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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Everyone !!

I have been learning to play tabla since 6 years but have not found any good guru here in Nepal. So i find this forum as a guru in itself.

Can you guys share your knowledge regarding tabla solo playing?? What a tabalchi is required to play throughout the performance like Peshkar first then gats,tukras and eventually relas etc.

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Posts: 157
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi, yes, the solo usually starts with Peshkar followed by Kaidas, Relas and the fixed compositions like gats, tukras and end with a chakradar or two. The Benaras solo is slighty different as it starts with an Uthan then followed by a Benarasi Theka (which serves the same functional porppose as the peshkar, meaning to improvise the theka in a poetic way and mimic the alap in instrumental music by slowly building up the tempo and prepare the atmosphere). Strictly speaking, or functionally speaking the Uthan serves to introduce or to open the solo which in the other Gharanas is served by the Peshkar. But when one is just a beginner one should concentrate in learning first kaidas, a rela or two, a few tukras and two or three gats plus two or three chakradars to build up a short solo. Add to it a short, simple uthan to start your solo. In this way you would play a simple uthan -> two kaidas -> a rela -> maybe two gats -> three tukras and finish with a chakradar. This way you may build slowly a ten minute or so solo. Only then, after you start to become more intermediate/good, you would start to learn Peshkar or the Banarasi Theka.

hope that helps.

Do you know Achyut Ram Bhandari? He plays and teaches tabla in Nepal I believe.

Posts: 892
Reply with quote  #3 
Very nicely written with the mention of "Benarsi Theka", which in my opinion only the traditionally groomed students talk about.

I am officially a follower of the Farrukhabad Gharana. We typically play sort of an interlude between peshkaar the kaida, which has a representative similarity to the Benarsi Theka. The lukhnow folks, particularly in the contemporary play a more closer rendition of the Benarsi Theka. I feel!

My general inquiry to the Benaras folks is: there is the Benarsi Theka, nice & slow & fully baya embelished that you can listen to all night long. Then there is the fast teen taal.

Is it generally a correct statement that the slow version is played in the begining of the performance & fast teen taal as sort of a laggi at the end?

Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks @sShivadhyanam !! Yeah i learnt from him for about 4 years and honestly speaking i didn't get good guidance at that time so i was on my own along with occasional visit at Guru Achyut's place. Now i'm at self learning through youtube and this forum I believe a good Guru is must to better one's tabla playing. At this point, i really feel Ustd. Zakir Hussain is the most fortunate man in the planet . May be there's some weakness on my side or my eye's are still shut ?? Hope i get to learn good stuffs with love and grace in days to come !! #feeling_optimistic

I will try to pick one kaida where i am good at and look to build a short solo of my own. Thanks indeed !!

Posts: 68
Reply with quote  #5 
Is it generally a correct statement that the slow version is played in the begining of the performance & fast teen taal as sort of a laggi at the end?
I'd say that's generally true, although the style of the variations played in each context are usually different. I don't think I've ever heard the theka just being doubled as a variation in Benarsi theka. Variations usually use certain kinds of bols. For example:

dhatrakadhi nadhigedhi dhatrakadhi nadhigedhi (variation)

dhagetraka dhin-na- natin tinna (theme)

tatrakati natiketi tatrakati natiketi

dhagetraka dhin-na- nadhin dhinna


dhigedhina trakadhige dhinatraka dhinagina

dhagetraka dhin-na- natin tinna

tiketina trakatike tinatraka tinakina

dhagetraka dhin-na- nadhin dhinna

And the variations often have clear off-beat accents, like in peshkar (Kishan Maharaj's famous 1971 solo is a good example of this).

But the drut theka prakar that players sometimes do at the end of a solo is different. Generally it's much faster and, at least in the tradition I studied in, is mostly just using the theka bols. And yes, many of those variations are sometimes no different than laggis. That, of course, was one of the things Anokhelal was most famous for and can be heard at the end of his solo.

But nowadays players break all the rules, so you might hear anything.

Kishan Maharaj's 1971 Solo:

His Benarsi theka starts around 1:55

Anokhelal Misra's 1957 Solo:

His theka prakar starts around 39:00
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