Sat Nam, newcomers to Sikhism. I am starting this thread to give background on a subject that baffled me for some time until I was able to find the key to following a kirtan performance of a Shabad from Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The challenge for me, and probably for you too, comes from our not having been hearing, listening, singing kirtan at home and at gurdwara, from our earliest years. If we had been born in to a Punjabi Sikh family, or even a White Sikh family, we would have been at gurdwara from infancy. Maybe we would have taken music lessons as part of the gurdwara program for children. Most likely our family would have had kirtan sung at home or the home of friends on weekends and special times during the year. The shabads would be by now ingrained in memory. And the pattern for singing a shabad would also be second nature to us. That is not where we stand. We realize we love kirtan. We love Shabad Guru. We get to the point where we can find the words to a shabad using a gurbani search engine. But we still can't figure out what the raagis are singing. We get lost. They don't seem to be following the shabad line by line in a sequence. We can't really follow too well by ear because we might not know enough Punjabi to do that. And all we need are some tips to make the process a little easier. So with the patience of those forum members who are old hands at this and who may wonder why I am making such a big deal of this -- please be patient. It took me 3 years to figure it out. Maybe other newcomers have the same questions. So to start, I am going to post a video of Shabad Guru performed by a jatha (Punjabi for "band" or "musical group" or musical suite. Then what I want to do is point out some things that will make following the kirtan easier.