INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Tabla Forum: head change


Author Message
head change Feb 05, 2001 10:26 a.m.

hello all tabla players. a few weeks ago, my danya started to loose all resonance; after discussing it with Samir Chatterjee, my guru, he suggested that I replace the head. I'd read david courtney's article, discussed the process with samirji, and went out to do it.

So far, so good; I've gotten the tasma through the head, made sure that the kundal is tight, etc, but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD i cannot get the head on straight, no matter how much slack i give it or how much I try to manipulate it.

It's been about 10 days now, I've started fresh 3 times, and i'm just about fed up. My pride prevents me from going directly to the tablawallah and saying, "here." any suggestions before I'm forced to admit that I just got it wrong?

I thank you greatly for your ideas.

Gabe Halberg
Re:head change Feb 05, 2001 11:07 a.m.

Hi Dave,

I'm not sure if we've met, but I also study with Samirji. Putting on a tabla head is not an easy process. Years ago when I had my first tabla head replaced, I paid to have it done and observed closely the technique by which to do it. Since then I've done all the work myself and it still doesn't always come out perfect. I recommend you take your drum back to Samirji and have the tablawallah do the work. Be there when it's done and pay close attention. Next time you'll know better what to do. I realize it can be VERY frustrating to have problems with tabla head replacement. But the process is not about you doing anything "right or wrong". It's about getting your tabla sounding good again, and learning from the whole thing.

Good luck.

Gabe Halberg

Re:head change Feb 06, 2001 09:17 a.m.

Its funny how we assume that to learn to play properly we must go to a teacher and not just learn it from a book but when it comes to working on the drum itself we assume we should be able to do it.

If you've had a couple of really good goes at it then I'd take it to your teacher and ask him to show you.


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