Tuning a Dholak

in Dholak, Tuning

When you have bought a dholak, be proud because you have bought something very precious. After buying, greet your dholak in the same way as you greet others either by saying Hello, Namaste or anything similar in a respectable way.

Then have a look of your dholak and you can easily recognize its different parts. The  bigger head with a black dot is called as bam. It contains a paste of tar and some other materials which helps in producing low pitched(bass) sound.

Bam Side

The smaller side is known as soer side and it generates a high-pitched sound.

Soer side

Tuning a dholak is an art and it requires patience to learn the same. There is only one key point to be kept in mind that needs to be followed while tuning a dholak: “Make sure that the soer side always produces same sound at its all parts.

If a dholak is accompanied by a singer, then you must know in which scale he sings so that dholak can be tuned accordingly, for instance if he uses a scale C, then dholak need to be tuned to note G5.

Most commonly used scales are A, B and C and hence the notes A5, G#5 and G5.

It was all about tuning a soer side. Tuning of bam side can be done easily by pulling the ropes or tightening the bolts. Both these methods help in increasing the pitch. Hence tuning of bam side is dependent upon the pitch of music we want to hear i.e, a high-pitch or a low-pitch which can be adjusted by loosening or tightening the ropes or bolts.

Being a beginner, it is advised to use a dholak with a deep bam sound. Initially it is bit difficult but it is the only way to learn dholak efficiently as it helps in making hands stronger.

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