INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

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Mr B

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone

I've tried to search the forum but can't find anything on the topic. How does skin thickness affect bayan sound quality? Which is better, a thick skin or thin? What other factors of the skin improve sound quality?

And what is better in terms of the siyhai, thicker our thinner?
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bhilaj51

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Posts: 54
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Mr B ,nobody has given you an answer yet so i thought i at least can offer something. In my experience it is the part of the goat that the skin comes from that makes the best skin/head and that is the belly and you can see a nice skin by the pores or look of it, this is in opposition to a piece of skin of the shoulder say which tends to be harder. The spot (in my opinion) first of all has to be of quality & i mean the paste and if you dont see anice sheen come of it or it looks dull then avoid and 5 -7 rings is best if it is ring made type ( the paste) whereas benares heads dont have rings on the spot but the sheen is important. I find if the skin is on the thick side it tends to be a bit unyielding for play and also if its too thin it can sound a bit hollow but i would say medium verging on the thin side for the skin and for the spot especially on the bayan dont have it too thick nor too thin but again its the quality of the paste in the making thats all important. So i guess ita a balance of spot & skin. Equally i have had some skins especially dayan ones that look fine only to be rubbish when i have put them on which makes me wonder why anyone would make a bad head in the first place , i mean whats the point ? The best heads are the ones made on the drum originally and when it comes down to it i prefer a good benares head due to their strength of buid and howling ring when they are good but obviously there are good sounding heads from all over the place in India and some of the best heads i ever had was when another tabla player who converted to Mridangam had some made for him by a mridangam head maker in Madras (Chennai) He took him a calcutta tabla head and he kind of copied it but it was made stronger and wow did they howl , so to summarise i dont care where its from, how thick or thin it is if it sounds great then great but bear in mind the guidelines above and best to acquire from a reputable supplier - for instance JAS musical in London get their heads made delhi style and though they are not what i ideally want they are usually always have a very good sound whereas Bina (in London) well i would prefer their benares supplied heads but they are not always reliable ??????
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Mr B

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi bhilaj51

Thanks for the very informative reply. I had a feeling that slightly thinner was better. I need to get a new head for my bayan and you've helped when it comes time to choose one. Thanks so much!
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