Tabla Classes in Leicester

Read all about the lessons and our approach to Hindustani classical music

What we will cover:

The importance of practice, respect and how to warm up

I’m sure you’re all aware of how important practice (Riaz) is. It doesn’t matter what instrument you play or discipline you follow. Regular and focused practice will make the difference. It doesn’t matter how many beats you know, it’s about how many times you have practiced ‘one beat’. Whether you just practice Tirikit over and over again or any other singular beat the results will be noticeable over a short period of time. Give yourself a set time of playing a repetition of the same beat for around 10 minutes to start off with stretching to 30 minutes as you progress. Initially, you will feel parts of your arm start to burn, that’s fine, you need to carry on and slowly build on your strength so you can play for longer periods of time.

The main basics of tabla are developing inner tendon strength and stamina. That doesn’t mean you need bulging biceps, it’s about how clear the your mind is and how quick you can channel energy through to your fingers at the right time.

In my classes I will be teaching you tendon nourishing exercises which must be performed before practice to ensure your body is fired and ready to play. You will notice a big difference and find that you’ll be able to play for much longer without feeling that ‘burning sensation’ in your arms. I will also be going through techniques of how to focus your mind to make sure it’s in the right state to play tabla and take in information.

Recitation and timing

Tabla has been passed on over the generations by memorising compositions and beats. The only way you will remember lessons is by memorising them. If the piece is clear in your mind, then it will come out just as clear through your tabla. This is one of the most important parts of learning tabla. Every student will have to speak the beats (bol) and play at the same time, the louder and clear you speak, the better the sound of the tabla.

I will also be stressing the importance of timing. Timing is an extremely imperative part of tabla as the whole structure of the compositions are based on timing and cycles. Therefore, the understanding of timing and taal cycles will be explained in great detail to you.

A range of tabla cycles, taals and compositions

Over the period of time, I will go through many different tabla compositions. These will all vary in terms of difficulty and arrangement. I will cover solo pieces aswell as taals (rhythms), cuts and fillers for accompaniment.

How to accompany other artists

There will rarely be a time where you will be playing a ‘Tabla Solo’. Majority of people that play tabla are usually either playing as part of a group or a instrumental ensemble. The art of playing with another artist is one that can only be taught and picked up with experience. Over the next few lessons I will be inviting singers and other instrumental artists for you to accompany

Tabla tuning

Every student will be taught how to tune their tabla to any ‘sur'(pitch) by listening to the keys from a harmonium. This will be taught after a student has gone through the basic stages of tabla and develops an ear for different sounds of tabla.

Tabla concerts

Every student needs a goal to work towards, otherwise they can lose motivation and direction. I don’t want to make performers out of you but true musicians. This is only possible once you play in front of an audience. We will all work together to form solo, goup and instrumental ensembles for small concerts which will be held when I feel you’re ready.

The rest is up to you!

I can only act as a guide to teach you, it will be up to you to practice, work hard and ask any questions without hesitating. The more interest you take in tabla, the more you will benefit from the lessons and progress.