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fdf

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Reply with quote  #1 
I’ve been reading you quite a lot and I was wondering about the time you need to digest and be able to play what you have been studying.
I’ve been practicing tabla for only 2,5 years under the guide of what I believe to be a good teacher takin’ a lesson every 2 weeks, and he never gives me more than 2 things to learn (for example 2 paltas of a kayda). And if at the next lesson I can’t execute them at least decently he won’t give me anything and he would keep me practicing the old stuff.
And I personally need those two weeks of practice (1 hour a day) to digest what I have to do. In 2,5 years with my teacher I have studied 5 kaydas, a peshkar, a loggi, 3 tukras and a few other things. And sometimes I feel that I could stop and practice that material for other 2 years. At the same time I see that some material has to be played for many months before feelin’ it right. Lately I’ve been on a beautiful kayda for almost 3 months, and that Dhetetetekete is not always right…!
Am I slow? Here in the forum I see some of you posting so much material and variations that they would last me a lifetime! How do you manage to do it? Riyaz, I guess.
But how much time to you need to be able to incorporate new material in a natural and spontaneous way?
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pbercker

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "fdf"
I’ve been reading you quite a lot and I was wondering about the time you need to digest and be able to play what you have been studying.
I’ve been practicing tabla for only 2,5 years under the guide of what I believe to be a good teacher takin’ a lesson every 2 weeks, and he never gives me more than 2 things to learn (for example 2 paltas of a kayda). And if at the next lesson I can’t execute them at least decently he won’t give me anything and he would keep me practicing the old stuff.
And I personally need those two weeks of practice (1 hour a day) to digest what I have to do. In 2,5 years with my teacher I have studied 5 kaydas, a peshkar, a loggi, 3 tukras and a few other things. And sometimes I feel that I could stop and practice that material for other 2 years. At the same time I see that some material has to be played for many months before feelin’ it right. Lately I’ve been on a beautiful kayda for almost 3 months, and that Dhetetetekete is not always right…!
Am I slow? Here in the forum I see some of you posting so much material and variations that they would last me a lifetime! How do you manage to do it? Riyaz, I guess.
But how much time to you need to be able to incorporate new material in a natural and spontaneous way?
(I take it that you are addressing members generally)

This is a lovely, thoughtful and thought provoking post! I myself have been practicing (again) in a somewhat serious way only since may of this year ... that's a grand total of 6 months! And my progress is ... well, painfully slow as I've noted recently. The majority of my practice is focused around various kinds of exercises. Only when these are out of the way do I go on to play around with kaidas. I can't but think of myself as a beginner, and can't help but suspect that I'm far behind many other members on this forum (I don't even have a teacher any more), but I also don't have much of a sense of where others are in their tabla journey. I too have marveled sometimes at some of the material (kaidas and variations) posted, both in terms of quantity and quality. It's sometimes rather intimidating especially when it involves certain things I can't even begin to play. No too long ago you may remember there was a flurry of posting involving kaidas and relas involving "dhire dhire" which I simply cannot play to save my life. Only in the last 2 months have I been practicing the phrase "dhire ke te ta ke terekete ta".

My exercise practice is typically 2-3 hours (and sometimes more). I have a dozen or so different exercises that I choose from, and I choose a subset of that that I typically do for about 15-20 minutes each. Once that's out of the way, I often turn to my books and play around and explore various kaidas. But I would not say that I practice these kaidas exactly (with some exception) in that I seldom spend focused time (say 20 minutes) on a kaida the way I spend focused time on my exercises. By playing around with kaidas, I mean that I play the theme a few times and then the variations, and then move on to the next kaida. I often to this with 20-30 of my favorite kaidas! I typically spend about 5-10 minutes on any given kaida. That means that I often spend about 2-3 hours just noodling around with various kaidas. I know this is extremely unfocused and undisciplined, but I do have ADHD afterall! It's a kind of guilty pleasure for me, like being in a bookstore and just browsing, or walking down the street window shopping. That's one reason why I do like seeing new kaidas posted for something potentially new and interesting. Still, there is a subset of these (maybe half a dozen) that I return to again and again and spend a bit more quality time with because I like them so much. On the other hand, there's a few kaidas that I very rarely visit because I simply can't wrap my hands around them in any way shape or form. If you were to look at one of my books, you would immediately know which ones they were. Those pages are pristine white with no markings whatsoever, whereas all the other pages have been marked here and there, highlighted here and there, and smudges everywhere!

You'll notice that I've only spoken of kaidas. My books also have relas, tukras, gats and chakradhars, but I generally stay away from these as I often find them too difficult to even attempt.

I myself have posted the occasional kaida with some variations, but by no means does that mean that I therefore "know" the kaida in any way. It generally means that I am acquainted with it, and must like some aspect of it. I often like to enter a new kaida in my software (swarshala 2.0) so that I can hear what it sounds like (regretably swarshala plays better than I do!).

A new exercise for me takes several weeks before I feel comfortable with it and incorporate it into my practice. I am not at the stage yet where any of it can be said to feel "natural and spontaneous"! In that regards, it could be said that I'm still digesting my exercises.



Pascal

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My opinion given without any warranties, expressed or implied, that it's even relevant. It would be folly to rely on my opinion without seeking more professional tabla advice. If you are suffering from a tabla condition, seek immediate attention.
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TablaBeatz

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Posts: 342
Reply with quote  #3 
"Digesting Material"

I don't know what to say - I have been starting and stopping my tabla playing for years. My intention is to never Stop again.

My first lesson I learnt over 10 years ago - I still try to practice as often as I can and I am not satisfied with my ability to play it - not as good or consistent as my teacher plays it!

But ofcourse I can play it much better than when I first learnt it - so there is some hope there!!

After all these years I am starting to see how I can perhaps manipulate the material I learnt - how it can fit in different kaidas - or how to develop paltas - still very much a beginner in this. I have a better insight into counting and keeping time. Trying some limited theka variations. So it's open ended and never ending what you can do with the material you have learnt!!!

So there is different levels to digesting the material as well!

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"The beginning of life is rhythm. When you’re in the womb your mother’s heart is beating at (about 90) decibels ... we were born of vibration 13.7 billion years ago with the explosion of the universe."
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fdf

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks for answering. I wrote this post because I sometimes feel like a lone fish in a big ocean.
Here in Italy I don’t have other tabla students to exchange opinions and views, and so everything is left to ryiaz and following my teacher advice. And I’m superglad that I have a good teacher!
One aspect of my tabla ryiaz is to be able to play the material I learned with a clear good sound. And that is enough for the time being.
But I miss the theory: when do you rhythmically and how is an improvisation “appropriate”?
And should I attempt it from the beginning or should I stick to my material to digest? A lot of questions and at the same time I feel I can barely walk...
Thanks to you all and this forum I learned a lot, but again I still feel I just scratched the surface.
I’ve been playin’ professionaly for 25 years the guitar and teaching for 14 years, and even though it’s also a difficult journey I never been felt “alone” and always kind of knew what to study and when.
With tabla is different.
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TablaBeatz

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Posts: 342
Reply with quote  #5 
Fdf - since you already have a teacher which you catchup with regularly - most likely u are on the right track and just follow what your teacher says.


Improvisational is very advanced stage of tabla - although you can try and write paltas you come up with on paper first
But maybe you are already very good and can improvise on the fly

For myself i struggle just keeping up with that nagma/lehra machine.

__________________
"The beginning of life is rhythm. When you’re in the womb your mother’s heart is beating at (about 90) decibels ... we were born of vibration 13.7 billion years ago with the explosion of the universe."
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Pujadaddy

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Posts: 42
Reply with quote  #6 
Start by memorizing, and internalizing the variations he gives you. Recitation (while counting) will help you with this more than actually playing at first. Reciting while doing other things (driving, workings, etc) helps me with this. Then when you go to physically play, you wont have to refer to your notes, and can just work on the techniques. Once you show your teacher you KNOW it even if you cannot play it perfectly, he will start to give you more material... and more.... then even more. Repeat steps from above.
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