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saipk

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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #1 
hello everyone!

I have an early opportunity to accompany vocal students on a private recitation. It will be in teental. Could someone please advice on what general structure to follow? I am familiar with a few prakars, basic kaidas, mukhdas and tukdas - all in teental. While I have been practicing these components in isolation, I am clueless on how to put to use some of these while accompanying. I can probably stick to only basic theka and maybe a few prakars, but I am hoping to ornament a bit to make it a little more interesting. I have noticed that very often tabla players start with something very short exciting piece (mukhda?) before settling down for a nice prakar and then occasionally deviate to "something excting" at specific points and come back to a prakar/theka and then end with "something exciting". Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance!

-Sai
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greatjuul

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Reply with quote  #2 
it will depend on wich tempo he'll start, and what he's expecting from you. Strict theka? will he give you the opportunity to put bols? he's the main musician so he'll decide..

mostly, when you play with a singer, you don't play big solo like with the sitar or any instrument. you must follow him, this the most important thing to do. You'd better not try to play kayda, gat, or anything but you'd better practice the way of playing "groovy" teental, very slowly and very fastly.

it's just my opinion, it's up to you and him. You'll enjoy! it's the beginning of a new way to learn tabla!

There's a beautiful record of Mallikarjun Mansur with balakrishna lyer where they are playing "RAMDASI MALHAR", Half an hour of singing without any tabla solo but only a slow teental theka played like, hum... like.... like there's no word (or i don't have enough english vocabulary!) to express it!

Good luck and enjoy!

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rajpuranik

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Reply with quote  #3 
It takes an experienced vocalist to be comfortable with the tabla playing anything other than a fairly rigid theka. Unfortunately, beginner vocal students nowadays learn with a tabla machine playing the theka, so the idea of a live tabla player accompanying them gives them sleepless nights!

I have had vocal students tell their teacher they prefer the machine for a recital. I have also had vocalists tell me they want me to play exactly the theka that the machine plays - which basically involves playing "...tita dhin dhin dha" as the last four beats" - the "tita" clues them in to the approaching sama.

So it totally depends on the level of students you are accompanying. As an accompanist, your first job is really to make them comfortable so they can perform at their best.

Good luck!

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evening84

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Reply with quote  #4 
A sweet and steady theka with fairly minimal variations is what one should aim for in vocal accompaniment. I have heard this anecdote from a prominent vocalist often that he heard from his teacher. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan had visited Aurangabad one particular time where his accompanist was not travelling with him. The host wanted to make every effort to get a tabla-player that would be fit to accompany him and was throwing out all famous names that he could try and arrange to get when the Ustad said domething to the effect - please, no big names. just get me a student who will play a decent theka and let me sing.

The point is that vocal accompaniment requires a nice, clean theka and that requirement is far more important than anything else. I would concentrate a lot on keeping the khali very distinct; occasional small mukhda's to arrive at sum - ones that that you have practised to the hilt and perhaps a small, simple tihaii to conclude.

Wish you good luck.

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saipk

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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you all for your valuable comments.

I will probably start with a mukhda to arrive on the first sum, then play a simple prakar with occasional mukhdas and then end with a tihai (from a tukda)

My question is if I start with a mukhda...I might have to start at 12th beat (third thaali) to arrive at the first sum. Is it ok to start from 12th beat of mukhda? In other words is it ok to start one avartan before the first sum of the song? From what I listen from recordings, it seems to be a common practice?

Also, would this prakar be good -
dha dhin dhin dha | dha dhin dhin dha | dha tin tin na | tita dhin dhin dha

and tihai to end -
dhadha trkta dha .. dhadha trkta dha .. dhadha tkkta dhaa

Raag will be bhoopali and tempo would be around 120 bpm

Any specific popular mukhda to start to arrive at the first sum?

Once again, appreciate your time.

-Sai
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jaan e kharabat

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Posts: 1,401
Reply with quote  #6 
A lot of vocal bandish mukhdas start on khali (9th matra) of teental so it gives you some lead in time to begin your tabla mukhda from,say, the 13th matra.

E.g. take the Bhoopali bandish, Jabse tumhi sanga laagali. The structure is thus with an example of a tabla mukhda (from David's article) inserted:

0-------------------------3-------------------------x--------------------2
9----10----11----12----13----14----15----16----1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8
ja---be----se-----------tum---hi----san---ga----la---a----a----ga---li
-------------------------tata---trkt--tkta--trkt---dha-----------na---na--dhin-dhin-na

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saipk

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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #7 
thanks for explaining with an example.
In other words, the sum for this bandish happens to be "la" (because it's bhoopali and because for this rag this note 'feels' very promiment i.e., 'feels' like sum!). Since "la" is the sum, it means I must begin playing taal (teental theka in my case) at "la". This means that the bandish itself has begun at the 9th matra (assuming someone is tracking the abstract taal from the beginning of the performance), which means I can possibly play the 4th avartan of a mukhda starting at the 13th matra to land on "la"! Amazing ... beautiful
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