THE INSTRUMENTThe TABLA, one drum of wood and one of metal or clay, appears to be deceptively simple but to play it in a classical manner requires years of training and constant practice. It requires great dexterity, superb control, stamina and physical strength.
The right hand drum known as the DAYAN/TABLA is usually carved of rose/sheesham wood. It is the higher pitched drum and carries most of the intricately patterned finger strokes called BOLS.
The BAYAN which is the left drum is a bass drum. Stalwarts in the field can make a BAYAN/DAGGA murmer, sigh or whisper. A combination of both the drums can be made to sing or even fill the concert hall with the sound of pattering rain or rumbling thunder.
A master tabla player, while drumming two or three seperate rhythms and interesting patterns may be calculating the mathematically precise pattern of yet another rhythm. The level of artistry of the maestros of the field is awesome.
A small hammer is used to tune the TABLA from time to time. The striking surface of the tabla is made of goatskin and the black surface of the instrument is made of Iron mixed with some amazing material that sets the repertoire of the TABLA a class apart from its contemporaries.