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S.Cutshall

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Posts: 34
Reply with quote  #1 
...is more Tabla!!

About a month ago I had a very nice phone call with master tabla maker Somnath Kakade when I called him in Pune, India from my home in Oregon City, Oregon.

We spoke for about 45 minutes... discussing wood types, his pudi crafting and my needs for the set + Daya I was interested in ordering from him.

He recommended Heavy Medium Red Sheesham wood for both of my Daya's and said he would craft me a 4.7kg Baya.

After we agreed on a price including shipping, we thanked one another and he said he would phone me in about a month's time.

Three weeks later I received a call from him that my drums were completed and he would be shipping them out to me the following day. I Paypal'd him his money later that night and the next day I received an email from him with the FedEx tracking information.

Incredibly, two days later there was a knock at my front door and it was our FedEx guy announcing, "Have a pretty heavy box for you from India... you have to sign for it.", and with that, my drums were here!

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The packing was secure with enough padding -- and everything arrived perfectly intact!

The Daya are very heavy and have an amazing sustain to them... and I love the pudi: thick, but not too thick, with a lower profile syahi than I would have expected on a thicker style head such as these.
One was crafted at 5-5/8" (tuned to C) while the other was 5-1/2" and tuned to E. Both arrived, amazingly, in tune according to my chromatic tuner.
The Baya is a BEAST! Heavy as a tank with enough sustain that you could hit Ga and run out for an errand and arrive back home while it's still ringing out!! :mrgreen: ...but seriously, way more sustain than I was used to on my old Baya.
The Baya pudi is quite heavy and thick too... really giving my wrist and shoulder a serious workout while trying to get the head to lower a little in pitch (does anyone here have any suggestions on this, or is it like I would assume... just play it a lot and break the head in by doing so?).

Somnath-Ji did a beautiful job on these drums, I really love them!!

Okay... off to practice more.

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tirakitadha

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #2 
Excellent stuff. these tablas look beautiful and I'm sure you'll enjoy playing them. Good luck with your tabla learning..
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S.Cutshall

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Posts: 34
Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "tirakitadha"
Excellent stuff. these tablas look beautiful and I'm sure you'll enjoy playing them. Good luck with your tabla learning..
Thank you!!

Yes, I've got my work cut out for me--I've been studying now since early December of last year (2014) and while I've barely put a tooth mark in the iceberg that is Tabla it's been amazingly enjoyable! The more I learn the more I realize I know almost nothing... Tabla is like a vast ocean.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I should go about getting my new Baya to come down in base pitch (all I could find on the Net was "play it a lot and often, to break the new head in and it'll come down"... which is what I've been doing--and sort of felt like is the logical thing to do. I also saw a suggestion somewhere for using water--which I'd rather not do)?

Blessings-

-Scott

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el presidente

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Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi,

Congratulations for your new purchase! Looks like a dream set!

Do you want to tell us how much you paid for your tablas from Somnath? That phone call must cost some big bucks? Recently I called for my friend tabla maker to Hyderabad to ask some advice. About a 10 minute mobile call from Finland to India, I recall, cost me some 15-20€.

I also have an 4,5 kg bayan from Upendra (Sohum Musicals in Pune). For my custom order, it came with thick skin. It also was heavy to play at first, and the open sound was throbbing. But after three years, and some of my treatments, I like it!! Thanks Upendra.

I could suggest you several tips to treat your new bayan. But I'm a little hesitant, as some of them might make it worse, and on some there's no way back.
But you could start with these:

1.) Don't put any water on your drum!!
2.) Play it, play it, play it. Regularly also try to tune it lower. Both the head and the tasma will stretch in time.
3.) Loosen the tasma a bit. If you haven't done it before, the most tricky part is to balance the head again. There's some videos on youtube showing the whole procedure.
4.) If the tasma doesn't stretch, and you don't want to open it to loosen it, you can shrub some pure palm oil on tasma (but not on the knots). This makes it more elastic.
5.) If it's too heavy to play, you can try using the thread under the kinar. The same way the dayans have them. This makes the playing touch feel more light, but also gives more sustain (which you already seems to have, and which I personally don't like having too much).

Good luck and enjoy your quality drums!
-M
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S.Cutshall

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Posts: 34
Reply with quote  #5 
Namaste El Prez!!

Thank you for the helpful suggestions on the Baya (yours sounds like a great one too, do you have any audio or video clips of it? I bet after three years of playing it it sounds sweet! I have heard that Upendra produces amazing drums, so you are fortunate to have such a great instrument!).

I think I will just stick with the Tried & True method of, "Play it a lot!!" for now and see what happens!

Blessings-

-Scott

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S.Cutshall

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Posts: 34
Reply with quote  #6 
Just a quick update on my Somnath Kakade Baya...

I am really digging into it (as much as my weak left hand & wrist allows for!) and am noticing that I can get a slightly larger range of modulation up and down as well as its root note is beginning to drop.

Thank you for all the kind suggestions!!

Blessings-

-Scott

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merrybolics

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #7 
Congratulations for the great tablas.
i think i will order one set from somnath.
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