“Sangat” is congregation. “Sadh” is saint. “Sat” is true.

All these three words refer to a gathering of, or a meeting with, God-oriented people. The company may come together to say prayers to God, sing kirtan, listen to kathas or discuss spirituality and religious matters. They may meet in a Gurdwara, the Sikh place of worship, or at home, or anywhere else. Most commonly, sangat would gathers in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib – the Sikh holy book.

In this context, we’re referring to Sangat to mean accompanying another artist. This is the most common practice in tabla performances. Whether you’re playing with a vocalist, instrumentalist or a dancer, there’s one thing that one must not forget… adjustment and understanding. It’s vital to understand the importance of listening to what your partner is playing and how you can match them and act in a more ‘give’ and ‘take’ manner. This applies to both artists or a group, if one person is playing off-beat, that could through off the whole composition. However, if the person playing off-beat realised that he/she was, then that could be rescued or the rest of the group could just carry on and not let the audience know.

This only comes with practice of playing music with the same group. This is what I would like to teach in my Tabla lessons in Leicester. We will be accompanying other artists as we progress during the lessons. As we practice in the tabla classes as a group, we will slowly learn how to play together and in harmony.

I will see you all again for the tabla classes in leicester every Thursday at 4.30pm and 5.30pm. Please let me know which class you wish to attend.