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rnulu

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Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,

I had recieved a hi bass drum from Punjab this last summer, a dhamma. The dhamma uses 'masala'- a nickname for the the syahi that is applied to the inside of the drum skin before assembly to deepen the sound.

I have been playing on it with sucess and it delivers a good bass sound but it is not quite the deep, warm bass sound that I am looking for- specifically the bass sound produced by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's tabla player, Dildar Hussain on various qawwali records. Also I notice Dildarjii using or applying atta(roti or chapati dough) on the dhamma many times before and during performances.

I have tried to mimick Dildarjii's techniques, applying atta to my dhamma, and even adding more of the 'masala' which requires reassembling the whole drum, however these efforts have produced minimal results. If anyone out there has any experience in this area, I would be very thankful for some help.

Thank you very much
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Inni S

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi,
You can apply as you mentioned atta on the top of the Dhama. However you will have to remove the masala you mentioned is put inside like a dholak. This(masala) produces base for sure, but not like the actual dhama and you cannot comfortably play the dhama with masala in a regular dugga style. Also because masala inside has mustard oil and atta uses water, so the combination will not be good. Masala is good only if you want to play open style dhama with the Ge bol to be used. It simply does not sound that good.

Is your dhama fitted with nuts and bolts?

Also remember that when you apply atta (dough) on a new head that has not been used, you will find that the head will become flat many times while you are playing. Sometimes to an extent that you will not be able to play it at all.
To get rid of this, in Nanaksar they use butter on the head of the Dhama and put it in the sun for a few days untill it is completely soaked into the skin. After this when you apply atta on the dhama, the head will not become loose.
Not sure if this is used by qawwali tabla players too, but because i play dhama myself, i have tried this and it works.

And one more thing, the dough should have less amount of water so the paste made is sort of dry. While applying it on the skin, roll the dough for a while on the middle of the head so that the skin becomes sticky. It will apply better on a sticky head than on dry and new skin.
For a sample, you can view this video of dhama being played in Nanaksar


All the above i mentioned is what i have tried and worked out well for me. You can try if you want or probably wait for more help.

Thanks,
IS
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suiramnad

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #3 
I've been interested in getting that sound that Dildar gets also. I noticed that is just not possible on a regular dugga. Do you know if Dildar uses a metal dugga or wood? The only time I heard that sound is usually from a dholak.
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rnulu

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Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #4 
Hey Inni S,

Thanks a lot for all the information, I'll post here to let you know how it goes after I remove the masala and reassemble the dhamma. Yeah my dhama is not fitted with nuts and bolts. I guess i've been using too much water when making the atta as well. The link you have given for me ends up going to the 'youtube is on scheduled downtime' screen, but i'll try to search for it.

Its good that you know much about dhammas, did you learn in Nanakshar?

As for the last comment, I seen some Dvd's where Dildar plays on a metallic dhamma and others where he plays on wooden ones so i dont know if that matters...
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Inni S

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Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi,
I have been playing Dhama since a very long time. About 15 years now. Though i have also used dugga and learnt on it mostly, but in Nanaksar as i mentioned, they only use Dhama with atta on it.
But because these are mostly the open style bols that are used in Pakhawaj.
I did not learn in Nanaksar but from someone in Nanaksar who is a very old tabla player there. I used to get the bols and practice them in Delhi.
You can listen to some bols at this link of that style. A regular dugga was used to play this but the bols are from Nanaksar sytle tabla.
http://www.indianmusicalinstruments.com/openbayantabla.mp3

Wood and Metal dhama do have difference in sound. Wooden dhama produces more deeper tone than the metal one. I have been using the metal dhama all this time but only changed to wooden one a few months ago. and the difference is easily audible. The only problem is the weight of the wooden dhama. it is about 8kgs.

Thanks,
IS
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alam123

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Posts: 184
Reply with quote  #6 
If you put atta on the puri you can't play in the traditional Qawwali style because it will move when you do the rubbing on the dhama - the sarson based masala from the inside is what they use for this. If the bass ain't good it maybe of several reason: the puri is simply no good or the masala paste from the inside is too light. Some times it helps to redo the the masala from inside (adding Dholak masala) and for more bass you could add some iron or lead powder. All this doesn't help if the puri is simply no good.......
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tablafreak

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Reply with quote  #7 
alam123

What are you talking about? All the qawalli tabla players ive seen use atta on their dhamas.
Quote:
If you put atta on the puri you can't play in the traditional Qawwali style because it will move when you do the rubbing on the dhama - the sarson based masala from the inside is what they use for this.

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Inni S

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Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #8 
Hi,
Yes this is true that the atta in the beginning is not comfortable to play. But slowly it adjusts while playing and then you dont feel it sticking to your hand. This only takes about a few minutes and it feels ok.

Thanks
IS
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alam123

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Posts: 184
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "tablafreak"
alam123

What are you talking about? All the qawalli tabla players ive seen use atta on their dhamas.
Quote:
If you put atta on the puri you can't play in the traditional Qawwali style because it will move when you do the rubbing on the dhama - the masala from the inside is what they use for this.
Anyway - my dhama (from wood) has masala from inside and has a very
good sound comparable to a dholak- there is no need to put atta dough on mine....if some people do it (to play qawwali) - it was new to me.

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suiramnad

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Reply with quote  #10 
Any of you guys that play dhamas...do you know if I can find one in London anywhere?
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Khula Bol Singh

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Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #11 
You could get one through the Raj Academy of Asian Music, that;s where I got mine. They only do wooden dhammas with their joris. However, you'll most likely have to order one through their online store; this takes arpund 6 weeks.

Some great info available on their site, great forums too.

http://www.rajacademy.com
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alam123

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Posts: 184
Reply with quote  #12 
The ones like this http://www.indianmusicalinstruments.com/dhamawoodmain.jpg
can be found here:
http://www.indianmusicalinstruments.com/professionaltabla.htm

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sufi_mashrab

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi all, im new to this forum and am so excited at the wealth of info available!!

Anyway, can anyone explain in detail the process of applying flour/water paste to the aforementioned dhamma. How many parts flour to how parts water? how is the paste applied, what should be the diameter of the paste on the dhamma (assuming it is circular as per regular siyahi), what should be the thickness (width) of the applied paste, should the paste be left to dry before playing dhamma etc etc?? Also if anyone knows of any flour-paste dhamma-specific online resources i could check out please feel free to let me know.

Thanks in advance
SM
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Greg

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Reply with quote  #14 
Hi

I was in Bina in Southall a week ago and they have Punjab style bayan there...

G

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tablafreak

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Reply with quote  #15 
Here you go.....this is exactly how they do it on the qawalli bayan....





sorry its in urdu or hindi

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