I just purchased new tablas and I'm having a real difficult time tuning. I play a few stringed instruments so I do have an ear for pitch, but I'm not having an easy time getting these to sound anywhere near what I hear from most tablas. They sound slightly like a badly tuned set of bongos. Can anybody help?
Have you ever tightend car tires. Use the same philosophy here. First tune one point, then the diagonally opposite point. Then tune the two points that are squares to the first two points. If you do this, you will tune it quickly and correctly.
should the dayan be in tune when usin close stroke (like naa or tin) or open stroke (just hitting the syahi in centre. What I mean is - if I tune my dayan to a# using `naa` then the stroke `too` is not a# but something higher (like b)
I tune around the dayan, and yes tune Na and Tin( they produce a nice clean sound,make sure they are the same in all parts of the drum, if your not sure use a tuner), Tun produces too many overtones to be a good way to tune. The idea is to get equal tension around the drum. If the dayan doesnt sound good this might be because the head is too loose, or too tight.
The dayan should tuned to Sa,(first of scale), if your playing with somebody else that is, it doesnt really matter what the tunung is when your just practicing. For bayan, it doesnt really matter(since youre pressing on the head anyway, and can change the sound), but the tighter it is the easier it is to produce the right sound, but the harder to make different sounds. Another reason might also be that the pudi is not good. There might be a lot of talk on it,(iv heard that some makers in india put talk on their pudis to make them look nicer), talk, though used by tabla players, if used too much it will reduce the resonance of the head,(speaking of experiance).
The tuning of the bayan makes no difference since you put constant pressure on the head and change the sound, as long as it sounds good with the dayan. In my oppinion it should be atleast an octave lower,(minimum), than the dayan.
For the dayan you will hear when the best sound comes, it isnt flat,(not just a thud), and it isnt a ting,(high pitched sound), the best is somewhere inbetween, where the sound is the loudest, tuning is really hard to explain,(via internet), and i suggest you ask somebody with experiance to show you how to tune properly.