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rch

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Posts: 103
Reply with quote  #1 
I am relaively new to Tabla, but have always wonderd how Tabalji's play fast Na-Na , almost like a split Na. It just seems like the index finger is dropped on the kinar twice under it's weight rather than strikng it twice. Does any one know real the technique ?.
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pbercker

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "rch"
I am relaively new to Tabla, but have always wonderd how Tabalji's play fast Na-Na , almost like a split Na. It just seems like the index finger is dropped on the kinar twice under it's weight rather than strikng it twice. Does any one know real the technique ?.
If I had to guess (and I am guessing) I would say that it's the result of years of practice which eventually builds muscle memory for that move. See wikipedia entry
Quote:
Muscle memory has been used synonymously with motor learning, which is a form of procedural memory that involves consolidating a specific motor task into memory through repetition. When a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task, eventually allowing it to be performed without conscious effort. This process decreases the need for attention and creates maximum efficiency within the motor and memory systems. Examples of muscle memory are found in many everyday activities that become automatic and improve with practice, such as riding a bicycle, typing on a keyboard, typing in a PIN, playing a melody or phrase on a musical instrument, playing video games,[1] or performing different algorithms for a Rubik's Cube.
It's the conscious effort of doing it that presents the obstacle to speed since that process is a very slow process and yet it's also conscious effort that is required to practice that - or any other - particular movement. Fine motor skills is of course used in music and these can have their own neural networks as well .... again from the wikipedia entry on muscle memory ....
Quote:
Fine motor skills are very important in playing musical instruments. It was found that muscle memory is relied on when playing the clarinet, specifically to help create special effects through certain tongue movements when blowing air into the instrument.[20] Memorizing is done by muscles as a note is seen and recalled, its auditory pair is learned and is matched by fingers movements (a fine motor skill).[21] When reproducing a motor action, you must have previous experience with it to memorize set actions. If there is no previous experience there will be no mental image of the motion, and therefore no actual movement. ... An example of this is bimanual synchronized finger movements, which play an essential role in piano playing. It is suggested that bimanual coordination can come only from years of bimanual training, where such actions become adaptations of the motor areas..
the long and the short if then is this... the technique is simple .... but requires "years" of training and practice ... i.e. there's no shorcut!!


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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Shawn

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Reply with quote  #3 
Exactly... there's no special trick. Just practice...
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Acelga

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Reply with quote  #4 
You can fin here some very good exercises for this skill
http://forums.chandrakantha.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10245

I think of one dedicated one hour daily to learn this movement, it wouldn't take too long. On arabic tabla you play double teks and kas with ring and index finger in a similar way and yes it's tricky but it' s not a skill that takes ages to learn. On congas there is a similar technique with the open hand. All these techniques are based on muscle memory and bouncing. The thing on the tabla is, you don't normally waste an hour practicing this but focus on learning and practicing compositions. And you don see boucing na in most compositions.
But if you would train this skilll intensively, I'd say you would be good at it in some months. Well that's only my opinion.
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hbajpai

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Reply with quote  #5 
Try this, one of my first lessons with Pdt. Mulgaonkarji back in 2004. I Incidently revisited it this week for the purpose of dhinedhine. It works for nana. Its a rela actually, so you can create variations.

Dhine nana gene dhine nana gene dhana gene
Tine nana kene dhine nana gene dhana gene

Start slow till you get the bols. Then keep the speed at a slight, constant level of physical discomfort with an ear to clarity. At faster speed instead of dhana switch over to nana.
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pbercker

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Reply with quote  #6 
I suspect that the idea of deliberately practicing this move is probably the right approach ... but it's going to be tedious. Hence I offer the following two things:

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/7016/dhatadhadhinna.jpg

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

But just seeing it is not enough I would guess ... it's hard to know where that 1/10th of a second begins and ends! Being able to hear over and over again what it might sound like might help .... hence my swarshala offering. It starts at the quite reasonable speed of 60bpm and the first 3 lines are quite doable, but the 4rth and 5th line quite challenging. The speed increases by 10bpm eventually to 120bpm, and the 4rth and 5th line are all but impossible to play, but it's the struggle to try that makes is worth the while (I hope!).



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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rch

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Posts: 103
Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. I will definitely try all the exercises posted here in and see if that improves upon my split -na attempts. Perhaps would take me a year or two get back to report any progress !! I consider playimg the split or double -na separates men from boys, and I am just a boy in my 60s . I first started taking lessons at the age of 18 for a year, then restarted at age 26 for a year, then again at the age of 50 for about 2 yrs ( at Ali Akbar) and now restarted at the age of 60 .I hope to stick to it for a while this time. Because of my profession ( Physician) I hardly had any time to practice all these years and but now I'm semi-retired. I love Hindustani music . Thanks again
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mkj

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #8 
I'm also newbie. Thanks for asking this question. I think this is very fundamental and important subject.
This is not only practice but you need someone (Guru) to actually fix/improve you while you do it.
Here are tips from my guruji.

1. Practice - Na (Loud) Na Na Na(Loud) Na Na Na Na = sets of 3,3,2 = Think first Na is loud so play that way.
2. Think playing Na with complete hand and not only index finger.
3. Your complete hand should play and your finger (with hand) should bounce back immediately.
Don't press it or do anything weird.

As other experts say, practice!! Good luck!!

-mkj
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tablataal

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Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #9 
it takes time keep trying to do it. You just have to play na's really fast so normally when you plan something in 1 beat like na-na- it turns into nana-na- the 2 nas here are played at 2x speed vs the old one so they fit in the same space. Listen to some accompaniment pieces of Zakir-ji and you should get the feel of it. Best advice I can give. I only just started to be able to play it, still a long ways from embellishing thekas with this, as the ustads do.
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