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Chapter 04: Both Hand Bols

 

After dealing with bols of both drums individually, we can finally combine bols from the baya and the daya together to form a new bol. Tabla is not an instrument where sometimes daya plays alone and lets baya play alone. It is also not an instrument where daya and baya bols never mix. This allows mixing in very interesting ways. We will only do two bols. Of course, there are countless numbers of bols, but these two are very important that it is best to be formally taught these. The other bols will come very naturally without instruction.

 

DHĀ 

 +    Figure 4.1

 

“Dhā” is one of the most popular of the mixed bols. “Dhā” is a bol that comes from the mixing the bols, “gha” and “”, “thā” or “.” Thus “Gha + = Dhā.” Just as simple as this equation seems, the fact is just as simple. You play “gha” on the baya and the “” simultaneously. Note on Figure 4.1 how the baya position is used and the mute is used on the daya.

 

DHIN

 +    

 

“Dhin” is the other important bol to master. “Dhin” is a bol that comes from the mixing the bols, “gha” and “tin.” Thus “Gha + Tin = Dhin.” Just as simple as this equation seems, the fact is just as simple. You play “gha” on the baya and the “tin” simultaneously. Note on Figure 4.2 how the baya position is used and the mute is used on the daya.

 

Sometimes, “dhin” is a debated bol, just like “tin.” More about this discussion will take place in later chapters.

 

You can see more equations and simultaneous bols.

Gha + Ti = Dhi

Gha + Tun = Dhun

 

With Ka, it is simply emphasis (capitalized letters):

Ka + =

Ka + Tin = Tin

 

The possibilities are endless.

Try this sample:

 

BRIEF EXERCISE

dhā dhin dhin dhā | dhā dhin dhin dhā | dhā tin tin | dhin dhin dhā

dhā ge ti | ka dhin | dhā ti tu | dhin dhin dhā

 

Were you able to play the first and second lines without trouble? If you did, congratulations! You played you very first set of cyclic talas on the tabla! The first line, for your information, is a very common sixteen beat cycle known as tintal, and the second were two renditions of Kehrva tal. As I mentioned earlier, if you know the science of bols and how to play them, you can virtually play anything. Knowing these bols and how to play them is half the battle. There are a few phrases very important in tabla playing which are introduced in Chapter 5.

UPDATED: June 20, 2009