INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Tabla Forum: Do you also get tired sometimes from it?

 

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gil
Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 11, 2002 09:03 a.m.


Hi all
I play tabla for 2 years already, and in fact i never played with a band - always alone i practice.
Sometimes i fill for couple of weeks that i have no mood for playing and it worries me.
i have two questions about it:
1)I am wondering if it is normal?
2)During the days that i am in the mood i play 1 hour in a day, enough? do you play in a day more?
Swara
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 11, 2002 10:02 a.m.


1) Yes I know the feeling. A new motivation is needed during that time. That could be some new lessons, visiting a great concert (mostly after watching a good concert I'm hungry to learn again)or make a contact with other musicians. Practising with a sitarplayer is a totally different feeling.
2) If you have no professional ambition I think one hour of practise is enough.
Steve
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 11, 2002 06:11 p.m.


I agree with you. I have been playing for almost two years and sometimes I feel a lack of motivation. When I feel this lack of motivation I say to myself to not play at all for two days or so. Then when you get back again you can see your improvement. I think that seeing a good concert too is a great motivator. Even if it means travelling far to the nearest big city. It is also useful to vary and plan your practice. Sit down and say on Monday I will .... on Tuesday.... and so on. Meeting other musicians is also very important. Where abouts do you live?Good luck, Steve.
Ryan
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 15, 2002 07:10 p.m.


I've been playing the tabla for three years and sometimes I have this exhausting feeling but that does not effect you in any way. All you need is a mighty good concert (as said before). At certain times you might not carry a video tape, then all you need is a good tabla Tape or CD. In that way, when your listening you have thoughts that how is this guy playing this thing and eventually you sit down and try to figure it out and in this way you're back to normal. In addition, if you are practicing non-stop 40 mins, thats more than enough for a day.
However, try it out and good luck.
rod
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 16, 2002 06:29 a.m.


I never get tired of it. Perhaps for the fist two years there would be moments when I felt "I will never paly like them" but, I knew that practice makes perfect and so if I miss one day now, I feel completely restless! I am glad I am addicted to it. I realised long ago that if I keep finding excuses to miss my practice then I won't go far at all! No matter what that excuses are. I even had to break up a relatioship because I started missing my daily practice.
Russ
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 16, 2002 04:40 p.m.



Swara (Aug 11, 2002 10:02 a.m.):
1) Yes I know the feeling. A new motivation is needed during that time. That could be some new lessons, visiting a great concert (mostly after watching a good concert I'm hungry to learn again)or make a contact with other musicians. Practising with a sitarplayer is a totally different feeling.
2) If you have no professional ambition I think one hour of practise is enough.

Hello;
Yes indeed. I have the same problem with sitar. If too many days go by without practicing, I feel the progress I've made will be quickly lost. I'm quite thankful I've taken lessons, but that was only an introduction. Its the practice later that makes it a part of you. That, plus putting on a CD by a favorite player, is what motivates me to get with it! I now have a discipline of sitting down every evening at 9:00 to play for one hour minimum. Seems to work.

Swara, practicing with a sitar player is a totally different feeling. How do you mean? Got me curious there. Like most, I have to practice alone also as no other sitar or tabla players within hundreds of miles of where I live. I have to travel quite far for lessons....

Swara
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 17, 2002 12:15 p.m.


Russ, what I wanted to say is if you play with a sitarplayer or with another musician you have another feeling of practise. When I have my daily practise I have in mind what I want to do that day. Some day I work about one hour on a kaida,single speed,double speed... Another day I play nothing else than tukras and chakradars. But if you play with somebody else it is not the technical stuff that comes on the first place. It is a good way to learn how to put some emotions in your playing. If you play on your own it is to study,to clear some things out,if you play with other musicians you can bring the things you already know in practise.
I also think the phenomenon of getting tired of it comes mostly with people who don't have the luck of having lessons from a guru on a regular base. Like me.
Swara
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 17, 2002 12:26 p.m.


Oh yes Russ,you are quite right. This is where it is all about DISCIPLINE
Russ
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 19, 2002 12:04 p.m.


Thanks Swara,I understand now. Like you, I work on the technical stuff alone. Try to work on one set of paltas or murchanas at a time to get good hand coordination and production of clean notes, with and without gamak. I have only played with a tabla player once, and he is an expert and guruji. Even though he is lightyears ahead of me, it was still fun, and he slowed down considerably so we could be in "synch". So, I know what you mean about a different experience! Also like you, I don't have a guru. Perhaps one day...
Krasp
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 19, 2002 06:34 p.m.


One thing that nobody has mentionned yet is that it is good to stop training for a while.

Personnally, I know i can feel lazy when i have been playing the same exercises for monthes and monthes. Then I prefer to stop for a week and let my brain and ears rest.
I always feel that my sound is better after such a pause. I can reconcentrate on my main defaults too

rod
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 20, 2002 03:57 a.m.



Krasp (Aug 19, 2002 06:34 p.m.):
One thing that nobody has mentionned yet is that it is good to stop training for a while.

Personnally, I know i can feel lazy when i have been playing the same exercises for monthes and monthes. Then I prefer to stop for a week and let my brain and ears rest.
I always feel that my sound is better after such a pause. I can reconcentrate on my main defaults too


I would advice you not even to think about doing that!!
Do you really think that if you really want to become a true tabla player you can just stop for days and then come back and think everything will be fine? You will be going one step forward, two backwards!! I have a video tape where Zakirjee says that his life revolves around tabla. He cosntantly thinks about tabla, his playing etc. In other words, he is always learning and learning, Think.Ryaz, Ryaz my so!!. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of thinking otherwise.
If you practised yoga for example, you will understand this. Say you have been doing yoga for a month, you then stop for one or two weeks, when u go back doing it again u will feel like you can do your excersises even better than before. Wrong! Two or three days later you will feel even stiffer than ever before. You will feel like you have gone backwards instead of forward. Don't think tabla would be any different. Constant daily Ryaz! Ryaz my son is the only way forward!

cheers

Steve
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 20, 2002 09:24 a.m.


What I find as a great source of inspiration is going to a good quality amateur performance. Unfortunatly where I live these are hard to come by. But if you see two amateur players producing a wonderful raga together then this can make normal people like us feel that such high level of playing is possible.
As for the idea of giving playing a rest. I do think that resting for one or two days is excellent. But spend those two days thinking about where you are going right and wrong and listening to many tapes etc. But no more then one or two days.
Russ
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 20, 2002 01:08 p.m.


I'm with Steve. Yes, push yourself but not to the point of "burning out". Do that and you will likely quit. Kind of like strength or endurance training. Each time you exercise (or play), push yourself just a little more than the last time, time-wise or difficult technique-wise. That way you're always going forward. But doing it to the point you hate it is counter-productive. Playing Indian music is supposed to be enjoyable!!!
Steve
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 20, 2002 05:41 p.m.


I think that is a good point. If you over do it then it can be counter productive. I do 60-90 mins every day for 6 days a week. I finish my practice when I feel nice
and i'm on a high note.Then when I start my next practice I am on the same high. A couple of months ago I tried 3 or 4 hours a day,
I managed this for a week or two but my standard wasn't improving. I noticed that I was gaining a great deal from the first 60-90mins but the rest did nothing. I would love
to practice for many hours a day.
Maybe your hours of good quality practice get greater as time goes on. Now i've been playing for 2 years and 60-90mins is my best.Maybe after 2 more year 3 hours is my best. My teacher always says you must do 4-6 hours each day. So maybe this will come in a few years.
paul
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 20, 2002 09:45 p.m.


it seems (at least from my own experience) that how long you are able to practice is all in the mind. when you get tired there seems to always be a way to get back your energy and re-center yourself. this also is nice, personally speaking, because it helps with many other things not having to do with tabla.
also why get discouraged? that is only possible if you want immediate payoff, it seems. if the practice itself is what you find enjoyable, how can you get tired of it or from it?
just a thought
Jake
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 21, 2002 08:25 a.m.


I have practiced this summer (3 months) nine hours a day. A couple of weeks have been just few hours of it. I believe that you must study daily. I have played 1 1/2 years and I am improving very well. Change your practices. If you feel like you don't have mental energy to do play for example Nasrook kaidas divided in 4 1/2 matras play themes of the compositions or technical exercises to keep it going. Technical aspect and sound is so vital in tabla playing. It's like flamenco guitar in a way. Develop execises that you can do off tabla also. Just keep it going everyday. I play and practice everyday my technic to a limit. I also keep good care of my hand muscles that they don't get injured of too much practicing. School begins soon, but I continue my practice.Then I have to practice couple of hours less per day.
rod
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 22, 2002 03:06 a.m.


Jake, I admire you for that! keep up hard work mate. I wish I had more than a 1 1/2 hours per day.

cheers

gil
thank to u all poeple!!! Aug 25, 2002 08:33 a.m.


Hello all
I must say that all of you made me to fill much better with my self after i read all your replays.
I had been thinking for a long time that something is wrong with me and now i can smile again. I love Tabla - it makes me fill happy (In Hebrew there is a special word for beeing more then happy, i mean realy happy - "OSHER" ) and i will just need to learn live with the times when happiness (with the tabla) is not around - thanks to you all!
One of you asked so i say: I am from Israel and i get trouble with findind concerts here, even a Guru is a problem.
Wish you all the best
gil
Sadala
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 25, 2002 09:29 p.m.


Thats really cool that you play tabla in Israel, gil. I have come across a few yoga websites based in Israel, maybe you can e-mail them and see if they can put you in touch with some other musicians? Its worth a try anyway. heres one:

http://www.ashtanga-yoga-israel.com/

You can go to www.google.com and type "yoga Israel" and find several more.

Good luck!!!

Warren
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 27, 2002 11:21 p.m.


If you can practice 9 hours a day you have the right drive and will progress quickly. But hopefully you have a good teacher just to keep an eye on your technique and and give you things to work on .
By the way if you want to become a proffesional classical tabla player you can get to the first level in 6 years pacticing 6-10 hours a day, and learning from a knowledgable teacher.
The next 4 or 5 years performing and practicing a couple hours a day and frequent instructions from your guru will get you to the next level . You could possibly reach an "All India Radio" Grade A musician by this time but maybe not. The thing is I don't think any none Indian has really reached this level.
Jake
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 28, 2002 12:32 a.m.


Dear Warren.
Why is it so "impossible" to be a great tabla player? You don't believe, that it's possible to learn from recordings and books?
I had few technical tips from a friend of mine how has studied tabla a couple of years with a teacher. Otherwise I have developed my style by listening various artist and trying out different things and then listening back from the tape recorder my own playing. I have about 30-40 tabla solo recordings. My absolute favourites are Thirakwa, Chaudhuri and Kishen Maharaj.
I have David's Fundamentals of tabla and Advanced theory of tabla. I have Gottlieb's, Alla Rakha's and both Aloke Dutta's books.
It's not possible in my case to get a teacher, because there aren't any here in Finland.
Warren
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 28, 2002 12:40 a.m.


The thing is tabla is like meditation , playing is something you do. It's a never ending path not a destination. If you have time, great discipline, great teachers, someone to play music with then take advantage of those things as much as you can. At a certain point you learn enough to really enjoy playing for it's own sake. Competition can be good. But don't worry there will always be many better than you and many you are better than but each person is unique so you always have that. As Subhen said embrace the music not just the sound. Also if you want to be able to play certain things then there is a price and the teachers call it sacrifice
so start choosing goals for yourself then try to reach them . This is called Riyas, Your practice. How is your riyas? that's a common question so it's an on going thing . How is your riyaz these days? Is it good ? then that is a good thing , if not then try a little harder next time . Finally people progress or burn out at different levels. For example I studied and practiced hard for 3 years then burned out and finally came back to a moderate level. Others played at a moderate level and never burned , some burned out after 6 or 7 years. Different players are in different phases all the time. for the original question: Hard practice can hurt as in a work out but if you suffer some real pain it is because you have some bad habit you are doing. This is why you need teachers.
Warren
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 28, 2002 01:07 a.m.


Collin Wallcott was a great tabla player, he played in the band called Oregon. He really did some cool stuff. On the other hand technically he wouldn't be able to keep up with Zakir's advanced class. And speaking of Zakir I garantee you that 2 weeks of Zakir's class is priceless. I'd say just from my experience the years I taught myself. That people probably progress more in 2 weeks of his class than 6 months of practice. So if you want to buy 6 months of practice plan a trip to Zakirs summer class.
I don't want to discourage people about tabla but if you want to be a truly great "Classical" player I gave the basic timelines , it's pretty much a set thing. If you just want to play the tablas well then it doesn't take nearly enough . However the more you learn about tabla the more you will realize how little you know . It is vast! Example it can take a decade to learn baya modulation. alone. Here's an exercise : play dha dhin dhin dha at a good speed then without losing the speed add 2 baya notes dhage dhinge dhinge dhage then increase the baya to 3 dhagege dhingege dhingege dhagege then 4 dhagegege etc. But the thing about this exrcise is work on the baya modulation each baya tone should go up then down.
Also switch this dhana dhina dhina dhana
then dhanana dhinanana etc.



Jake (Aug 28, 2002 12:32 a.m.):
Dear Warren.
Why is it so "impossible" to be a great tabla player? You don't believe, that it's possible to learn from recordings and books?
I had few technical tips from a friend of mine how has studied tabla a couple of years with a teacher. Otherwise I have developed my style by listening various artist and trying out different things and then listening back from the tape recorder my own playing. I have about 30-40 tabla solo recordings. My absolute favourites are Thirakwa, Chaudhuri and Kishen Maharaj.
I have David's Fundamentals of tabla and Advanced theory of tabla. I have Gottlieb's, Alla Rakha's and both Aloke Dutta's books.
It's not possible in my case to get a teacher, because there aren't any here in Finland.
Russ
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 28, 2002 10:14 a.m.


Hi Warren;
I agree that if you're going to be a professional tablaji, then 8-10 hours per day is about right (same for sitar or other instrument). But then, of course tabla is going to be your life as well as livelyhood. The non-professional who does this for enjoyment or serious hobby can put in less time. We after all have another life to lead. Agreed that I don't think a non-Indian has ever made it to that level.
Jake
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 28, 2002 11:24 a.m.


Hello Warren!
I know tabla is difficult. There are for example some very difficult phrases in Purab baj. DhereDhere's are also difficult. I don't believe that technical aspect of tabla will be my problem. I believe, that my technical side of tabla will be within 3-5 years in a level, that I can play terekita based relas purely in 140. Now I can play about 120.

I don't have problems with variations playing kaidas or relas. The only thing where I don't
consider my playing purely classical in a strict sense, that I haven't learned too many fixed compositions aloud. I improvise. I add to my phrase collection when I hear or study from the books something interesting (bols or rhythm). With mixing phrases and using different pauses and good math I am able to play tukras and chakradars.My own composiyions just feel right for me.
How do you Warren as a studied classical perfomer see that kind of way of using own compositions?

Warren
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 28, 2002 11:28 p.m.


That's good , I went to my lahara machine to check out where you were. if you are practicing 6 to 8 hours you should have a break through soon and be able to reach 140. I think I had a break through back when I started playing, it was a Zakir kaida dha-tr,kt tk,trkt,dha-tr,kt tk, trkt,dhati,dhage,dhine,gene,dha-tr,ktdha-,tidha,gene, tine, kene. One important thing most tabla players start out and there hands are very rigid. Make sure your hands are very loose and relaxed at all times. Improvisation is fine but it is better to practice kaida rela etc. to understand the art of tabla, you must know the rules in order to improvise properly . I have over 200 compositions on my website , everyone should copy and try to learn some of them if they don't have any http://www.angelfire.com/music3/tabla/auscomp.htm
And this is for the beginners , although we start with our hands very fixed eventually they should float loose on the pudi. Example: If you play dha dhin dhin dha, the first finger does not stretch from the kinar to the sur ,instead the hand floats, the ring finger and little finger move forward so that the hand is in the exact same position when playing dha and dhin, the whole hand moves slightly forward for dhin.. If you see what I mean, the position of the hand is crucial ,look at the hands in the photo gallery , Swapan 72, Zakir42 , 34 also 6 http://www.angelfire.com/music3/tabla/gallerymain.htm (if you have a slow connection turn the slide show on for 10min and look at the gallery after all the pictures have shown once they will come up faster the second time. By the way there are pictures from this years classes with Zakir starting # 37 . even pics from allah rakha's classes in the late 70's
Warren
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 28, 2002 11:37 p.m.


Russ , You are absolutely right! And that other life of ours is usually in the way of our practice. I like to think of tabla as Khansahib said about music for these musicians it is like food and when we are hungry we have to eat. So eat when you are hungry and enjoy the tabla. By the way in defense of non indian players there are quite a few grade B players from other countries and the USA . I would be happy to reach that level -in American terms that is about the technical level of someone like Van Halen .We just don't have the culture in our music to support many grade A musicians, we do have a few . The closest kit drummer I can think of would be Billy Cobham.



Russ (Aug 28, 2002 10:14 a.m.):
Hi Warren;
I agree that if you're going to be a professional tablaji, then 8-10 hours per day is about right (same for sitar or other instrument). But then, of course tabla is going to be your life as well as livelyhood. The non-professional who does this for enjoyment or serious hobby can put in less time. We after all have another life to lead. Agreed that I don't think a non-Indian has ever made it to that level.
Jake
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 29, 2002 08:59 a.m.


Hello Warren!
Thank you for your comments. I do play kaida-rela always. I believe stretching of rules is appropriate only when it's used as an effect after many variations and when it's done with good taste. My absolute favourite of todays tabla virtuosos is Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. His style is elegant, GREAT sound, calmness and yet still sometimes playful. I don't like pure show of technical ability. Tabla solo must have peaks and walleys. Thirakwa's 1964 Live there is a very strong effect, when THE master plays this gat where you play nara with both hands. If I remember correct he starts gat so slowly, that he is able to change laya four times. The last time it feels even faster, when perfomed so effectively.
What was the thing, that made you feel like you'll not be grade A player? You have knowledge! Whas it just lak of practice and that burn out after hard practicing, I mean the technical aspect of playing?
Russ
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 29, 2002 11:22 a.m.


Warren, in my case, playing gives me balance when things get unbalanced. Khansahib's statement is also true. Don't know if I agree about Van Halen, but I'm with you on Billy Cobham. Same thing with Buddy Rich and Carl Palmer in my opinion.


Warren (Aug 28, 2002 11:37 p.m.):
Russ , You are absolutely right! And that other life of ours is usually in the way of our practice. I like to think of tabla as Khansahib said about music for these musicians it is like food and when we are hungry we have to eat. So eat when you are hungry and enjoy the tabla. By the way in defense of non indian players there are quite a few grade B players from other countries and the USA . I would be happy to reach that level -in American terms that is about the technical level of someone like Van Halen .We just don't have the culture in our music to support many grade A musicians, we do have a few . The closest kit drummer I can think of would be Billy Cobham.



Russ (Aug 28, 2002 10:14 a.m.):
Hi Warren;
I agree that if you're going to be a professional tablaji, then 8-10 hours per day is about right (same for sitar or other instrument). But then, of course tabla is going to be your life as well as livelyhood. The non-professional who does this for enjoyment or serious hobby can put in less time. We after all have another life to lead. Agreed that I don't think a non-Indian has ever made it to that level.

warren
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 30, 2002 05:40 p.m.


Jake,
All India Radio in India gives an examination by a board of established pandits.
In order to be grade A you must pass this examination. It is a tremendous achievement and everything is taken into consideration.
Hindustani music is so vast. For example take someone like David Courtney, he is a competent player technically but his forte is the knowledge. He has studied and has tremendous knowledge regarding the instrument and the music. There are so many fields regarding tabla, so many different masters of different fields of music, different styles, different technical abilities. For the tablachi there is a different style required for different instruments , vocalist and many different styles of playing for the many styles of music all within hindustani music. Just one of these areas can take a lifetime to learn. But the fantastic thing is that these grade A artist are well on there way, they achieve the equivelant of many lifetimes because the guru passes down the knowledge that took lifetimes to develop and these musicians learn far beyond what can be created or developed in a lifetime. Swapan-Da is one example, he has learned to play with such grace and beauty, Anindo is another. Such sacrifice you would not believe. You know Anindo-Da has trouble walking due to the sacrifice of playing 12-16 hours a day for 20 years. Anindo is amazing, he can play those terekita relas at 288 speed for 20 minutes in perfect clarity, without breaking a sweat and have a conversation at the same time. I feel very close to Anindo because his teacher was my first teacher. (Jnan Prakesh Ghosh) He treats me very well but then Anindo treats everyone well. Then there is Zakir, he may not be the best in one particular field but he is a master of every field. He is the sum of the art of tabla, the living cumulation of everything before. Look at his teachers, Abaji and Thirkwa. Zakir is not flashy, those that imitate him maybe. He plays from the soul, he is extremely intelligent and well versed in eastern and western music and culture. And humble, you could walk up to him in a coffee shop and have a casual conversation on any current topic of world affairs in fact he enjoys talking casually with people who have no clue who he is. Yet in India he is more popular then the beatles.

Anyway I digress, no I will never reach grade A, probably not what I consider grade B. As Russ stated : we have another life , these artists sacrifice there entire life to the music and they are also the product themselves of great masters. I guess at one time I thought I could reach the peak of tabla, but when I got to that peak I realized it was just one small pinnacle and before me I see a mountain like Everest strecthing into the clouds with no end. Then looking with my binoculars I see Swapan , Anindo, Zakir and many others and they are halfway up that mountain, many miles above me and there is likely no way I can get up to them in this life. So I am just happy to be on the mountain of tabla. And the cool thing is that these masters keep coming back down and walk with me and help me hed up for a while. And they will do this for others you just have to make a little effort to find where to meet them. So find them and walk up this mountain, the top is not important look at all the beauty along the way .


[quote]Jake (Aug 29, 2002 08:59 a.m.):
Hello Warren!
My absolute favourite of todays tabla virtuosos is Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri.
What was the thing, that made you feel like you'll not be grade A player?

Russ
Re:Do you also get tired sometimes from it? Aug 30, 2002 07:06 p.m.


Wow, Warren. I think you just gave the definitive answer. Bravo! The point I think is simply, there is no end. Its the journey and the things that happen along the way that's the most important.
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