Does anyone here also play the Tabla's? I was just wondering how hard it would be to learn basic rythmns, nothing fancy. And what would be a GOOD beginners set? Nothing to crappy, but nothing real exspensive either. I would just like to record some sitar with tabla just to see how it sounds or how badly I suck!
Jeffrey R King
I've been playing about 7 months now. At least having heard the music already you'll probably be able to fake something decent after a couple weeks practice, but of course that's not what we're trying to do here, right...
Mostly you just need to get used to hearing the bols in your head, reciting them, and then practicing consistency, so basically it demands the same attention as the sitar. A decent beginner set might be found cheaply on ebay, but to be sure I think it's absolutely necessary to play it before you buy, there are so many factors in playing style, tone, feel, and craftsmanship that cannot be replaced without actually touching it (the law of handcrafted instruments...) For example, the Hiren Roy #1 w/ ebony bridge I mentioned before (under Hiren Roy thread), it is a gorgeous piece, nearly flawless design and a nice feel and besides its tender age (2+ years) I wouldn't think it sounds as good as it looks, nor does it sound like a $2000 instrument should.
My tablas were top of the line DMS-Bina's (see tabla thread with that title), moderately pricey ($425) from a specialty drum shop in Los Angeles (http://www.bangadrum.com, buddy club!! !!) but I lucked out and found great sounding drums, at least in my humble opinion. I happen to like the copper drum sound but I would advise playing as many different types of dayans/bayans as possible to get a feel for what style of drum you find most comfortable. Make sure the straps are tight and it has a good sound without too much fiddling, you don't want to have to pull the slack out without some more tuning experience, it's a backbraking task. Well have fun and happy hunting.
I started by learning both at the same time, 2 hours each day for eight months. I then started to take lessons on both a year later from shaffatulla Khan. My experience is that it is very important to know the basics i.e. theeka's in tin-taal, khereva, and also some basic rela's and kyda's. After about a year you will be able to do some recording. The hardest part of tabla, initially, is to get the harmonic out of the tabla, and a strong "Ge" out the Baya. I practiced each stroke at a time until I got them.