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dcaminando

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Hello everybody,

I used to play a regular western drumkit as a child & later-on came back to, but eventually abandoned it because of personal and pragmatical changes. Then, voyaging through music of all sorts, I came upon Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's recordings about two years ago, I am now slowly discovering Abida Parveen and the lesser known Qawwalis, still raise myself with Nusrat nearly each day. There's no other musical style that stayed with me so steadily while my life was always overhauling itself.

And about two months I got bent on acquiring the Qawwali style tablas, been looking out and browsing this forum since. Keshav Music in NY redirected me to Inni Singh, who was virtually unreachable during all that time, and since I'm now sitting in the Czech Republic (with another address in Germany), I wholly depend on the internet for this enterprise (and getting started once I've received a pair). Here the questions set in:

How remarkable is the difference between a metal and a wooden dhamma? This has probably been asked before, but the deep (un-amplified) bass tone is quite important to me. And is either one more suited to a beginner?
Besides trying the very few accredited Indian online stores that remain after DMS, I could also ask a very remote acquaintance to pursue the drum from anyone on the continent. And third option would be a genuine-looking single dhamma on eBay, except that I don't know what kind of chattu/dayan I'd have to seek then to complement it.
Any helpful comments about all this purchasing are most welcome.

I suppose finding a teacher in Prague will be nearly impossible, thus I would just self-practise the entrance skills and the needed stamina until I settle somewhere near to one, or vice versa, by chance in the future.

Thank you, and once more, hello, all you tabla-devotees.
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KC NYC

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Reply with quote  #2 
Well, check google for tabla teachers in Prague. I have met amazing russian tabla players in Russia in the most awkward place, 5 second google search brought this result: http://music.taxoft.cz/esraj/?pg=02&sb=03&ln=en Talk to him, I"m sure he'll uncover more about indian music in Czech rep.
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saqib

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi,

For Qawwali style tablas, I would recommend you to order directly from Pakistan, who specialise in making high pitched tablas and wooden dhamaas. Please contact me and I'll get you in touch directly with Dildar Hussain ji's (tabla player to Ustad Nusrat) tabla makers who will do an excellent job for you.

You can contact me on sadarang@hotmail.com or alternatively call on 00447843258008 (UK).

Regards

Saqib
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ethonfrank9

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Reply with quote  #4 
Qawwali is one of the main and very difficult task in the tabla type music.I like this type of music and the mode of this type of music is very rare and very popular in India.I like the article and information given in this article about the Qawwali from this topic I can come to know about the some important information which are not familiar with me.
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dcaminando

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Reply with quote  #5 
One year later!

Thanks to Saqib, and his contact in Lahore, and a Hindi friend of mine who mediated, I did receive an incredible first pair of tablas, and then went on to find a most amazing teacher in an unlikely corner of Germany.

I'm half a year into practising now and dumbstruck by the sheer power of this instrument. I've experienced a joyousness that I hadn't remotely known before. Inner barriers and old inhibitions are breaking up, my life is changing at the source, and this has largely been triggered by the tablas. Everything I sought in music, they contain, and their traditional backdrop, the Sufism and the Hindustani heritage. All the more, I know that I've just struck the edge of a large treasure, of all the potential and things to learn, while the joint of my middle finger is benumbed from earth-shifting Ge's ...

I'm only posting to vent this joy and to publicly thank Saqib for his efforts, even while the tides turned dire in Pakistan. As of now, the Qawwali tablas appear to be my ultimate blessing, and there seems to be a long path ahead.

Regards, infatuated,

Dennis
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RevolvingSound

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Reply with quote  #6 
GREAT

thanks for the update, im waiting for the time when I get to order a set. THANKS SAQIB for your help, and thanks for the update.


all the best

-BRIAN
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tablafreak

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Reply with quote  #7 
Dennis,

Can you post pics/sound samples?

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RevolvingSound

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Reply with quote  #8 
yes please any audio samples at all would be fantastic!

-Brian
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QawwaliFanNo1

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hello to all,

I am new to this website and forum, but would like to comment on this thread as i myself am a verry BIG fan of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, i am a harmonium player and find it an unbelievable vibe when i play to Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khans qawwalis. Its just sensational.
I am a massive fan of Dildar Ji too, and seriously believe he was the best qawwali tabla player ever so if you are fascinated by his excellent talent on the tabla and dhamma i agree with you all the way!! He had such a unique way of hitting the dhamma which gave off a brilliant deep bass sound, its amazing!
I would love to hear you samples if you have any so please post them when you can, i look forward to hearing them ....
I have 3 quick questions,
Is there certain techniques in hitting the dhamma to get that bass sound, or does a dhamma have that bass naturally?
Also can this sound also be produced from a dholaki too??
And I have heard and seen that Dhamma players apply atta(Dough) to the Dhamma, why is that? Does it make a massive difference and would this work on a dholak?
Thankyou

Inderpal aka QawwaliFanNo1
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dcaminando

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Reply with quote  #10 
Brian, Tablafreak,

I'm both without a recording device and camera at the moment, so the samples are bound to take a while... but I'll see that I equip myself in any case and I'll post something in the weeks to come.

Inderpal --

great to share the passion on this board! I heard that the very sound of the dhamma prompted Aminah Chishti, one of Dildar ji's students, to convert to Islam and take to Qawwali.... the force of this music and of its mastery rings out...

And as to your questions--

the natural dhamma sound is already way deeper and warmer compared to the "bellied" vibration of a standard bayan. So far I've only learned the standard Ga (open handed slap) and Ge, but the Ge modulations of course is where magic unfolds. I imagine that only an accomplished player like Dildar ji can relate them... sliding your wrist all the way to the chat / outer edge produces the deep, incredible, chortle-like sound that is the driving force on Nusrat's recordings, only without the amplifying and the proper agility in my case. Still it is earth-shifting, most likely mountain-shifting once your skills are honed.

My teacher related a tale of Mohammed Anwar, the Sabri Brothers' man on the tabla, in that the dhamma was actually created as an imitation of the dholaki's bass side, whereas another musician from Pakistan said it descended from the Pakhawaj, as commonly told... but since he found the dhamma's sound so reminiscent of the dholaki, the answer might be yes.

The atta serves to deepen the sound even more - look at http://forums.chandrakantha.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2221
My dhamma came with masala / caoutchouc firmly applied beneath the skin with the same purpose of deepening... My understanding is that either masala or atta is employed, not both at once, so I haven't meddled with it yet.
If anyone wants to shed more light on this or other dhamma organics, please come forth...


Regards,

Dennis
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Khula Bol Singh

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Reply with quote  #11 
To honor Dennis ji's request for those able to shed light on dhamma-related topics to step forward, I reluctantly venture forth from my comfortable position as a mere spectator in the insightful dialogues that take place on these forums. Perhaps that is better for me than being a protagonist as I would never stop posting if I weren't to restrain myself has I have up until this point. However, now that I have already "come forth," I would be remiss not to take the opportunity to introduce you to the jori-pakhawaj of the Sikh tradition.

Termed the complete percussion instrument by the elders as it is the only instrument which accommodates all three evolutions of North Indian classical percussion, viz., saath, jath, and gat, the jori, as its name intimates, is a pair of drums like the tabla. It consists of the chattu, a large, dayan-like drum with a pakhawaj's corresponding head played with the dominant hand, and the dhamma, with which you are all familiar, for the non-dominant hand.

It is said that the jori was created in the court of the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev ji, where a pakhawaj was split in half. The fifth Guru, himself, is remembered, among other things, as a talented exponent of this majestic instrument.

Fresh atta is applied on the dhamma every time the instrument is played, and it is primarily used to accompany the singing of Gurbani, Sikh sacred hymns, sung in the dhrupad genre.

Below are some videos of its two primary exponents in recent years-- Bhai Baldeep Singh ji, Khalifa of the Sultanpur Lodhi-Amristari Baaj of the Punjab Gharana, and Ustad Sukhvinder Singh Namdhari (Pinky,) an exponent of the Amristari Baaj of the Punjab Gharana as well as a phenomenal tabla player of the Benares Gharana. Note the various playing techniques employed in the videos. Enjoy!

As a solo instrument:

BBS ji at the 2005 Dhrupad Mela in Varanasi:


Pinky ji at the 2009 Darbar Festival:


BBS ji and Pinky playing together:



As an accompanying instrument:

Pinky ji accompanying BBS ji:


A playful moment between BBS ji and another legend:


A minute of old-school excellence:



~Nihal
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tablafreak

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Reply with quote  #12 
Good info Kula Bol. I enjoy listening to BBS quite a bit. He is very instrumental in keeping older traditions alive.

But I think the Jori that you mention is a bit different from the pakistani Qawalli version that the original poster was asking about. Here is a short clip of Dildar Hussain and his sons using a qawalli style tabla:


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RevolvingSound

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi

any chance you have recorded or uploaded and demonstration of the tabla set you got from Pakistan?

all the best

BRIAN
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dcaminando

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Reply with quote  #14 
Hello Brian,

I got the facilities for a half-decent recording only very recently. I believe that come February, I will make an upload at long last, because now I am awaiting much-needed new puris for the dayan. The pitch is too crooked at the moment to make for a faithful representation of the set.

Please excuse all the delay, but my hands are opening, and the recording will come into existence...


Regards,

Dennis
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RevolvingSound

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Reply with quote  #15 
OK

Thanks for the updates!


all the best
Brian
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