Tabla Tuning

in Tabla, Tuning

Tuning of tabla is neither too easy nor too tough. It just requires hard work, patience and practice to learn the same. Tuning a tabla can be performed with the help of a tuning hammer which is generally provided when you buy a tabla. If not, it can easily be purchased for only a few cents.

This hammer contains a blunt head for tuning and a sharp head for adjusting blocks. Methods of tuning the two drums are different.

For tuning a bayan, following steps can be followed:

If the pitch need to be increased, add a few wooden braces between the shell and lacings. If they are in position, move them up or down to control the tension. If it does not work, then bring more lacings over the gatta. If there is one, get one the second and check the pitch and carry on same until you either get all the four lacings above the gatta.

If nothing works, strike the gajara with the hammer until you get the required pitch. Striking in downward direction increases the tension and striking upwards from the bottom loosens the tabla and decreases the pitch.

For tuning a dayan, carry out these steps:

  1. The head must be cooled to room temperature before tuning else it might split.
  1. Determine the note you require your tabla to be tuned to.
  1. Generally a tabla is tuned to third, fourth or fifth note as per the requirement..
  1. Pitch can be controlled by adjusting the tension in the Puddi which can be accomplished by moving the blocks up or down with the help of sharper side of hammer.
  1. Pitch can be increased by moving the blocks closer to the base of the tabla.
  1. There are holes in a tabla  and each of the spaces between the holes need to be tuned go get a correct note. This can be done in two ways :
  • A star pattern which can be achieved¬† by starting with the space closest to you, then moving to its opposite space. After tuning them, tune the space closest to the one you tuned first and then the one adjacent to the second one tuned by you. In this way, tuning of all the spaces can be done.
  • A circular form in which all holes are tuned one adjacent to the other. It is used only if the tabla is already very close to the required note.

The only thing to be kept in mind is that there must be uniform tension at all parts.

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