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joemc

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi, all, I want to play Tablas so the first step is to get a set. I understand that one of the best ways to get tablas is to go to India and try a bunch out with a lot of know-how about what to look for, but unfortunately I have no know-how and cannot go to India right now. 

So can anybody suggest a good dealer/importer for tablas?  I am in Los Angeles, CA.  I have been looking into tablasitar.com, olddehlimusic.com, and keshavmusic.com.  I would have to buy the tablas sight-unseen but it's not like I'm an expert at shopping for them. Budget would be $600 US.

I note that there appears to be a consensus that sheesham is the preferred wood for a dayan.  But Olddehlimusic.com says that sheesham was listed as endangered and so they have theirs made of neem - are neem dayans ok?  And on tablasitar.com, one of their makers from Kolkatta, Mukta Das, makes a lot of his dayans from maha-agni wood, rather than sheesham; is maha-agni acceptable for dayans?

Sorry for being long-winded.  I would appreciate any advise I can get.  Then I can go to the next topic: Teacher.



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joemc

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Reply with quote  #2 
Well, looking over past posts on this forum, it would appear that a favorite provider of Tablas on this board is Sohum Musicals.  Looking at their website, it looks good.

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RagaMeister19

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Reply with quote  #3 
You could check out Musicians Mall up in Berklee. They carry Tablas as well as Rain City Music. Good luck.[wink]
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joemc

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Reply with quote  #4 
Just got new tablas (Kuber Das) and had my first tabla lesson with Debasish Chaudhury. 😉
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Gurveer

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Reply with quote  #5 
To be honest, it depends on the style of tabla you wish to get. To be more specific, I mean the skin thickness and shahi thickness as well as scale and all these things that may matter. You could contact a maker directly who will make the tabla, send you a video, and then ship it to your address. Black sheesham or khair wood are the best although woods like vijaysar and red sheesham are also good. My recommendation is Somnath Kakade, Bharat Kakade, Shaikh Maqbool and Deepak Vhatkar. You can find their contacts on facebook. Good luck getting a good pair 😃

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joemc

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Reply with quote  #6 
I ended up getting a teacher before I got a tabla set.  Then, with his help, I purchased a set from his favorite tabla maker, Kuber Das, in Kolkatta.  I'm very happy with them.

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Gurveer

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Reply with quote  #7 
Congrats bhai, 
Please do tell me about your experience with Kuber Das as well as his contact info. If you don't mind, would you please upload some clips of your tabla?

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joemc

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi, Gurveer:
I guess you could say I have very little experience with Kuber Das.  My teacher, Debasish Chaudhury contacted his favorite tabla maker (Kuber Das), and he had a set with my desired specifications (5.5 inch head diameter, tuned to C#) within two or three days of completion.  I paid Debasish, and he basically purchased the tabla set.  They were completed on schedule, and since the maker doesn't do much shipping, Debasish used another contact of his in Kolkatta to pack and ship them Fed Ex.  

Fedex was the flakiest element in this experience.  The tabla set had quite a multi-national trip (Kalkatta to Delhi, then Italy, Nashville, France, back to Nashville, and finally L.A.) before reaching my door.  Took about 2 weeks.  They were in perfect shape, held tune pretty well. 

So I do not have Kuber Das contact info.  It is said he is pretty low-profile and is located "close to the airport" (Kolkatta). 

I will do a soundclip of them when I have something worth recording.  At present I have had only 2 lessons and am still working on a consistent Na, and I can get a Tin sound of sorts may once in 10 tries.  But wow, they sure sound beautiful when Debasish plays them!
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Gurveer

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thank you so much for all this information, looking forward to hear you play. 
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