Deepak Moktan: The Guitar Guru searching for talents
If you think you have good guitar playing skills, maturity and good sense in music and can grace a stage with presentation and original music, you can be the ‘The One’.
Photos by: Dipit Raz
In 2016, Paras Khadka, a young guitarist from Kathmandu, was declared as the best among 29 guitar enthusiasts from countries and cities like Kathmandu, Dharan, Butwal, Columbia, Germany, Australia, US, Philippines, Indonesia, etc. For Deepak Moktan, a guitar instructor at Nepal Music Centre who is also a writer of the academic book in music for class 9 to 10, Khadka’s good sense in music and his skills in composing matured guitar lines that well justified a track provided by him were the best among the all. Searching for similar skills or more than those, Moktan is back again with the second iteration of the online guitar competition and he is inviting guitar enthusiasts to participate.
“I am looking for a guitarist having good guitar playing skills with mature and good sense in music. The winner should be the one who can grace a stage with presentation and original music and be deserving to be in the limelight,” explains Moktan.
“Nepali guitarists can be like Pete Townshend or Jimmy Page. Nothing is impossible. But s/he needs to have amazing skills, continuous practice, unique style, a great sense in music. Moreover, one has to work hard, have patience, and be confident, humble and hungry to become the best.”—Deepak Moktan
Though these qualities are very important to be the winner, the competition demands an entrant to strictly follow some rules and ‘terms and conditions’ which are mentioned in the deck published in the next page. But before we want you to minutely go through these parameters, we love to share something that we had got from an interview with the guitar hero.
- What were the inspirations behind starting the competition?
In 2010 and 2014, I had participated in a national-level competition and an international-level competition (Guitar Idol) respectively. So, I know how important it is for a guitarist to have an exposure.
- Any change in style than in the first iteration?
This time, we will accept entrants from Nepal only, and a final event will be organised to select the winner.
- Almost everything about the competition is mentioned in the deck. We want to know more about you and your takes on music. Why aren’t you coming up with a permanent band and release an album?
I am enjoying working as a guitar instructor and a teacher at NMC, and I will pursue teaching for a few more years to come. Teaching is the best way to learn, I’ve learnt so much while teaching. However, I also believe that it is a high time for me to come up with a band and some originals. I think this will be possible in 2019.
- One of the popular musicians of Nepal (name shall not be disclosed) said that Nepalese can never excel or compete with international guitarists because a guitar is not our musical instrument. However, a Nepalese can excel or be ‘The Number One’ in the world if s/he showcases his sarangi paying techniques in the world. Is this true?
It is true but is ‘half-truth’. I am sure Nepali guitarist will go beyond Nepal in the near future. It can be me or someone extremely passionate about music as me. We never know.
- Can you justify?
Even Indians are the ones who started playing the guitar not from very long ago. However, Mohini Dey, a young Indian female bassist is considered one of the best in the world. She has already played with Steve Vai, Guthrie Govan, A R Rahman, and many other legendary musicians.
- How one can learn to play the guitar properly? What should one do to learn to play the guitar properly?
There is a bigger chance you getting lost when you try to learn yourself. You may spend years on something which could have been guided by a proper teacher in a short period of time. So, having a good instructor is advisable. Being in a circle of like-minded friends will also help you learn, share, and grow. Besides, you should learn the basics (theory) of music. Lack of its knowledge will bug you when going to advanced levels.
- Is there is good future for guitarists in Nepal?
Yes, but one has to be very good at it. People think there is no future, but this is a misconception. Times have changed now, and good musicians and guitarists are earning name and fame and are living the life they want to. I am blessed to have landed in a position where I am today.
- What do you think is challenging in Nepal?
Making people believe the possibility of a good career in music is challenging. Because of this lack of realisation, many musicians—guitarists to be precise—are failing to make the best of their career from music. Besides this, the Nepali market is small for music, and good musical instruments are very expensive.
More about Deepak Moktan
The 31-year-old guitarist was first associated with ‘Usma Weg’, a progressive rock band from Patan. He later joined X-Mantra and Monkey Temple for a short period of time. He joined NMC in 2011 and started teaching music as a full-time teacher only from 2014.
“We should know that no one can be the ‘Number 1’ because this is the rank only created by fans. Even the world’s best guitarists will admit that they are still learning.”—Deepak Moktan
Steps to participate in the competition and ‘Terms and Conditions’
- Visit #deepakmoktanguitarcompetition official Facebook page, find the pinned post, and complete the application form available online.
- Download backing track from the Google Drive link. It is one minute 10 seconds long.
- Shoot yourself playing/improvising over the backing track. Use of other tracks will make your entry ‘invalid’. The audio and video should be played, recorded and shot together in one take.
- Camera or mobile audio sound will not be recognised as an entry. Entrants should use proper recording software like Cubase, fl studio, Pro Tools, and Studio)
- The video must clearly show the candidate’s face, hands, and guitar. Any entry found to be misguided, faked or not meeting the required terms will be disqualified.
- The official promotional picture of the competition (can be found on the official #deepakmoktanguitarcompetition facebook page) should be placed at the beginning of the video lasting not more than 5 seconds.
- Videos with product placements or other commercial intent should not be submitted.
- Post your video on YouTube with the hashtag #deepakmoktanguitarcompetition2018, along with your name. For example: #deepakmoktanguitarcompetition2018 entry – Deepak Moktan
- Do not message your entries or tag the judges or the organizing team on any social media or may result in disqualification.
- Compulsory: Email your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org to verify your entry. You’ll receive an email if your entry to the competition is valid. So, carefully read and follow all the rules and regulations before entering.
- You can still post your entry on YouTube, but if your entry is found ‘invalid’, your entry will not be accepted as an entry to the competition.
- Any registration with false information will be disqualified.
- As soon you upload your video on YouTube, your videos—after authenticity check—will be shared on the official Facebook page on the competition.
- After the preliminary round, if you are selected for the finale, you will receive an email for your selection along with a second backing track that you have to prepare for the finale.
- The organiser reserves the right to record, photograph or disseminate any and all stages in the competition in any manner whatsoever.
FINAL ROUND DETAILS
- Ten selected contestants shall perform in two different tracks in the finale.
- The first performance will be on the entry that was submitted.
- The second performance will be on the track provided after the selection for the finals. Participants will have a choice to play on the backing track of their original composition for their second performance.
- Must be present at the venue three hours before the finale for sound check.
- Must bring their personal guitar and effect pedals and must remain solely responsible for their musical instruments. Guitars must be tuned and effect pedals should already be fastened and hooked up to a pedal board before ascending the stage for the performance. Guitar retuning is allowed between the two performances.
- Will have a choice to use amplifiers provided by the organizers only.
- Shall perform within the time limit; exceeding it may have an effect on the marking process.
For more info & queries: https://www.facebook.com/deepakmoktanguitarcompetition or call: 9860749432