafi saheb, though the techniques are very generic in nature. I feel this is one of the best discoveries of my life. There could be nothing better than being able to analyze and appreciate the songs of the voice of God.

For the impatient, here are the quick steps:

1. Open the song you want to learn in Windows Media Player

2. From the menu bar, select View->Enhancements->Play Speed Settings

3. Now use the slider bar to reduce the speed of the songs.

4. It will be easier for the trained ear to analyze the variations and notes used by Rafi Saheb.

5. To sing like Rafi Saheb, start with the slowest speed and sing along. Increase the speed step by step and practice.

This article could very well be titled “How to Sing like Kishore Da” or “How to Sing like Lata ji”. Well, the software is the same and so are the steps, just that you’ll appreciate what Rafi Saheb has left for us even if the above steps are used for analysis of his art.

Did he sound Besura?
Did he use notes that you don’t expect him to use?
Did he change the tune from what you expect?

Answer to all the above is a big YES. And even I was surprised. In the variations that he has taken, he has used notes that sound offnote, that sound not in line with the tune, and yet when sung at the speed at which he formed the variations, no one beats the Maestro till date, as
we all know.

With this , I can write articles after articles on Rafi Saheb’s songs. Instead I’d like to leave the analysis, the effort and the beauty to singers who want to learn. Remember, first learn to sing like the Saheb, then innovate. Rafi Saheb’s singing technique is described by a single word: “INNOVATION”.

Other applications

1. One simple application could be to find the notes being played in a fast music. Great help if you want to play the same piece correctly!

2. You can try this on a singer of your own choice and analyze his skills.

3. You can record your own songs and find out where you went besura or out of tune, or compare yourself with the original singer. (Sa re ga ma pa, Indian Idol, Are you Listening?)

Note 1: The voice will sound a little artificial when the speed is changed. This is because the pitch changes when you play the song at a different speed (remember the old gramaphone records being played with incorrect rpm!). Pitch is restored using software techniques back to the original which results in the artificiality.

Note 2: Windows Media Player is what I expect people to use. I have Windows XP and Windows Media Player version 9. There are other softwares that allow you to change speed.

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8 Blog Comments to “How to Sing Like Rafi Saheb?”

  1. Sumit Jangid says:

    Rafi Saab…mis u realy…there r no words about ur Voice and singing

  2. Sumit Jangid says:

    Rafi Saab…mis u realy…

  3. Dileep Sinha says:

    I am familiar with the technique you have described. Rafi was made into rafi by a heritage of virtuoso gurus and his own uniquesness. To learn to sing like rafi one needs to undergo the same training by the same Gurus in the same sequence on the same time series…but that needs to be combined with the the same uniquness of rafi..which is impossible. So it is impossible to have a rafi’s clone. The above techniques will help in decifering, understanding and appreciating the minute details Rfi would incorporate into his soings…one can learn those techniques by imitating. Here is another point, though. One has to learn classical music and increase one’s potential vastly to be able to imitatae and infact even NOTICE the techniques. Many a times you can notice, but to imitate is beyond you. I would rather you listened to Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Waheed khan, Amir khan and imitate them. It will be easier to understand Rafi’s techniques and imitate them. Overall, a good singer has to practice classical music devoutedly at least for two years to be able to imitate rafi’s techniques as mentioned in this post.
    Nevertheless, to remind of Md Rafi, this technique will work fine for an average singer also.

  4. Vishal Kulshrestha says:

    My only intention with this article is to provide a tool for analysis and regeneration of Rafi Saheb’s style. Do you know of any other way to learn and master the techniques he has used?

    This method is amazing, in the sense that you get the “real” feel of what professional singing is and provides you with the ability to master the techniques of the Masters.




  6. Pawan Tiwari says:

    Nice little Trick u had mentioned.
    But i have an Example to that Trick
    We all know what the SUN is and how it works, but the simplest of all the Question is ————— is another can be Created??????????

    Pawan Bhai Multani


  7. harjit singh bedi says:

    no one men do singing like mohmmad rafi sahab .for all times i signature on this commitment .mohammad rafi sahab has the first and one other

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