This is somewhat bugging me these days and i'd like to know how you feel about that..
I'm a guitar player and i plan on studying jazz in some well known university. I'm also into vocals ( Classical) and, though i don't ought to push anything to far here ( Aka making a career out of it), i do train and take lessons on a regular basis. I think it's kinda obvious as far as what i want to do in life : i feel like my life couldn't be fuller than by becoming a musician, and though such a powerfull art as this can be scary and overwhelming, i'm willing to get through my dreams and push it as far as i can.
As a musician, i don't often find myself seeing things as unidirectionnal, nor do i find myself enjoying conformity. I deeply love trying new things and pushing them further. As i discover new sounds and instrument, i always find myself startled and the mystery that oozes around the novelty often attracts me and intrigues me. This is what happend with the tabla, that i discovered by listening to Shakti. It's an instrument i'd really like to learn but i'm kinda worryed that playing too many instruments at the same time might "harm" my playing on each of them. But than, I also believe that trying new things, especially by playing instruments that are so different in nature ( The voice being all about melody, the guitar being melodic, harmonic and for a good part rythmic and the tabla being so oddly pulsive and "phonetic", if that can be said.) could help me at trying to squeese the most out of each of them. I also think that being able to think in so many ways could only help me towards becoming a better, more understanding musician.
I'd truly enjoy knowing what you think about this...
Enjoy the power of music as much as you can ! Borhane.
I play guitar in a western style for many years, now I have played tabla for 2 years, and Im learning raga music on my modified guitar now. Thats only two instruments, I have thought of playing cello or viola along with those, but I am sure I will have not enough time, so I stick to two, but I could easily play three and only practice 1/2 of the time I do now on both instuments. Which I dont htink would be good. this is a very personal thing, it depends on how long you practice in a day now, how far you want to go as far as mastering your instrument. And how good you are at playing already.
The same story happened to me. I failed. My advice is to choose from the scenarios below: 1. Play any kind of melody instrument and learn raga instrumentally or vocally (take a sarood or a vina if you can) Believe me you will learn tala also; 2. Learn classical indian music, tala and raga; 3. devote yourself to sg entirely. Pls don't think of tabla as an nth perc. instr. in your repertoire, except if you have a few extra hours per day. You'll have work to do for a lifetime. Every day. Otherwise you'll never get the point where it shows it's beauty. It's painful to make up your hands and mind after breaks, you have no way to enjoy it. Believe me. I failed.
Tabla is physically so demanding, that it takes a long time to master it.You can learn the basic strokes and thekas, but if you really want to use the whole potential of the instrument you've got to practice for hours every day for years.
You can learn the rhythms and apply them to your guitar. Learn the method of theme and variation (kaida) and develop your ideas on a guitar. That's my suggestion. You can learn the basics of tabla, but don't get frustrated, if you'll try to learn some more. It just takes its time...
First of all, thank you very much for helping me ! I'm extremely glad that i've got so many inputs.
You guys brought up many things that got me thinking quite much ( I read the post this morning but didn't quite have the time to reply...). I realise that before learning any other instrument i'd better be as connected as I can to my main instrument, which is the guitar. Having to totally agree kinda goes against my "nature" as i most often extremely thrirsty for change and novelty, but it appears clear that part of learning an instrument is getting well beyond the accomodation to the thing itself while finding ways to stay away from too repetitive routines. Having said that, I still feel that at some point i'll have to get myself into tabla as well, but i don't see how it could be wise considering that i'm not yet studying music fulltime and that i don't even have all the time i'd like to spend on the guitar...
I suggest that you practice your main instrument properly and if you have time you can start playing tabla. Learn theme and variation (kaida) ,different indian ragas and listen to Indian music. Take your time and develop certain things at one period of time. Don't try to eat the whole cake at once, because nobody can do it. Good luck!
This truly seems to be the way i should proceed in order to learn the tabla, but i thought about it much this week, and i realised that before learning any other instrument ( For sure, tabla would be the first of them..), it'd be important that i am as connected as possible to the guitar. By that i mean that once i'll feel like i'm close to being one with the instrument's voice, once i can master it much like i could with my own voice, than i'd be ready to walk into more. But for now, it seems to me that, enjoying so many different things, i'm drifting further and further away from my main instrument. The fact that i truly like change also has much to do with this. It's far from desperate though as, since i've been thinking about that and i've decided to try to enjoy every second i spend with the instrument ( it's been about 1 1/2 week !) i feel like i don't remember the time when i enjoyed the guitar so much.
But as i think about it even more, i realise that there's not so much of a thing as an instrument that suits you way better than the others. I feel like background has much more to do with it, as when one first chooses an instrument, he rarely has been in contact with it or others before, but strangely the person than seems to grow more and more through it till it truly becomes his. To me, there seems to be different aspects in music that will appeal to one's ears, but there also appears to be, most of the time, a way of linking an instrument to these. Of course, i don't see how someone could experience much agression through playing the flute, but even than, it could prove being some fun...