Are you bitten by the Tabla BUG !

You have just finished watching Ustad Zakir Hussain on the Youtube,Wished you had a Tabla around …I would have tried my fingers on the table drums. You instantly start moving your fingers on your computer table…..That Sounds Ok!
I could have been a good tabla player… only if…? huh…

Did you ever feel the same ….any point in the past?

I was 11 years of age…my mother took me for a Ustad Zakir Hussain Tabla solo concert in Mumbai and I had a “Tabla hangover” that was going to stay for long.

The sound of Dha! Dhin! …kept ringing in my head all night…Couldn’t sleep without dreaming about Tabla !.

Next day I asked my mother to buy me the Tabla drums…..hmm, She said.
She wanted to be safe and not sorry!
Thinking this could be his one of thing… and he will calm down.

Not knowing she is creating more trouble,she decided to buy me some Audio Cassettes of Ustad Zakir Hussain instead (cheaper option)…..

Now, this was like Zakir Hussain playing for me at home every day…..
It was getting me crazier all the way more. I had started beating the dining table at home ….the desk at the school (this was making me popular amongst mates though !)

And all was going well…….until my mother actually brought the Tabla drums for me.

Soon I realised that I was only sounding good on the desk at school….Tabla playing was not an easy task…All I played on the desk sounded weird on the Tabla….I needed more strength to generate any sound out of it.It was time to get serious,

Approach a good Guru who can teach you from basics –>Critical 1st Step.

Your Tabla teacher will most importantly first get your finger stance correct. Its very important to do this….Once your basic finger movements are correct only then will the advanced work becomes more easier.

The key to learning the Tabla quickly is to practice the basics in the beginning.This can take up to 2-4 weeks …but the key is to keep practising and you assure yourself out of the huge frustration many beginner Tabla players face….by ignoring this.

Students get all excited about trying to play advanced patterns that they hear …..Not knowing they are generating a habit of wrong finger movements.
In the initial days….Every Tabla player goes through this phase. He spends more time drumming on the table at school, at home on the dining table….or at work on your computer table…..rather than sitting on the Tabla.

It’s easy to pick up the habit of wrong finger movements! Beware!

What is the correct way to practice the Tabla patterns?

You may have heard Practice makes you perfect …BUT ,
The Key is – Practice the right technique -the right way!


–> the way the pattern(Kaida , Tukda etc.) progresses and develops If you are good at Maths , you are at advantage here.

Every minute you spend practising, Practice the right technique .This will enhance your ability to learn advanced patterns and apply it to your rhythms cycles quickly.

I hope this gives you a general idea on how to progress with your Tabla skills.

Note: There is no connection with playing good Tabla and growing long hair…Just a coincidence that most good Tabla players have kept long hair….we are still to find out why !


Author – Amit Diwadkar