INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Tabla Forum: How did you get interested in playing tabla?

 

Author Message
algernon
How did you get interested in playing tabla? Apr 20, 2004 05:47 p.m.


First of all, as a new tabla student, I have enjoyed and benefited from all of your posts, and I thank you immensely for sharing your knowledge! Much respect to all of you.

I am very interested in learning how you became interested in playing tabla, if you could share your stories I would really appreciate reading them. It would be great if you could include some info like what country you are from, and how old you were when you first started learning tabla, and what made you fall in love with the tabla.

My own story is pretty simple, I grew up in the US and was a big Beatles fan as a kid, and through learning about them I was introduced to the music of Pandit Ravi Shankar and of course, Ustad Alla Rakha. Although at the time, I did not know that Ustad Alla Rakha was playing an instrument called "tabla," I just knew that the percussion sounded amazing! I actually thought that there were several people playing drums, and did not know that all the sounds were coming from one man and a tabla, until I saw the video of Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha playing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival! I later bought several Ravi Shankar albums and loved the tabla work on them, and started to understand how unique and complex the tabla was.

As I grew up, I became a musician myself, focusing on traditional Western rock instruments, particularly guitar and synthesizer, and was always in one band or another. I later became interested in computers and using them to produce music. A couple of years ago, a friend gave me a copy of Tabla Beat Science's "Tala Matrix" and it completely rekindled my interest in tabla. I was finally at a place in my life where I could devote time and money to buying a tabla and getting lessons, so I bought a tabla and the adventure began - at the age of 37!

I was also fortunate enough to move to a town (Eugene, Oregon) where there are some tabla instructors close to home, and I was very lucky to find a really great teacher. So far, I have only taken one lesson and am awaiting my second lesson next week. I have been having so much fun learning some of the basics, and I have been practicing bols - dha ge ka na tin tu tete - and struggling with Keharwa tal - for a couple of hours each day. And I love it so much, I can see tiny improvements each day and it is so satisfying and such a thrill. I am so in love with the sounds of the tabla, it is the most intriguing of all percussion instruments, in my opinion. I look forward to every moment that I will spend with it during the rest of my life.

Another great thing about living in this city is that there are often great tabla performances here. A few days ago, I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Pandit Samir Chatterjee and Pandit Ramesh Misra with the Ethos Percussion Group... amazing work!! And in two days, I will be seeing Anuradha Pal with Deepak Ram... on the night of my birthday. What a great present that will be!

Ok, that's my (unexpectedly long) story, how about yours?

Zden
Re:How did you get interested in playing tabla? Apr 21, 2004 07:35 a.m.


Hi,
I live in Croatia, and I am 43, and I am just to see my teacher for my first tabla lesson.

I love the sound of the tabla - that combination of two drums - until late I hardly knew the name of the instrument - there was a performance at the local theatre, I went there and I found the teacher.
But I have big problem to find a good tabla set, I went with my techer to Vienna to visit an instrument shop with high prices and poor choices - so we left Vienna without tabla.
Thinking about buying tabla online is for me dillema : to buy or not to buy, to buy or not to buy -and again.
But magic is first - then comes a shopping.
Zdenko

Aanaddha
Re:How did you get interested in playing tabla? Apr 21, 2004 08:12 a.m.



Zden (Apr 21, 2004 07:35 a.m.):
Hi,
I live in Croatia, and I am 43, and I am just to see my teacher for my first tabla lesson.

I love the sound of the tabla - that combination of two drums - until late I hardly knew the name of the instrument - there was a performance at the local theatre, I went there and I found the teacher.
But I have big problem to find a good tabla set, I went with my techer to Vienna to visit an instrument shop with high prices and poor choices - so we left Vienna without tabla.
Thinking about buying tabla online is for me dillema : to buy or not to buy, to buy or not to buy -and again.
But magic is first - then comes a shopping.
Zdenko


Zdenko,
Croatia! - way cool!
PLEASE! do not buy tablas on-line or send anyone money for an instrument you haven't seen or played. There have been reports of serious frauds with "ethnic" online instrument makers recently. The best solution is to ask visiting musicians from India if they will sell you their instrument when they are finished with their tour - nine times out of ten they will. Be patient. You will be doing yourself a favor by getting a tabla you know and have seen being used by a professional and the the profit from the sale will go to an artist and not a businessman. The artist will probably offer to sell you the case as well.

Best wishes to you and your teacher!
btw - I'm 54 years old from Washington, D.C.
Before tabla I was and still am an opera and classical music fan. I also enjoy my fair share of hard-rock, punk, blues, bluegrass, african and latin music.

Aanaddha

_____________________

Zden
Re:How did you get interested in playing tabla? Apr 21, 2004 10:16 a.m.


Hi Aanaddha,
What an idea! To buy a tabla from the tabla player - wonderful! Thank you. You know I was pretty ready to fullfill an online order - but I think I will wait a little -thank you a lot.
I hope you are doing well with your tabla - I have no knowledge and no practise in music -only a listener. I have done long time ago with my vedanta readings -it seems to me that it is a time to enter the world of vibrating rythm - and just a glance at the tabla and it seems to me that I can feel the very special vibration...
I have read your postings on this forum (Many thanks to David for this inspiring site) and I see no reason why people are excited about your opinions - attitudes, since you are very clear in what you want to say.

I will visit my teacher this Friday for the first time - with a little prayer inside -O Soul, help me be open.
Thanks again.
Zdenko

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