Kiran Roy is a man who says what he means, and does what he says. From the moment he picked up his guitar at age 13,considering Eddie Van Halen as his guitar god,he pursued his dream of playing a guitar solo right in front of thousands. Practicing as much as 12 hours a day—from the time he came home from school/college till the time he went back the next morning—his proficiency on the instrument was astonishing. It wasn’t long before everybody realized somebody special was in their midst.
“People were saying my playing was pretty good, which was cool,” Kiran admits. “The thing is, there wasn’t anything else I wanted to do with my life.”
Mr. Kiran Roy established Guitar Hall – Guitar Academy And Boutique™ in 1998. An Electrical Engineer by qualification, his conviction coupled with virtuoso guitar playing abilities and zeal to lead the team professionally in overall interest of the Company has ensured continual growth of the Company and the Group as a whole. A hard-worker and an achiever to the core, he is the Director of the Guitar Hall chain of Academies and Guitar Boutiques and other Group Companies like DRUM ZONE – INSTITUTE OF DRUMS ™ and KEYBOARD – X: INSTITUTE OF KEYBOARDS™.
Mr. Kiran Roy established Guitar Hall at a very young age of 19 Years and has been the Director of the Firm / Company since inception and is responsible for the overall day-to-day management of the company. Rich experience in the music field coupled with hands on experience in the music education and music retail sector, has given him an apt ability to foresee sector requirements, well in advance. He has extensive experience in the Indian Rock Music Circuit. He personally ensures that quality musical instruments and music education service is provided to the members and clients across all the centers. Kiran Roy,who currently owns 20 branches all across Mumbai,Navi Mumbai,Thane,Pune and Port Blair, is instrumental in giving India its first chain of professional Music Training Institutes and Musical Instruments Shops all under one roof. It is therefore only befitting that the Guitar Hall Group is being lead under his able guidance and leadership skills.
Kiran Roy was born and raised in Mumbai. While in junior high school (age 13), Kiran’s mother gave him his first guitar. Although it was an ordinary guitar, Kiran was able to learn to play.Kiran’s early musical influences were Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Pantera, Sepultura, Joe Satriani and Iron Maiden. He credits the Megadeth album ‘Rust in Peace’ with changing his life. He had set his sights to playing ‘Hangar 18’ one day, which eventually he did with perfect precision with his Rock Band. He dedicated his teenage years to rebelliously practicing his guitars for sometimes 16 hours a day, even writing songs at his exam answer sheets as he never had much time left to prepare for his exams, while studying music theory, ear training, composition and improvisation. His schoolwork and soon college work suffered when he skipped classes and spent time with his guitar, all day long playing guitar.Once during his engineering days he had a concert just a day before his exams at a faraway location.He left home saying he is going to a friends place to study.Instead took a train to the venue,did the concert and directly reached his college right in time for his exams! School may have suffered, College may have suffered, got lashes from his parents, got suspended from colleges, was debarred from attending exams, but his guitar playing just got better! The other guys now thought Kiran Roy was cool, and he was no longer a social outcast. Kiran started jamming with other young talented musicians and soon he formed and also started performing with his first Rock band R.O.T.After a few live performances itself, he had a steady stream of students lining up his doors to get trained under him. The seeds of the current phenomenon Guitar Hall was probably sown somewhere out there.
Seeing the number of students swelling by every passing day, coming from far corners of the State,Kiran changed his approach of conducting lessons from his house and decided to impart professional guitar training and education on a larger scale and platform, and the end result was Guitar Hall! He then finished his Engineering after years of what he calls ” literal struggle”.
Down the line Kiran Roy was the Lead Guitarist for Accuzed a progressive rock band in early 2000 and Prayag – a hindi rock band in mid 2000. His acrobatic licks, speed, control, feats on the whammy bar, harmonics and melodic compositions has placed him in demand by even the most established musicians in Mumbai. Having shared the stage and spotlight with many musical giants, Kiran Roy has attained a career that many young guitarists only dream of. Apart from Kiran Roy’s unique and exotic playing and composing styles, his artistic heart and soul also emerges in his solo albums. Kiran came up with his unique technique by watching a pianist friend use both hands on the piano, and adapted this style, so he could play the melody,lead,chords and bass all at the same time.Kiran’s compositions come from within. He considers harmonic and melodic contents a part of his soul and a building block for what he calls “Melodic Instrumental Mood Music, with emphasis on Rock, featuring Two-Handed Tapping Technique”.Kiran Roy is currently the lead guitarist of his metal band ‘Lust Of Symphony’ which comprises of professional musicians from far corners of the world who are also Guitar Hall teachers.
Kiran has a wellspring of ability on the fret board and his compositions exhibit depth, taste and original expression with a wealth of melodic content. In his playing and compositions, one can hear influences from such greats as Steve Vai,Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Eric Johnson, Randy Rhoads, John Petrucci, Andy Timmons, Nuno Bettencourt and Paul Gilbert.
Kiran Roy is very particular about his equipment and uses Ibanez,B.C. Reich & Kramer guitars,Digitech Processors,Peavey & Marshall Amplifiers,SIT Strings and Dimarzio straps,cables and hardware.
With a lot of talent and a lot of drive, Kiran and Guitar Hall has become a success story. Kiran’s life once seemed a symbol of rock and roll decadence, but now it’s a symbol of inspiration for thousands of his Guitar Hall students.
In His Own Words : The Man Behind The Guitar Revolution In India.An Interview with Kiran Roy – Owner of 20 Music Academies and Guitar Shops across Mumbai,Navi Mumbai,Thane,Pune,Maharashtra and now Port Blair!
Question: What does the Guitar Hall slogan “No shortcuts…No quick fixes” mean to the Guitar Hall students?
That has always been my motto in life.“No shortcuts…No quick fixes” is a turn of phrase used to describe the practical as well as contextual application of the Guitar Hall training method.Here there are no half measures at delivering training neither do i tolerate half hearted learning.If you’v got to learn it you’ve got to learn it the right way,you have to grind it out or else don’t do it !You HAVE to do it the way it is meant to be done.No stop gap arrangements!No spoonfed tunes to make you feel good about your life.I am not running a wellness spa.Instead Guitar Hall is an intensive Guitar Training Academy.You need to know how the tunes are made rather.You need to create or give birth to the melodies.In short i believe in teaching my GH students how to catch the fish rather than giving them the fish!
At Guitar Hall, we focus on teaching on three levels: Fundamental, Practical and Conceptual. The Fundamental element being the core curriculum and the backbone of a solid musical education including musicianship, harmony and theory, ear training, etc. The Practical element is essentially where the “rubber meets the road.” We strive to use real world examples and context to prepare the student for the rigors of guitar learning. We employ a talented group of hand-picked guitar teachers who are working professionally and provide insight into what really works and what’s going to be asked of the aspiring guitarist outside the academy. We also address the Conceptual element of guitar training, which provides exercises and assignments for further study and to stimulate creativity. It’s my constant endeavor to make sure that all the students at Guitar Hall get an unusually high level of training and personal attention.
What makes Guitar Hall unique?
First of all, there is no guitar training that is more effective than playing in real time with real guitarists. One truly unique feature of the Guitar Hall experience is that you — the student — get to actually play! Results are assured. Secondly, having awesome technique alone doesn’t make a great guitarist, there are other factors involved that complete the equation. In addition to technique, a good ear, sense of timing and being able to read music are what truly make up a well rounded guitarist. However, technique is the link between your hands and the music that is ultimately heard. The term ‘technique’ is defined as the development of specific skills involved in playing an instrument like hand and finger dexterity, vibrato, hammer ons, pull offs, trills, bends and tapping that enables the guitarist to perform the composition effortlessly. Developing your facilities to the point where you can perform whatever music you may hear in your head or desire to learn should be of utmost importance.Our Guitar Hall programs & modules are all about that.
There are no shortcuts on the road to become a great guitarist. You’ve got to put in the hours, days, weeks and years of consistent practice. It takes dedication, discipline and above all, a genuine love for your guitar.
Also,we have guitar Workshops every now and then in which students get to play with and get advice from established professional lead guitarists from the Indian Rock circuit who have been my colleagues and fellow lead guitarists down the years. Not only does this provide invaluable experience, but it also provides for real guitar learning like no other institute in Mumbai can offer.
Guitar Hall has a warm, friendly atmosphere with a boutique feel. I personally believe that great music learning happens in an environment which has an amazing ambiance. As I mentioned earlier, we employ a hand-picked team of professionals who are committed to guitar teaching. And with a student to teacher ratio of about 4:1, we can provide a personalized and comprehensive learning experience for our students.
Also, a unique feature of the Guitar Hall experience is the holistic way in which our curriculum and syllabus has been developed. We have taken painstaking efforts to make sure that all the students get a full and well-rounded education. The program not only includes the fundamentals of guitar playing and performance, but also style analysis and technique. In addition, we have a strong system that allows for specialization onto advanced modules. These entire elements combine for a powerful system that we feel is unparalleled anywhere in India.
With the tremendous body of professional experience you have, what do you teach students to prepare them for guitar playing?
Hehe.. please don’t make me feel old! I’m just 28.The ride has just begun! Have a long way to go! And i do know my destination! Anyways having done as much varied music as I have in my career so far, I think that I have a very clear understanding of what is expected of the guitar learner. This includes everything from practical musical skill sets, advanced theories to advanced techniques. I like to think that Guitar Hall was founded by a Guitar Crazy man for guitar crazy people. And let me tell you that Guitar Hall is no ‘private tutions’, ‘hobby class’ or ’music classes’ teaching kids and wannabe rockers. Guitar Hall is a professional guitar training lab which has students coming from diverse walks of lives and coming from far off places consisting mostly of adults who themselves have chosen guitars and are serious about it. It amazes me no end when i see people travelling 7-8 hours each day to attend Guitar Hall sessions from as far as Bharuch, Rajkot(Gujrat), Satara, Jalgaon, Pune(Maharashtra) and people who are staying as paying guests here at Mumbai having come all the way from Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal etc. to master the guitars at Guitar Hall. I salute them as they have truly brought a new identity to the term ‘dedication’.
‘Music class’, ‘hobby class’ are the ones which have mushroomed all over Mumbai, some of them which goes like “learn guitars in 15 days” and some who say “I only train privately – one to one” who disappear with their mobiles to their bedrooms after giving you a lame lesson. Please don’t believe them. If any private teacher/institute insists that there is a shortcut to success in mastering the guitars consider them as big liars. Coz there are no shortcuts… only hard work if you want to release your goals. I spent my formative years as a Rock Guitarist practicing 12 hours a day. My parents thought i had lost it completely as i had stopped socializing and all that i cared for was guitars. So in short if it was that easy my Guitar Hall watchman would have been an ace guitarist teaching at my Hall! He spends the whole day watching us in action!
What is your motivation for running Guitar Hall?
Actually i never thought that my Guitar Hall would be the largest chain of music training academies and guitar shops in the world one day.
At a very early age,I developed a belief that we’re all here to contribute something unique,that deep within each of us lies a special gift.You see,I truly believe we all have a sleeping giant within us.At an early age i realized that if a normal guy like me can possess extraordinary talents in playing the guitars,everyone has something in them.Each of us has a talent,a gift,your own bit of genius just waiting to be tapped.It might be a talent for art or music or just about anything.I decided to help enable people find their true calling in music.I choose to believe that our creator doesn’t play favorites,that we’ve all been created unique,but with equal opportunities for experiencing life to it’s fullest.I decided many years ago that the most important way i could spend my life would be to invest it in something that would outlast it.I decided that somehow i must contribute in some way that would live on long after i was gone.
My father is a millionaire and he has a multi crore business and me being the eldest son it was but natural for me to take over his firm.But i soon realized how badly i wanted to pursue my dreams and realized i would never be happy making crores but staying away from my Guitar Hall which i had built brick to brick.I decided to walk a separate path of my own, in spite of stiff opposition and getting virtually no support during my early days.That has been my motivation.To create something right from scratch without a single penny in my pocket to something which no body has ever dared to do ever before!
And today when my father proudly sits in my chair in my Guitar Hall Head Office saying ‘Son you are overtaking my business!’ or sometimes pat me on my back saying ‘I’m proud of you my son’ i know i have arrived!That’s my biggest motivation as my father has always been my biggest critic,motivator and my all time hero.He has made his millions starting from scratch working as an electrician in construction sites to being the owner of one of India’s leading Electrical Consulting and Contracting firms.
Is there an advantage to studying guitars in Mumbai?
Completely. There is more happening in popular music and rock music in Mumbai apart from Bangalore and some north eastern states than in any other city in India. Mumbai has become the new capital for the popular music industry. In addition, Mumbai has managed to maintain its status as the leader in film, TV, and recorded music. There is no way to describe the experience of being in that environment and being truly challenged by the best of the best musicians this city has to offer. Also, there is nowhere else in India where there are more opportunities to get involved in the music industry on such a high level.
What’s new at Guitar Hall?
There’s so much new stuff going on at Guitar Hall every day — it’s amazing!Even scary at times!Earlier i only used to see them in my dreams but its a reality now.I had never imagined Guitar Hall would be this big at todays date.We have 100 + new memberships every month at our academy and we have also been awarded contracts from leading International Schools in Mumbai to impart Guitar Education at their Schools.Me and my crew are working 24/7.Most importantly,we have more Guitar Hall centers coming up at Mumbai and also at Bangalore,Delhi,Pune and Kolkata.So this phase of expansion is going to be very taxing and challenging for all of us Guitar Hall Crew. Guitar Hall has indeed come up a long way since its inception 10 years back. The academy is growing by leaps and bounds while still maintaining its boutique feel and niche atmosphere. We take very seriously our responsibility to train the next generation of guitarists and continue to develop programs and build facilities towards that end. We have new and more specialized guitar study programs to more actively meet our students’ needs. We’re incredibly excited about the new developments and couldn’t be more optimistic about the direction our academy is taking.