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Nastika

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I am having much confusion with determining Ta from Taa in many compositions. I know this is a consequence of learning from the internet with english script, but I was hoping someone could at least shed some light on a couple of specifics.

Tak/Taka: I'm often not sure whether the 'Ta' is a dry, center-of-gab sound, or interchangeable with Na.

KitTak/KiteTaka: 4 syllable bandh/closed phrase. correct?

but then..

TirKitTak/TireKiteTaka: a 6 syllable bandh phrase, or is the 2nd to last syllable, 'Ta' played the same as Na? If it is, then the last 4 syllables are written like 'KiteTaka' but played the same as 'KireNaka'.

Take this well know practice theme:

Dha-Tire Kite Taka x4
Taka Tire Kite Taka x4
Dhire Dhire Kite Taka x4
Tun- Na- Kite Taka x4

Which Ta's are open, and which one's are closed?

I am very excited about starting lessons, but have to save up a little more first.
thank you
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Aanaddha

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Nastika,

Even if you were given all of the answers to these questions (someone certainly will) it's doubtful whether you will have learned anything, really. Contrary to popular logic, you will not get ahead of the game by teaching yourself - as when you do find a teacher there will be many more contradictions between what you think you know and what you're being instructed. You will have various well-devoped techniques which will have to be corrected and your fellow students who have no previous technique to alter will advance more quickly than you.
This doesn't mean you should give up. By all means read as many tabla books as you can get your hands on - learn about tabla culture and history and how it varies from school to school (gharanas). Learn the difference between a kaida and a rela and be able to identify the difference in a recording. Become familiar with and learn to count the various taals. Many books contain valuable counting exercises that you might otherwise ignore after you actually begin playing tabla. Learn about how tabla is incorporated in all South Asian music as an accompanying instrument and what the difference is between good accompaniment and showmanship.... This type of learning should continue even after you begin lessons and beyond that. Consequently learning technique will be less confusing and so much more enjoyable.
If you can't afford a teacher and you really want to learn, approach an instructor and inquire if you can offer an exchange for lessons or work out an affordable plan. A friend of mine helped re-model his teachers house in exchange for one-on-one lessons. I think he recieved better instruction than most others.
Sorry to be blunt, but hopefully I can give you advice to keep you from becoming even more confused.

A.

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Nastika

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Quote:
Originally Posted by "Aanaddha"
Nastika,

Even if you were given all of the answers to these questions (someone certainly will) it's doubtful whether you will have learned anything, really. Contrary to popular logic, you will not get ahead of the game by teaching yourself - as when you do find a teacher there will be many more contradictions between what you think you know and what you're being instructed. You will have various well-devoped techniques which will have to be corrected and your fellow students who have no previous technique to alter will advance more quickly than you.
This doesn't mean you should give up. By all means read as many tabla books as you can get your hands on - learn about tabla culture and history and how it varies from school to school (gharanas). Learn the difference between a kaida and a rela and be able to identify the difference in a recording. Become familiar with and learn to count the various taals. Many books contain valuable counting exercises that you might otherwise ignore after you actually begin playing tabla. Learn about how tabla is incorporated in all South Asian music as an accompanying instrument and what the difference is between good accompaniment and showmanship.... This type of learning should continue even after you begin lessons and beyond that. Consequently learning technique will be less confusing and so much more enjoyable.
If you can't afford a teacher and you really want to learn, approach an instructor and inquire if you can offer an exchange for lessons or work out an affordable plan. A friend of mine helped re-model his teachers house in exchange for one-on-one lessons. I think he recieved better instruction than most others.
Sorry to be blunt, but hopefully I can give you advice to keep you from becoming even more confused.

A.
your blunt-ness is never a problem A. I realize all of these things you are saying. That is exactly why I have contacted a teacher, about an hour away. However finances and time are not going to permit me to begin lessons for another couple of months. I am most certainly not trying to 'get ahead of the game' everything I have learned I remain open to adjusting as I know will happen when I begin lessons. I am only trying to obtain a stronger foundation of knowledge to build upon like you are recommending. The practice exorcise I posted above is something I have seen countless times on this forum, but have never been clear on which Ta's are used where. I tried to outline my thought process to hopefully make it easier to respond. Asking which bol is correct in a well known composition is not asking about technique, it is a question of vocabulary.
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pumpik

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Reply with quote  #4 
Nastika

Without meaning to be rude, if you are at the stage you describe, I would think the bols that you have typed are perhaps a bit more advanced for you. Dhir Dhir is something that only a teacher can teach you, and will come much after you have achieved a certain level of development with the other primary bols and phrases.

But, as Aanadha says, this should definitely not deter you from imbibing as much theoretical knowledge as you can. I would also suggest you study more about the phonetics of the tabla, as getting the pronunciation right is the key to learning. For instance, whereas there is only one way a westerner would pronounce the letter "T", persons of Indian descent would be able to pronounce in two or more different ways. Each of those ways has a specific use in the language of the tabla.

Also, learning to count on the phlanges of your fingers is not just a habit but an art. You might like to progress with these while you are waitin for your teacher to begin your lessons.

I hope I haven't confused you further.
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Nastika

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "pumpik"
Nastika

Without meaning to be rude, if you are at the stage you describe, I would think the bols that you have typed are perhaps a bit more advanced for you. Dhir Dhir is something that only a teacher can teach you, and will come much after you have achieved a certain level of development with the other primary bols and phrases.

But, as Aanadha says, this should definitely not deter you from imbibing as much theoretical knowledge as you can. I would also suggest you study more about the phonetics of the tabla, as getting the pronunciation right is the key to learning. For instance, whereas there is only one way a westerner would pronounce the letter "T", persons of Indian descent would be able to pronounce in two or more different ways. Each of those ways has a specific use in the language of the tabla.

Also, learning to count on the phlanges of your fingers is not just a habit but an art. You might like to progress with these while you are waitin for your teacher to begin your lessons.

I hope I haven't confused you further.
You seem to be the confused one, friend. I know Dhir dhir is far too advanced to master by myself. I didn't ask any questions about Dhir dhir, and certainly I did not ask any bol technique questions. In my original post, I used an often seen practice exorcise that happened to contain Dhir dhir as an example of what I was confused about. I outlined what question I had about the exorcise, it wasn't about Dhir dhir.
"...Imbibing as much theoretical knowledge as I can", as you suggest, is exactly what I'm trying to do by starting this thread. My question concerns the very study of the phoenetics of tabla that you tell me I should be studying.
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Aanaddha

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Nastika"
I am having much confusion with determining Ta from Taa in many compositions.
...
Which Ta's are open, and which one's are closed?
"Tire Kite Taka" (tirekitetak / trkttak/ ...) is generally (almost always) understood as an extension of 'tire kite' and played similiarly - not 'Tire Kite Na ka. As with many bols the precise fingering will depend on the composition - which is better understood with experience, recitation, and counting. (ta'/na' may also variably be understood as kinnar or sur depending.)

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Nastika

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Aanaddha"
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Nastika"
I am having much confusion with determining Ta from Taa in many compositions.
...
Which Ta's are open, and which one's are closed?
"Tire Kite Taka" (tirekitetak / trkttak/ ...) is generally (almost always) understood as an extension of 'tire kite' and played similiarly - not 'Tire Kite Na ka. As with many bols the precise fingering will depend on the composition - which is better understood with experience, recitation, and counting. (ta'/na' may also variably be understood as kinnar or sur depending.)
thank you very much for clarifying, this is as I was thinking originally. So....in line 2 of my original example:

Dha- Tire Kite Taka x4
[Taka] Tire Kite Taka x4.....

Is the first 'taka' [in brackets] an open ta/na to mirror the Na contained in Dha in the preceding line, or is it a closed 'Ta' to further the rela-like flourish of closed bols? Like the 4fingered Ta from benares gharana just as an example.(i realize there are different ways to play the closed 'ta')
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Aanaddha

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Nastika"
Dha- Tire Kite Taka x4
[Taka] Tire Kite Taka x4.....

Is the first 'taka' [in brackets] an open ta/na to mirror the Na contained in Dha in the preceding line,
No.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Nastika"

or is it a closed 'Ta' to further the rela-like flourish of closed bols?
Yes. (read 'taktrkttak')

btw - the "mirror" of 'Dha- tire kite taka' would be 'Ta- tire kite taka'.

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If he could sing, and nature to accompany him, what need would he have for an instrument?
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hbajpai

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Reply with quote  #9 
Tabla or ICM is funny this way and by funny I mean not as straight forward as western music. To confuse the matters even more, transpositions from Hindi to English without any standards makes it even more confusing. I probably have thousands of compositions in my possession and access to another many thousands, but can I play them - absolutely not! till my teacher shows me the Nikas or the execution. However with exposure via learning. listening, practicing, I am getting better and better with figuring them out - I think ;-)

See a few examples below

Dha(s) Triakit taktirakit tirakittak taktirakit Dha (s) Tirakittak Dha (s)tiDhagetinkin - just line 1 of a kaida
all tak's above are on shai.

Chook Chook train :-) all tak are on shai
Dha Tirakittak
tak tirakitak
DhirDhir Kittak
Tunna Kidtak

Rela
Dha Tirakittak Taktirakitak Taktirakittak TaTirakittak TaTirakittak taktirakittak taktirakittak dhatirakittak - all tak on shai.

For my own personal sake, when I am trying to figure out a composition on my own the first thing I do is write it out on my own and in doing so, I generally write Shai tak as Tuk.

Hope this helps
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Vivek

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Reply with quote  #10 
It seems that people have already helped answer your question, so I'm going to tag onto Aanadha and give a few tips that might help get you in shape until you can start lessons.

Definitely practice pardanth (recitation) ESPECIALLY if you are not South Asian or don't speak any South Asian languages. If you have any Indian friends who can help you understand the difference between the different T and D sounds (there are 4 of each) that would really help. It seems you already have access to sources of compositions etc, so try saying and clapping some of the basic kaidas (such as Dha Dha ti ta Dha Dha tin na, or Dha tita Dha tita Dha Dha tita Dhage tin na ke na) along with with paltas if you can. Pay close attention do details such as Dha and ta distinctions in bhari and kali portions, as practicing these will help you understand the structure of kaida instinctively, which will greatly speed up your progress. If you need basic material with paltas for recitation practice, I'm sure many members of the board will happily provide.

Hope your musical journey goes well, and do keep us updated.

- V -

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