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Preface

Welcome to the exciting yet challenging study of the drums from India called the tabla. Tabla is the pair of Indian drums that is nearly one thousand years old. Since the tabla had been introduced, the tradition and art of tabla playing has been orally passed down through generations. Amazingly, this oral knowledge is still preserved today, and still passed down.

 

As the traditional gurukula system of the tabla succession is on a gradual decline, I felt the need to write this guide. Some people can neither afford the time required for studying under gurukula conditions and environment. Therefore, tabla is now taught in the form of academic classes and meetings. Some even teach privately, one-on-one with a student. However, some people cannot afford many years of tabla. Even if they can afford it, some cannot travel distances to attend tabla classes, which is a great constraint. I can relate to that predicament. I was thirteen years old. I wanted to really study tabla, yet there were no classes nearby. I was forced to study alone, by merely observing, experimenting, and verifying online with a professional tabla player.

 

To avoid all these constraints that could impede a perspective tabla student, I have attempted to create everything possible of tabla in the form of a textbook, to the best of my ability. This is meant for students who are seriously interested in learning and playing tabla. I attempted to write this so that students are able to receive just the right amount of instruction possible.

 

If there are tabla classes nearby, it is highly recommended to attend those classes. Always listen to your tabla teacher, commonly known as the tabla guru. Your tabla guru has intensive training in playing as well as teaching. The guru may be of a different gharana, or traditional school of tabla. Treat this book as a guide to assist you in playing tabla. Always remember that in any type of study, time, patience, energy, dedication, discipline, and devotion is always required. Keep practicing material from this book, from your teacher if you have one, and use those six elements of study with you. If you cannot play something from this book, keep trying. Never give up. Youll eventually get it, but dont move on unless you finally do. If you follow these tips, tabla playing will be a successful as well as an enjoyable experience.

 

Best luck on your journey!

Hare Krsna

 

Krsna Dhenu

January 19, 2004

 

UPDATED: June 20, 2009