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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
How do I tell if my pakhawaj head (the bass head) needs to be thinner (and sand it thin, with sandpaper)??

It seems real thick and "dead" sounding.

I am used to obtaining a new pakhawaj, removing the bass head, scraping off all the black tar gunk, replacing it with varying amounts of "fun-tak" (or silicone caulk) and I'm good to go.

Well, with this drum head, I have spent a whole YEAR taking it off, putting it back on, with varying amounts of Fun-Tak.

To describe why I think it is "too thick," I'll point out that when I try to do that "ghe" slide (the "zwipp" sound), it won't do it at all... well, just BARELY. If I recall, when the head is real thin, I can do the "zwip" sound so "zwippish" that it is Annoying! ha!

I guess I've kinda answered my own question ("yep, it's too thick"), but it would be nice to get some responses like, "Oh ya, mine was like that too... I sanded it thinner and I was so happy it was like getting a new drum..."

Another "symptom" I can point out is that it is a HUGE pakhawaj -- treble end is over 7 inches, etc., and I would LIKE my drum tuned to "low C" but when I undo the bolts enough to get it down to Low-C, the head is no longer tight, it's wavy-loose.

Sorry, in advance, for my lack of proper terminology. I have been drumming for over 30 years, and I have frankly forgotten nearly ALL the right terms. But, I know those of you who play pakhawaj (especially those trained in kirtan-style drumming) will know *exactly* what I've meant with all my misnomers

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #2 
I have never seen such a stupid useless reply.

I am trying to ask if my drumhead is too thick or not. I even try to clarify so that even the dumbest person can understand.

And I get a response about the "ghe" sound "...and it takes time to get that sound going. It could just be a matter of practice."

Well, I KNOW how to do a Ghe!

And the "...Have you tried changing where you tap it to create the sound. That could be a factor"
How stupid of you.
I'm just getting irate reading your stupid response.

I KNOW how to play a g**d**m drum!

And then you ask me to tune the whole drum an octave UP???!!!???

If I wanted a HIGH-PITCHED DRUM I would have turned the d**m wrench and tightened the bolts. I don't need YOU to suggest that I wreck my drum.

Here's an analogy:
I take my ferrari to a mechanic asking if the tires need more air
You: "Oh, have you tried putting air in the tires?"

Now, you've ruined my thread. Nobody is going to post any useful answer now.
If you are, like, 5 years old, forgive me. You are a pretty smart 5 year old. Just ignore my post. But if you are a grown up, I suggest that you GROW UP.
VNO Design

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Posts: 166
Reply with quote  #3 
ChandrabhatNagar, don't take it personally, Khitchdee does that to nearly every post on here, including his own. Welcome to the Tabla forum!

Seriously though, I don't know if you will get many people who can answer that question as a vast majority do not play the pakhawaj. Have you copy/pasted this post to other threads on here?

Best of luck,


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Posts: 601
Reply with quote  #4 
@khitchdee , u have been ruining every single post in past few months by posting all the nonsense rubbish without having any knowledge of the subject. Its too much now , i think the moderator need to interfere in this issue.
el presidente

Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #5 
Haven't posted for a long time, but I have kept checking the topics daily.

Seems like few past months some people keep losing their focus from the original topic or question. Concentrating more to react Khitchdees provocative comments. Lighten up guys, ok? I hope we could keep the conversation positive and focused on tabla.

In my opinion, sohummusicals is very qualified to answer the original question. I'm sure there are others too here, but I have personal experience about Upendras expertee about the drums & skins. (No irony here, honestly).

My self, I don't play pakhawaj! I play tabla, and Afro-Cuban percussion. And all I can say is: I love the thick skins!!!
So I wouldn't advise you to sandpaper the skin thinner. But that's just me.
I have had the skins that in the beginning have felt too thick and hard. In tablas, congas, bat

Posts: 601
Reply with quote  #6 
If you are a pakhawaj player I dont know what are you using a black tar gunk for ? Thats not the thing to use for a pakhawaj. Use wheat flour dough on the bass side before playing and remove it after you are done. If you are learning it professionally , you must be knowing it already how to apply.
Remove the tar gunk completely and clean the inner side nicely. Fix the head back in place and and tighten it to maximum. Then apply a small ball of dough and spread it in a circular motion by pressing outwards from the center. Apply another ball if require.strike on the bass to check the sound. Pretty sure this will help.
Oh yes i forgot to mention, if the kinaar is too broad and tight this could happen so trim it, keep it not more than 1 inch. Try inserting a thread under the kinaar and see if you get a bass n sustain , if not then you need to follow what i suggested earlier

Posts: 50
Reply with quote  #7 
Originally Posted by "ChandrabhatNagar"
Another "symptom" I can point out is that it is a HUGE pakhawaj -- treble end is over 7 inches, etc., and I would LIKE my drum tuned to "low C" but when I undo the bolts enough to get it down to Low-C, the head is no longer tight, it's wavy-loose.
What frequency do you mean by "low c"? Usually pakhawaj if I am not mistaken, is tuned to around "middle c" (c4) or 261.6 hz. While a typical 5 inch tabla is around double that at c5. You might be trying to tune to c3/130.8hz. But I would imagine even a larger 7 inch drum would not go that low. Use a tone generator rather than a tuner to find out.

Posts: 302
Reply with quote  #8 
I use the method you're describing of using an inner gab. I use silicone caulk. I would say add more gab so that the skin can be tightened more. With more load for any given tightness a lower pitch will result. So if the pitch you're going for makes the head too slack . . .add more gab.
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