INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Tabla Forum: can someone help?


Author Message
can someone help? May 29, 2002 03:47 p.m.

hi all! my name is David, i am a 17 year old high school student in Chapel Hill, NC. i am really interested in the tabla, im wondering if there is any "brand" or maker of tabla drums that is of high quality. any info would be helpful. thanks a lot!
Re:can someone help? May 30, 2002 12:45 a.m.

hey there. i recently bought mine from interstate music online ( and i love 'em. they are the wrench tuned models imported by latin percussion and they only run $200. many purists might argue against the wrench tuning (and we have on this very board ) but i find it quite handy.

and you can trust me, im a chapel hill high grad, class of '91

Re:can someone help? May 30, 2002 02:21 a.m.

chek out :

they have good tablas, with proper straps.

Re:can someone help? May 30, 2002 05:31 p.m.

The main reason is that Tabla with the straps are much more easier to tune.
Also the straps help to keep the tabla more
stable on the base ring and deos not tip over
so easily.
The metal pull rods sometimes stand proud
and can be painful if struck by accident.
Buy a tabla that is 5 1/2 inch treble and 9 1/2
inch bass for normal hand size.
Re:can someone help? May 31, 2002 09:11 p.m.

see what i mean?

ive dealt with strap tuned drums and wrench tuned drums, skin heads and synthetic heads, essentially all sorts of variations for many years now, and in my experience strap tuning is generally not easier than wrench tuning. any element of any instrument that involves natural materials has a tendency to be more inconsistant, maybe not always in manufacture, but in control. a strap tuned, skin headed drum in seattle for example (where the weather changes every hour or so) would have to be tuned repeatedly if you wanted to keep a single tuning.

as for the other comments, maybe other wrench tuned tabla are funky, but mine stand up in thier rings just fine and the rods are plenty harmless. i wouldnt have recommended them otherwise.

ahnad and jack, im not trying to be argumentative here, im just speaking from my experience like the rest of us. i have nothing against traditionally built tabla. they are a beautiful thing. but there are pluses to wrench tuned.

dave, i leave it up to you.

Re:can someone help? May 31, 2002 09:15 p.m.

anahd ... terribly sorry i misspelled your name in my previous post. sincere apologies.

i wish they had the previous posted readable when you go to reply

Re:can someone help? Jun 01, 2002 06:32 p.m.

They make synthetic headed tablas? That is something I have not seen, or could even imagine I have strap tuned, and tuning isnt a problem.
Re:can someone help? Jun 02, 2002 09:31 a.m.

hey monk. i dont think they make synthetic tabla heads. i was reffering to drums of all sorts, dumbek, kit, frame, etc.
Re:can someone help? Jun 07, 2002 04:46 p.m.

another problem ive seen w/ bolt ablas is that hey dont tune as well ans strapped -- with only four bolts equal tension is impossible w/out a conga-style metal ring to distribute the tension. how many bolts do your tablas have around the edges?


Re:can someone help? Jun 07, 2002 05:21 p.m.

Yeah even with my 16 straps over the gajara its tuff keeping the braid straight after reheading, It would be impossible with 4.

Im glad to hear there isnt synthetic headed tabla, that wouldnt work out well, sliding your wrist on a synthetic material would be like dragging your wrist on a gyn floor, very bad. What I would be more insterested in, is different materials on the gab, does anyone know if the gab materials solubility with sweat is what makes it the best for tabla? Becuase it seems a different substance that wasnt water soluable would be more suitable for the drums.

Re:can someone help? Jun 07, 2002 08:57 p.m.

my tabla have 8 hooks on each drum. and you can get pretty precise with 'em. i guess there have been a lot of bad attempts at bolt tuned drums from what i gather these really are pretty nice comparatively speaking. although have a conga style hoop would be nice ... maybe someday. but then someone would have to make tabla heads with built in rings. which brings me to the next point.

synthetic heads. not all synthetics are that plastic like. i use remo reneissance on my dumbeks and they are smooth and warm. remo makes a head called "suede" that i use on my snare drums that would make a fantastic base for a synthetic head. really, it would the gab is where it gets tricky though. i dont know how youd fake that. every idea i come up with (rubber? no. resin? no.) is just bad. as for different materials that dont break down with sweat, i dont know. its essentially like a clay or mud (powder and fluid) and only partially flexible. but if you could come up with something you could make some serious waves in the community

Re:can someone help? Jun 08, 2002 12:11 a.m.

The thing about synthetic heads is just that, they are smooth, so smooth they burn you. I have a synthetic Djembe head thats a new non plasticy, and I will say its a good head for a Djembe, much smoother than the natural real african made heads, but I dont know if the tabla is ready for synthetic heads. Maybe if someone started now theyd develope it to a nice point, but itd be different then other hand drums.
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