Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Discussions about the Indian hand-drums known as tabla.

Moderators: povster, cabernethy, coughcapkittykat, s1owpoke

Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby TablaBeatz » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:58 am

Hello Tabla experts!

I have improved a lot over the years taking care of my tabla and getting optimal sound out of it -

My Dayan is always on 1 strap of the gatta - I always have to put it on 2 straps before I play cause no sound comes out of it. After playing I leave it back on 1 strap.

It's getting annoying doing this everytime - but I'm afraid if I leave it on 2 straps over night then the sound won't be so good the next day - and before I know it I will be on 4 straps on the gatta and will have to figure out a way to retighten the whole drum.


Im fascinated how you guys manage Dayan tuning? Do you retighten drums yourselves?

I love it when drums are on one strap and sound awesome - my Dayan used to be like that but now I need to put it on 2 straps.

Will it get loosened more if I leave the Dayan on 2 straps overnight and when I am not playing?

LOve to hear everyone's experiences!!
"The beginning of life is rhythm. When you’re in the womb your mother’s heart is beating at (about 90) decibels ... we were born of vibration 13.7 billion years ago with the explosion of the universe."
TablaBeatz
 
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:40 am

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby va4leo » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:09 am

hi! I am no expert, however...

I personally prefer it when tablas have the tasma on two straps (no more, no less) to hold a pitch. What I do when I get a new tabla is, over a few weeks, tighten it on one strap as much as possible. After 2-3 weeks, the leather parts of the tabla would have absorbed enough moisture and expanded enough to produce lower notes on two straps with lower tension in the tasma, and higher pitches with a tight tasma.

Before playing, I tune to the desired pitch, and after playing, i just re-tunes to lower pitches. After a few months, when the tabla fails to produce the highest note it is capable of, I tighten the straps with a hook and gloves, ensuring the same pitch is reached all around the tabla after tightening (without ghata). You will have to pull it tight to 1.5-2 notes below the desired pitch before inserting the ghata, and after inserting the ghata on two straps, it will go up by about 2 notes (I may be wrong here).

I find the tabla is easy to tune when it is on two straps as striking the ghata is easier. Which is why i prefer this.

Hope this helps!
-Vicknesh
User avatar
va4leo
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:40 pm

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby anichopra » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:30 pm

thanks Vicknesh - that really helps -
I guess I have to learn to retighten the head of the tabla -

Its just a real pain to put 2 tasma on the gatta everytime before i play.

how does everyone else manage tuning and maintenance of their drums? is there anyone else out there that adds and removes straps to gatta each time before playing ?
Last edited by anichopra on Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
anichopra
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:42 am

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby Acelga » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:45 pm

Some time ago I read in another percussion forum something similar regarding conga skins.
There were 2 kinds of people: those who tuned lower after playing and re-tuned higher when had to play, and those who let always the instrument "tuned". It seems that the stretching and un-stretching is not so good for the life of the skins. But again, I´m talking about conga heads, which are thicker than tabla´s.

I´m too lazy to retune and repull so oft, plus I have back pain and the day after reheading or repulling you can imagine how bad it hurts, so I have my tablas always tuned at its optimal pitch. Weather changes are not very dramatic here (30% to 60% humidity) so I just have to tune up or low 1/2 tone or nothing at all when I have to play. When I´m done I just pack the instrument as it is.

Recently I had to re-pull a 6" tabla that came from Bina London in 2005. It was then in A under 2 straps I think. Some months ago I couldn´t tune it to G being it under 4 straps already so I re-pulled.
But this tabla was giving great service for 5 years and all that I did was putting it under 3 and finally 4 straps... over 5 years!

Maybe what you guys do is better for the life and sound of the pudi. I don´t have proof of it. But even if it was, I would stay with my method "Just tune it if it is out of tune" :lol:
Acelga
 
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:59 am
Location: Germany

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby TablaBeatz » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:46 pm

Thank for your input Acelga -
when I was fairly new my guru used to tune the tabla for me and leave it in tune (as I was not good at tunning) - he told me to leave it in tune and it should be fine.
It usually was but with the seasons it would go out of tune and really frustrating to play.

I don't know how my guru managed it - but for years he'd have his tabla just on one strap and it would sound awesome - maybe it was because he played so much superior - or he'd do some behind the scenes tightening of the tabla which I was not aware of -
"The beginning of life is rhythm. When you’re in the womb your mother’s heart is beating at (about 90) decibels ... we were born of vibration 13.7 billion years ago with the explosion of the universe."
TablaBeatz
 
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:40 am

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby pbercker » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:39 pm

According to David Courtney you should keep your tabla in tune *and leave it there* if at all possible. He writes:

try to keep the tabla in tune. there is acommon misconception that a tabla should be loosed whenever it is not going to be played. This is only true when dealing with the poorest quality tablas, such as one might find fromBengal. Doing this for any decent tabla will make it unreliable on stage - FUNDAMENTALS OF TABLA, page 34.


It seems therefore counterproductive to tune up and then tune down your tabla, and quite possibly even more so to continuously loosen and then tighten the straps (also a bit tedious I would think!). That strikes me as possibly unnecessary trauma on the tabla head (especially on the gajara) that has to be beaten into submission on a daily basis.

Empirically speaking, the evidence I have is simply that of my own, so mileage may differ with others. One reason I have so many tablas (9 headed bayans, 3 that need reheading) is so that I can keep them exactly in tune more or less permanently (A, B, Bb, C, C#, D, Eb). I need only make the most minor tuning adjustment, if any adjustment at all. Moreover the nylon straps have helped enormously with stabilizing the tuning so that a dayan will keep exactly the same tuning for days and even weeks on end. My oldest tabla does not have nylon straps but is a very high quality tabla and has remained on 4 straps on the gatas for over 5 years and has maintained tuning at Bb +/- 15cents at the most for that many years! (admitedly it also mostly gathered dust for many years sitting there unloved and unplayed, but was none the worse for wear for that neglect!).

Moreover, there is reason for believing that a tabla, if left in tune, will actually *improve* over time. This seems to be true of my own tabla, and while the improvements may be subtle (or possibly due to the placebo effect!!) this has been dramatically the case for me for some $6 tabla skins (!) I bought back in april of this year. In fact I bought 4 of them, and like they say, you get what you pay for. Visual inspection make it immediately evident that these were inferior in craftmanship. Once put in place on my tablas, 2 of them sounded barely average but 2 of them sounded simply awful (awful enough that I scouted around for more tabla heads and discovered the amazing sound of the Mukta Das tabla heads, though there are others that are also good). In any case, 2 were beyond hope but 2 of them I decided to give a try. While it took many many weeks, and indeed several months in one case, the 2 inferior heads clear improved over time where they have become playable.

There is also something else to keep in mind. While I am admitedly speculating, if seems to me that when you first tune your tabla, no matter how accurate you are, you are very unlikely to tune it so exactly all the way around that it will be +/- 0 cents all the way around. You will invariably have a plus or minus difference of just a few cents here and there (certainly that has been my own experience). However, if you keep it in tune and you only make minor adjustments, you will discover (or at least I have discovered) that the tabla will eventually get more and more uniform all the way around insofar as tuning is concerned and from thereon only requires the lightest of touches to keep in tune with itself.

Well, that's my 2 cents worth!

Would love to hear what the experience of others has been.

Pascal
My opinion given without any warranties, expressed or implied, that it's even relevant. It would be folly to rely on my opinion without seeking more professional tabla advice. If you are suffering from a tabla condition, seek immediate attention.
pbercker
 
Posts: 1468
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 7:53 am
Location: st peters missouri

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby Acelga » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:44 pm

Oh, I forgot to add a very important reason to not to mess up with the tuning!
The buzzing siyahi! :o
Most times I had to tune a tabla just one step lower in order to be in tune with the singer / instrument, only to discover that a horrible BUZZ appears and it won´t go away, not even when I tune the tabla again to its original pitch. :evil:
Like somebody answered to me in another thread regarding brand-new buzzing siyahis, the buzzing has sometimes a lot to do with the stretching (but some other times doesn´t). That could explain why sometimes you place a new top-quality-five-stars-pudi that was made on another tabla and it starts buzzing, because it suffere lots of loosening when it was removed from the shell.
Acelga
 
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:59 am
Location: Germany

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby Shawn » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:48 pm

Better to keep the tabla tuned at pitch. It will be less likely to go out of tune, as it will settle at the pitch somewhat over time. Still, it's normal that the puri will stretch over time, and that it will eventually be necessary to go from 1 to 2 straps, to 3, and then 4 or re-pulling and starting over again.
Shawn Mativetsky
http://www.shawnmativetsky.com
http://tablamontreal.blogspot.com
http://www.twitter.com/tablamontreal
http://www.youtube.com/tablamontreal
http://www.facebook.com/shawntabla
Shawn
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 2:59 pm
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby pbercker » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:30 pm

Acelga wrote:Oh, I forgot to add a very important reason to not to mess up with the tuning!
The buzzing siyahi! :o
Most times I had to tune a tabla just one step lower in order to be in tune with the singer / instrument, only to discover that a horrible BUZZ appears and it won´t go away, not even when I tune the tabla again to its original pitch. :evil:
Like somebody answered to me in another thread regarding brand-new buzzing siyahis, the buzzing has sometimes a lot to do with the stretching (but some other times doesn´t). That could explain why sometimes you place a new top-quality-five-stars-pudi that was made on another tabla and it starts buzzing, because it suffere lots of loosening when it was removed from the shell.


I've learned to be patient with buzzy tablas. Nothing I've ever tried has ever worked (superglue, etc...!) except time. The last time I had a buzzy tabla I decided to just wait it out, and keep playing it until one fine day the loose particle just popped right out!

Pascal
My opinion given without any warranties, expressed or implied, that it's even relevant. It would be folly to rely on my opinion without seeking more professional tabla advice. If you are suffering from a tabla condition, seek immediate attention.
pbercker
 
Posts: 1468
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 7:53 am
Location: st peters missouri

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby bhilaj51 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:51 am

I have had many tabla for years and years and inevitably they never last unless they are big or largish tabla low pitched so you just have to leave the Tabla as is on the straps and the less mucking about the better. leather is leather , it stretches and you will find that you will have it on 1 strap and then have to put it on 2 and then on 3 over time, if you have to put it on 4 it really needs re pulling and it is vital you learn how to do this and it isnt so difficult providing the lashing is in one piece - no joins etc- you have the beginning knot and the ending know and it also depends whether it is strung clockwise or anti clockwise in determining the way you start to pull. You start at the first beginning knot and pull the 4 straps there THEN you go to the opposite side and pull those 4 straps so basically you pull N S E & W then the the other 4 in between as N,S E & W as well everything symetrical - its so important to do this THEN you start at the beginning know again and go round the whole drum pulling all the slack to the end knot carefully methodically because evrything about Tabla is to do with the head being central and evenly pulled all round. Once this is done you undo the end knot pull up the slack and make a new knot. -------- You put the pegs back in also in the N,S E & West arrangement and put up 1 strap on each or 2 depending on the drum, i usually let it strtch out overnight then taske the pegs out and give it a final pull from beginning knot to end know all round and then i find it will tune up nicely on 1 starp, patience is essential and believe me i have put a lot of heads on a lot of Tabla over the years. One thgiong you must watch out for is Hot but Humid weather , and be careful the tabla is not too enclosed in a box or take the lid of or let them air as thios is the kind of weather i have gone and found a tabla split right across the head and what was once a beautiful sounding drum is now just a lump of basicallu useless wood , oh the pain , but it happens. Another hint is to have a spare set of blocks or some blocks to use band put 2 blocks in instead of 1 when you find you are knocking the blocks down at the bottom and they are just sliding back up and you cant tune - 2 blocks remedies that situation really well - i keep meaning to put a video on youtube of how to put a head on a table , its an art & i have the fast method but i am not so fast now due to age and the starin it needs to pull a tabla proper but in my day i could do one in 20 minutes. Of course if its a brand new head and the holes are tight well thats a drag as you have to put a screwdriver or something through the holes to make them bigger because if they are tight it can be quite difficult.
bhilaj51
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:41 am

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby bhilaj51 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:56 am

please excuse some of my spelling in my previous post , know is knot starin is strain etc etc
bhilaj51
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:41 am

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby TablaBeatz » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:26 am

Thanks for all your responses everybody - really feeling the love on this board - its about time we made this board more active

Bhilaj-ji: Thanks for your explanation on retightening - I'll analyze my tabla and do more research - I didn't realise there was a beginning knot and ending one - and to figure out which way it was strung - the double block idea is also great!

pbercker: all your comments also very useful -

also everybody's input appreciated -

I have a annoying buzz on one of my bayan - I notice though when pull the straps a bit the buzz mostly disappears -
"The beginning of life is rhythm. When you’re in the womb your mother’s heart is beating at (about 90) decibels ... we were born of vibration 13.7 billion years ago with the explosion of the universe."
TablaBeatz
 
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:40 am

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby bhilaj51 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:53 pm

In regard to tuning tabla up I have just had to pull a tabla to get its pitch up at least 3 notes and for the benefit of those who wish to see how i have filmed it and put on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luPxFsH- ... uPxFsH-myc --- hope it helps, its fairly long but you only need to see once, cheers bhilaj51 - Jhalib
bhilaj51
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:41 am

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby TablaBeatz » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:34 am

Namaste Bhilaji !
Thanks so much for putting up that video - and completely clearing up 'how to re-tighten the dayan' -
that is the most comprehensive set of instructions I have ever seen ! So thank you so much again !

You've got a really nice collection of tabla videos - and enough to keep me busy for a long while and improve my tabla playing.

You did a really good job on tightening that tabla - even before you put the pegs in it was sounding so much better - and by the end of the video - the sound was really sweet and beautiful -! :)

I definitely feel confident now in tackling tightening my tabla - before I had no clue ! I was even confused about the starting and ending knot - but thanks to you I think I have a much better idea !

:D
"The beginning of life is rhythm. When you’re in the womb your mother’s heart is beating at (about 90) decibels ... we were born of vibration 13.7 billion years ago with the explosion of the universe."
TablaBeatz
 
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:40 am

Re: Tuning - tightening Dayan on extra strap before play

Postby pbercker » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:32 am

bhilaj51 wrote:please excuse some of my spelling in my previous post , know is knot starin is strain etc etc


I knew what you meant, but even even the mispelled word actually fits, at least in my case, since I have to psyche myself up before I do a re-pull of my tabla, and I typically do that by *staring* at the tabla for a few minutes before I heave a sigh of readiness to pull!

So here's to "starin" at the damned thing before a good pull!

Pascal
My opinion given without any warranties, expressed or implied, that it's even relevant. It would be folly to rely on my opinion without seeking more professional tabla advice. If you are suffering from a tabla condition, seek immediate attention.
pbercker
 
Posts: 1468
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 7:53 am
Location: st peters missouri

Next

Return to TABLA

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Go To Forum Archives