INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Tabla Forum: Improvising/memory


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Improvising/memory Jan 19, 2002 03:12 a.m.

When playing tabla do you improvise or play almost everything aloud? I just want to know, because after I have started thinking with phrases(remember them, know the length of a phrase and how to link it) my playing has become much easier. When you have done a lot of mathematical thinking you can use it in tukras, chakradars not just kaidas + your own style develops. You have to have variations in your kaidas and some tukras in your "bank", but after that. Comments??
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 19, 2002 10:55 a.m.

I have asked my teacher similar questions, and he told me that when you play tabla solo you usually go through a certain type like rela, then go through it again double time then move onto another kaida and do similar things. And do compositions youve learned from other people then you can play ajala compositions and other things. But when playing with somone else he told me there is more pure improvising, if the soloist doesnt want you to just play kaida and stuff. Ive heard Zakir Hussain play things that sounded very much improvised, seeing as I havent heard anything like it before or after that.
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 19, 2002 02:18 p.m.

You know, a classical tabla solo has a tipical structure:
If you are playing Vilambit Tintaal for example, you start with Peshkar, inside the Peshkar you can play little phrases of kaidas and relas, and also a lot of improvisation (always inside the peshkar), then a kaida comes with all the Palta developement, then other kaidas could come and later Rela comes (or kaida-rela), then you can play complicated parans as Tripali and Chakradar-paran.
It's important to notice that Peshkar offers great freedom for to improvise (always coming back on the peshkar in every Avarta).
My teacher has told me (and i have heard this in old recordings of great masters as Ahmedjan Thirakwa, Amir Hussain khan, Samta Prasad, etc.)that this is the classical structure of a Vilambitlaya tabla solo.
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 20, 2002 01:15 p.m.

I believe you can do what you want.
If you re playing in "straight" classical style, then the classical rules applie, as many have people have said here.
But if the other players agree, why not forget the rules? for instance in playing with swing or latin groove, adapting congas or bongos rythms to the tabla. I'm currently very interested in this thing: the swing or shuffle on tabla. Has anyone any suggestions on this?
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 20, 2002 04:06 p.m.

I've played congas, bongos etc. for 10 years. Swing feel is interesting on a tabla. You can play kaherwa on a swing feel... but if you want to sound good you must be able to play fills according to a perticular music style and follow the music (improvise). There is in my opinion no certain tabla beats, that will cover swing or any groove orientated music. You have to follow the music. In some cases tabla fits well and in others some other percussion instruments works better. I have tested tabla in many different styles of music, for example flamenco. In tangos it works very nicely, but you have to be careful and think what works best.
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 20, 2002 04:11 p.m.

Hello Pedro!
I agree with you on a basic structure of a tabla solo. Do you improvise on kaidas and relas or are you repeating your thoroughly learned phrases?
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 20, 2002 04:21 p.m.

Hello theMonk!
As an accompanist tabla player has freedom to follow the soloist (improvise), but he must also keep theka clear enough. When playing variations on kaidas and relas
do you improvise or play just the variations you have learned aloud?
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 21, 2002 01:05 a.m.

I use all the variations I have learned so far and also improvise variations and improvise with the soloist. i need to work on memorization of all my kaidas and relas muhkras and things as to make playing a tabla solo easier. No papers to read or anything like that.
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 21, 2002 09:23 a.m.

I have found that in kaidas, relas, tukras and chakradars there is a way to get more free. I use phrases in a mathematical way which needs some practicing, but it helps. It allows you to play improvised tukras, chakradars, bedam tihais for different tals.
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 22, 2002 04:53 a.m.

P�iv��, You know, in my first years of tabla student, i only played the variations for kaidas and relas that my teacher gave me, then i started to create some new variations for those kaidas and relas and insert them together with those traditional ones, and later i become able to improvise new variations while playing, i think this is the idea, to take a new kaida without any palta, and be able to play (improvise) the right variations in the right order (and of course: be able of do it in an interesting way)
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 22, 2002 08:52 a.m.

I agree Pedro. When playing different tals, do you use mathematics as a base for your variations? It's n�kemiin, but other wise your Finnish has worked perfectly
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 22, 2002 05:22 p.m.

well, it depends: in Taals as Pancham Sawari (15 beats) or Rupam (8 1/2 beats) it's very hard to find kaida varions that enter in an mathematical pattern (as in tintaal for example); there i use to create more intuitive variations.But in more symetrical taals as Jhaptaal, Ektaal, etc. it's easier to find mathematical patterns that allow to make more symetrical variations.
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 23, 2002 03:29 a.m.

Hello Pedro!
Mathematics works in everything, when playing tabla. I use it more and you use it less. Everyone does the way they feel best. It's a tool in playing. It's a help for self expression. N�kemiin
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 30, 2002 04:45 a.m.

hi i've played congas for 2 years and now i mainly learn teh tabla
i was wondering about the adaptation of cuabn rythms as marcha on the tabla
but marcha=5 times(but not equally distanced;i dont know how to express it in english)
for example i think about:
gegetatitenedhadhagegenatuntungenana(8 beats?)
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 30, 2002 06:16 p.m.

Its nice you mention play tabla with flemenco music and other styles. Sometimes I find playing along with flamenco or my friends playing guitar very very difficult like i cant find the right groove to fit the music, but sometimes its just perfect. I added tabla to a few tracks I have recorded at my house with guitar and bass and keys, tabla fit perfect over some of the jazzy and fusion type music i have recorded.
Re:Improvising/memory Jan 31, 2002 03:39 a.m.

Yes. Playing other styles such as flamenco or fusion is interesting on tabla. As a player you have to use all your rhythmic knowledge, not just Indian. You just have to play musically to make it fit. A band Curandero features flamenco guitarist Miguel Espinoza and Ty Burhoe on tabla (student of Ust. Zakir Hussain). They have two recording that I know of. The earlier recording is more flamenco and the other is more fusion (still using some flamenco, but adding more Indian flavour).
Re:Improvising/memory Feb 07, 2002 05:51 p.m.

I have played with Flamenco guitarrists, in Bulerias i use to play:
Dhage naTa kite Dhage naTa kiTe teka Dha- Dha- gena Dha- gena ://
In Fandangos de Huelva, i find it easy to accompany with Dadra taal.
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