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Kirya

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Reply with quote  #1 
I play the sitar and was trained by real teachers for a lot of my fundamentals so I do appreciate that having a teacher really matters especially when I run into somebody who is self taught.

But I am just trying to learn some basic tabla skills so that I can play in kirtan and improve my own taal sense as a sitar player.

Can people recommend some of the best resources on Youtube that provide good foundations?

I found the material by Tej Singh very useful e.g. his lessons on Kaherwa
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZn-6_Nx_gr34boG2dzGZV0de28JfOawB

I also saw that some recommend the lessons by White Indian which are good but too advanced for me.

This one is good from about 17' to 30' for the basic bol sounds and also provides basic bol structures to develop your hands and ability to memorize some phrases. He also gives thekas for main taals but I did not find his talk about taal very useful so I would advise to skip that around 33 to 40



Any other recommendations?

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Kirya
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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Kirya,

If you are in the LA area I would strongly recommend not starting from YouTube videos, and visit Cal Arts and hunt down a Tabla teacher to sit with a few times privately. The problem with these YouTube videos is lack of direct feedback and zero attention to nuances that a beginner needs. You mentioned that you understood the need for a real teacher in sitar, and it's exactly the same if not more so for Tabla.

Here is an anecdote Swapanji would make quite often:
Take 3 sudents of equal ability and have them study for 1 year. One studies Sitar or Sarode, One studies Vocal, One studies Tabla. After 1 year the Sitar student can play some lines and composition and it sounds nice. The Vocal student can sing some Raga and variations. The Tabla student can barely play Theka.

After you take a few private lessons you can resort to videos to help you achive your very light goals. If you start straight from video, I think your hands will be a mess and it will be difficult to play in kirtan even for taal experience as you mention.

Best wishes,

-David

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singhhh_ap

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Reply with quote  #3 
David has given the best advice. If you do not have access to local teacher then consider taking few lessons from any good online teacher. Please ensure to check reviews as it appears that everyone these days is offering Tabla lessons. David who is owner of this site also offers private lessons on Skype. Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri also offers online classes for beginners.

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Kirya

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Reply with quote  #4 
David, thanks for your advice. I agree with you for the most part and though I really am not interested in becoming a serious tabla player I will definitely consider a few lessons to make sure I am on the right track even for my limited goals. I missed a few tabla workshops held here recently and you have given me the motivation to attend the next one that I see for beginners.

I can already play several very simple thekas in Dadra, Kaherwa, Rupak, Jhaptaal and even Teentaal but really only in a few madhyalaya tempos. I cannot play very slow, slow or fast tempos. I am already playing with others in a kirtan setting where they don't realize that I am really a very very rank beginner. But I can Keep and provide the beat and provide emphasis at the right points around the song lyrics.

I think 30 years expereince with the sitar -- playing jod, jhala alone, and playing with tabla in several taals does definitely help, and I think Swapanji must be referring to people that are new to any instrument or music in general. When I was in India even sitar students were expected to play basic theka in a few taals by their 5th year if they were with a serious teacher. My sitar teacher generally provided tabla support when he was teaching me how to play together with tabla to watch and listen for khali and then count to sam, and learn about tihais etc.. This ability to also play basic thekas is a point which I just barely got too at the time and learned some basics of Dadra 30 years ago from my sitar teacher. But your points about having a teacher are really valid and I know the only reason I can do what I can is that my sitar teacher has laid very solid foundations in the past.

The videos I mentioned above were all very helpful in getting me to this point such as it is. I also sometimes just play the same few songs that I know are in Dadra or Kaherwa repeatedly for an hour or so and play along just to build up my sense of flow and get my bols cleaner and clear.

Thank you all for your advice.

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Kirya
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Reply with quote  #5 
Most welcome and best of luck in your pursuits!
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Shawn

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Reply with quote  #6 
I also agree with David, that if you have access to teachers, then you definitely should learn in that way. However, if you really want to go it alone, knowing all the caveats, feel free. I have compiled all of my Guruji's instructional videos into one web page: http://www.shawnmativetsky.com/blog/blog/how-to-play-tabla

They are very slow and methodical, and clearly show the correct (Benarsi) technique.

Best of luck!
Shawn

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Kirya

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks Shawn

These lessons are very useful and these videos are simple enough that most could attempt the routines and get something out of it.

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Kirya
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