Buying a tabla in Benaras

Discussions about the Indian hand-drums known as tabla.

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profpandit
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 am

Buying a tabla in Benaras

Postby profpandit » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:56 am

I recently went to Varanasi looking for a tabla maker called Bashiruddin.
Found out he has passed away and his son who was into the business too
has also moved on to other places or things
Another well known tabla maker called Akram I could not find.
I was redirected to a tabla maker called Mumtaz.
He has a small shop near the Chowk Police Station
You have to ask for the patang wali gali (bylane where kites are sold)
His shop is in that bylane.
It's a stones thrwo from the police station which is a well known landmark
I haven't played the tabla I bought from him,
but he demoed it when I bought it and it sounded pretty good
He seems to be a traditional style maker
He does not use nylon straps for example
and he applies the shyahi himself
instead of using ready-made pudis from someone else

I bought a brass baayan and a 7" headed daayan that plays at the lower C#
those alongwith a bag and the usual accessories cost me 7500
with no bargaining
The daayan is made of neem.

I would recommend him to someone visiting Benaras (Varanasi)

Bhagi
Posts: 271
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:04 pm

Re: Buying a tabla in Benaras

Postby Bhagi » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:28 pm

Shen Findell had sent me skins from a tabla maker named Anwar. They are some of the best skins I've ever played.
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profpandit
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Buying a tabla in Benaras

Postby profpandit » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:20 am

If you found out his address and posted it here, that would help
I'm from Allahabad and know some people in Varanasi,
even then, if I enquire about buying a tabla
I am directed to the agents that have shops in certain areas
The quality is questionable at such outlets
The tabla makers themselves are poor and get most of their business from existing clientele
hence it's very difficult to find them specially if you're working against a clock

profpandit
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Buying a tabla in Benaras

Postby profpandit » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:10 am

Bhagi wrote:Shen Findell had sent me skins from a tabla maker named Anwar. They are some of the best skins I've ever played.


I got my names wrong.
The second guy I was looking for was Anwar, not Akram
I heard about him about 10 years ago, so he's probably one of the classics.

Benarsidass
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:17 am

Re: Buying a tabla in Benaras

Postby Benarsidass » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:01 pm

Anwar is definitely one of the best makers in Benares. He's in Aurangabad, Varanasi, very close to a major Mosque (which I forget the name of). If you look at this Google Map, take a left at the Aurangabad Police station until you see a large mosque on the left (not on this map), just before the post office. Then just ask anybody for Anwar.

https://www.google.com/maps/search/aurangabad,+varanasi/@25.3127178,82.9968631,16z/data=!3m1!4b1

He also has a Facebook page. He doesn't speak English very well (probably better to speak with his son Salman), but I know he does business online.

https://www.facebook.com/anwar.tablamaker

As with any tabla maker, there's no guarantee that a tabla you order online will be well tuned. Even the best makers don't always have the ear to properly balance the kinar/sur by themselves. I usually sit with Anwar for a good half hour to an hour to get the final tuning. So it's good if you have a player like Shen who can check the tuning for you (not sure if he's still doing that business).

profpandit
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Buying a tabla in Benaras

Postby profpandit » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:40 pm

Regarding tuning and checking quality,
that's a big advantage of buying it in person
In my case, he put in the jawari thread as a last step
and demonstrated the tuning by the sustain of the sound

If you're shipping it, it would be hard to control changes that may take place on the way


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