INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Tabla Forum: Some questions from a new player (about tuning)

 

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Neil C
Some questions from a new player (about tuning) Dec 05, 2003 01:43 p.m.


I got my first tabla (from JAS Musicals UK) 3 weeks ago and have some questions, mainly about tuning.
The daya is marked with C#. There is a point on the head when playing the tuning stroke (sorry can't remember all the names yet) that is exactly C# with all the blocks at the top (I've compared it to a sine wave from a keyboard), but the rest of the skin varies (is the same or lower in pitch) and has dull spots. I've tried tuning upwards by moving the blocks down and by hitting (with a tuning hammer) the gajarat (braid) down at the locations where the pitch is lower but this makes virtually no difference to the pitch. Should I hit the gajarat up to try moving to a lower note? The tabla were sold as having the heads 'tuned on individual peices of tabla'.
Two straps cover each block, but one of the straps slipped off one of the blocks (several of the straps are at the edge of the block they cover) and I can't get it back on, will this affect the tuning?
Shawn
Re:Some questions from a new player (about tuning) Dec 05, 2003 02:03 p.m.


Hi Neil,

If the drum was pulled properly and evenly when the skin was put on, then ideally, all the blocks should have the same number of straps over them, and they should all be at a similar height around the drum. If all the blocks have 2 straps, except one, that will definitely affect the tuning. You should try to get it back on.

I would really reccomend that you bring your drum to your tabla teacher and have him/her tune the drum for you. If you don't do it right, you can end up with an unbalanced skin, which over time, will stretch out of shape, and will be harder to tune.

It sounds like you were trying to tune essentially the right way. The blocks are for large changes in pitch, and the gajara is for fine tuning. But while doing that, it's important to keep the drum's tension even all around. You may notice that the drum is in tune at 180 degrees, and out of tune at 90 degrees. If you can tune the 90 degrees to each other, the pitches in between (the multiples of 45 degrees) will come together and become clearer, and more in tune.

Anyways, please see your teacher about this

Take care,


Shawn
http://www.percussionist.net
aanaddha
Re:Some questions from a new player (about tuning) Dec 05, 2003 02:06 p.m.



Neil C (Dec 05, 2003 01:43 p.m.):
I got my first tabla (from JAS Musicals UK) 3 weeks ago and have some questions, mainly about tuning.
The daya is marked with C#. There is a point on the head when playing the tuning stroke (sorry can't remember all the names yet) that is exactly C# with all the blocks at the top (I've compared it to a sine wave from a keyboard), but the rest of the skin varies (is the same or lower in pitch) and has dull spots. I've tried tuning upwards by moving the blocks down and by hitting (with a tuning hammer) the gajarat (braid) down at the locations where the pitch is lower but this makes virtually no difference to the pitch. Should I hit the gajarat up to try moving to a lower note? The tabla were sold as having the heads 'tuned on individual peices of tabla'.
Two straps cover each block, but one of the straps slipped off one of the blocks (several of the straps are at the edge of the block they cover) and I can't get it back on, will this affect the tuning?

See first: <https://chandrakantha.com/tablasite/articles/repair2.htm#TUNING>
From David's Tabla repair and maintenance article on this site and write back if you have any more questions. Or, to keep from permanently damaging your tablas ask someone to show you how to tune them - preferably your teacher.
Good luck,
Aanaddha

Neil C
Re:Questions from new player (tuning) Dec 12, 2003 12:44 p.m.


Thanks for the replies. I don't actually have a teacher, does anyone know of one near to me?
I live in Reading, Berkshire UK.
Neil C
Re:Some questions from a new player (about tuning) Dec 12, 2003 12:53 p.m.


Sorry I should mention that I'm currently learning from Pandit Sharda Sahai's video and book.
Also, I managed to get the strap back on.
And sorry for taking up two lines in the thread title.
jilly
Re:Some questions from a new player (about tuning) Dec 12, 2003 01:55 p.m.


I Neil, Im from essex and have to travel to Wembley for the nearest tabla classes. I guess that would be closer to you than it is from me. There are some pretty good teachers in the ealing area as well. all you have to do is take a trip down the M4 into LONDON
Shawn
Re:Some questions from a new player (about tuning) Dec 13, 2003 11:33 p.m.


Hi Neil,

Sounds like you're off on the right foot. I don't know how far you are from Southall (London), but you should see about studying with Pandit Sharda Sahai, or one of his disciples. Much better than the video I know that many students in the UK travel from a few hours away to study with him.

You should be able to contact him through the Pandit Ram Sahai Sangit Vidyalaya, whose website is at www.sahai.org

Take care,


Shawn
http://www.percussionist.net
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