short analysis of Tabla Player's styles

Ustad Amir Hussain Khan

His playing seems more inclined towards playing Relas (tukdas, gats, chakradars - referred to as Kavitas or poetry based compositions in Drut laya/fast tempo) in a tabla solo. This gave the listener a feeling of continuous 'Goonj' or 'Aas' or 'Resonance'.

Experience this in the following Tishra Jaati Rela

Ustad Habibuddin Khan

Though he belonged to Ajrada Gharana, having learnt from his father Ustad.Shammu Khan, he had also learnt from Ustad. Munir Khan of (1)Mumbai Gharana / Laliyana (which comprises of an amalgamation of Delhi, Ajrada, Farukhabad and Lucknow - the early schools of Tabla)

His playing had the touch of sweetness in it. You can experience it in the following Youtube video:
Teental Kaida

(1)Reference: Theory And Practice Of Tabla - Sadanand Naimpalli
Read on Google
Buy the book

Ustad Ahmedjan Thirakwa

Ustad Ahmedjan Thirakwa popularised the composition called Peshkar in Tabla. While playing Peshkar the stress he used to give on certain letters or syllables (for instance - Ghe in GheNa) shows how much importance he gave to specific forms in the composition.
Due to his command on laya (rhythm) and creative imagination during the elaboration of Peshkar, it sounded different from other player’s rendition of the same.

Enjoy this Peshkar and Kaida by Ustad Ahmedjaan Thirakwa

Pt. Shashikant (Nana) Muley

Nana Muley’s accompaniment not only gives the expected rhythm but also adds a peculiar gait. His accompaniment varied according to the artist and the nature of performance.

Enjoy this Documentory of Pt. Shashikant (Nana) Muley

Pt.Kishan Maharaj

His solo playing represents the proper Benares(/Banaras) style of tabla and its elaboration in proper order.
His accompaniment to instrumental music is excellent and so is to dance which is a child's play for him.

Enjoy this Documentary episode made on Tabla Samrat Pandit Kishan Maharaj from Benaras in 1989 by Doordarshan.

Ustad Alla Rakha
Though he didn't receive proper training of tabla of the Punjab Gharana, using his own imagination and creativity he made innumerable compositions.
In his tabla solo recitals the Relas played by him were his forte.His accompaniment to instrumental performances as well as dance is outstanding.
As a vocalist he was no less than a professional vocalist.Pandit Kumar Gandharva also learnt a few bandishes from him when he came to Deodhar School of Indian Music,Mumbai in 1946.

Also watch:
1) Ustad Alla Rakha as a Vocalist - Raag Madhuvanti
Alla Rakha, on his eighty year anniversary talks about his early career as a Music Director then sings a nice piece in Raag Madhuvanti in Japtaal of 10 beats

2) Ustad Alla Rakha - His last Interview and Recording

3) Ustad Alla Rakha - All India Radio Films Division Documentary

4) Indian Classical Music : Ravi Shankar, Alla Rakha and Yehudi Menuhin

Yogesh Samsi

Having played various compositions of Punjab Gharana, he has also displayed his mastery over Delhi and Ajradastyle of playing Kaydas and Relas.

Pt. Yogesh Samsi : Best of Punjab Gharana

Glimpses of Pt Yogesh Samsi's solo on Pt Kishan Maharaj's Barsi

Arvind Academy of Tabla wishes you a Happy Diwali!

From the Tanjore Court to the Madras Music Academy: A Social History of Music in South India, 
ANNAPURNA DEVI: An Unheard Melody, 

50 Maestros 50 Recordings: The Best Of Indian Classical Music...

Select music to gift your friends and loved ones here

Art of Appreciation: taking the first step - Part II

4) Ustad Amjad Ali Khan : Documentary by Gulzar(1990)

5) Pandit Kumar Gandharva : 'HANS AKELA' - A documentary by Dr.Jabbar Patel (2005-06)
Hans Akela is the search of

Art of Appreciation: taking the first step - Part I

Learning to appreciate is the first and important step in acquiring a skill.

Learning music, being a lifelong process, requires a student to have good grasping skills. And appreciation is the key to develop this skill.

Here are some recordings and documentaries which will enrich you as a music lover or a student of music. Do share these with students and fellow music connoisseurs.

1) The Speaking Hand: Zakir Hussain and

Classification of musical instruments in India.

GHAN(Sanskrit meaning : Dense)
Pt.Vikku Vinayakram (image courtesy:
Solid in their structure, these are made of out metal or ceramic. Popular instruments are

West meets East: MUSIC IN MOTION!

Although Indian Classical Music (Bharatiya Shastriya Sangeet) is based on the inner realm of artists - not just passing the notations or Cheez - now there's a different twist to this tale. Many who have dedicated their lives to Indian Classical Music, have always talked about

On a lighter vein : Tabla, Sitar and the Chairy Tale(1957)!

Are Indian Classical Musicians too serious? Or do they have a humorous vein?
The answer is in the short film accompanying this post.

What happens when Pt.Ravi Shankar, Pt.ChaturlalNorman McLaren, Claude Jutra and a most uncooperative chair get together? That too in 1957!
The result is "A Chairy Tale."

"A Chairy Tale" is a 1957 animated short film co-directed by Norman McLaren (Scottish-born Canadian animator) and Claude Jutra (Canadian actor, film director and writer), starring Jutra and the chair. 

More by Pandit.Ravi Shankar

The Changing Face of Tabla : TransTabla by David Yovino

David Yovino is a student of tabla maestro Pandit. Swapan Chaudhuri at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California. He has applied his creative design skills in redesigning the most crucial aspect that tabla performers face: tuning the instrument.

Tabla being a sensitive instrument easily goes out of tune. Tuning it time and again becomes a tiring job. David has worked on this aspect and made it simpler. At the same time, he has addressed the issue of resonance or "Aas" as it is popularly called in India.

Check out more in this video.

Tabla Rhythm - A compilation of handpicked Tabla masterpieces!

Enjoy these gems from the world of Tabla

Ustad. Ahmedjan Thirakwa, Ustad. Amir Hussain Khan, Pandit. Anokhelal Mishra, Pandit Samta Prasad, Pandit. Kishan Maharaj, Ustad. Habibuddin Khan, Ustad. Karamatullah Khan, Miyan Kadar Baksh, 
Ustad.Tafo Khan, Pandit Arvind Mulgaonkar, Pandit. Sudhir Sansare, Ustad. Alla Rakha, Pandit.Vibhav Nageshkar, Pandit. Kumar Bose, Ustad. Sukhwinder S. Namdhari, Pandit. Yogesh Samsi, Pandit. Suresh Talwalkar, Pandit. Swapan Chaudhari...

Keep watching this space for more.

Listen & Share : Online Resources for Indian Classical Music Students and Connoisseurs

Nehal Mehta : Dedicated to sharing gems of Indian Classical Music

Doyen of Farrukhabad - Ustad Amir Hussain Khan-Documentary

SangeetVeda - Gems from Indian Classical Music

JALSA : Music for the Soul.

Indian Music for Soul

Ultimate Guru Music : Making World Music accessible and understood by all

Bijapure Harmonium Foundation : Founded in the memory of the harmonium virtuoso Pt.Rambhau Bijapure

Dattaji : Indian Classical Music

Indian Classical Harmonium Lovers : A Facebook page dedicated to Indian Classical Harmonium

Pandit Kumar Gandharva : A Facebook page dedicated to Pandit Kumar Gandharva

Classical Music Sharing : A Facebook page dedicated to sharing Indian Classical Music

Rajya Sabha TV: Official Channel of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament.


Balraj Jittla



Gagandeep Singh

Search MUSIC

Do you know some interesting resources like these?

Share them with us in a comment below.

Arvind Academy of Tabla turns 5 today!

It was Gudhi Padwa (first day of the new year according to the Hindu Calendar) of 2008 when we took our first step.

Today we have proudly turned 5! And the journey couldn't have been any better.

We have been supported by many since our inception. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude.

Thank you for your continued support and love.

He has always supported us through his inspiring thoughts
and guidance on promoting this art form.

    Prof.Rashmi Desai
Daughter of the well known vocalist Suman Warerkar, she has supported us
by donating a Tabla pair which was used by her 
mother, during Riyaz, in her early days.
We are fortunate to have received such a treasureable gift.

Heramb S.
The site designer. 
Researches and contributes content to this website. 
Maintains our social profile to increase outreach.

Also, I am grateful to friends, family and well-wishers without whom this wouldn't have been possible.
And most importantly,
my Gurujis

Pandit.Eknath Pimpale

      Pandit.Vibhav Nageshkar

We need your blessings!

Celebrate this Gudi Padwa with a musical treat from
Ustad.Bismillah Khan

Tabla Workshop at NCPA,Mumbai: 18 December 2007 - A Memorable Day!

It was one of the memorable days in my life when NCPA(National Centre for the Performing Arts,Mumbai) invited the internationally renowned tabla maestro, Zakir Hussain, to conduct a one-day workshop on Tabla. 


The workshop was held in two sessions of three hours each.

Thanks to my Guruji(Pandit.Vibhav Nageshkar), I could be a participant in it.

Fortunately, I received blessing from the maestro at the end of the session.                                                           

" GEMS From Ustad.Zakir Hussain "

The workshop was graced by the presence of Pandit.Sudhir Mainkar, Pandit.Arvind Mulgaonkar(Read 'TABLA'), Pandit.Bhai Gaitonde, Pandit.Bhawani Shankar(Listen to 'Pakhwaj Beat')Pandit.Suresh Talwalkar(Listen To 'Taal Yogi'), and Pandit.Yogesh Samsi.

Have you been to a music workshop or a guided listening session?
It would be interesting to read your experience.

Some valuable books for Tabla students.

1.TABLA by Pandit.Arvind Mulgaonkar (Marathi Edition)

(image courtesy:

The book provides an insight into various topics:
the percussion instruments prior to tabla,
origin of tabla and its development,
the construction of tabla, difference between solo and accompaniment styles,
old as well as new methods of teaching tabla,
biographies of tabla virtuosos,
methods of practising phrases,
"Gharanas" and their characteristics.

The book is useful for beginners and professionals.

Pt.Arvind Mulgaonkar is a gandabandhit shagird of Late.Ustad Amir Hussain Khansaheb.
He has imbibed many compositions from many other tabla players of Khansaheb's time.
He is also the founder of Bandish - A Trust In Memory of Tabla Nawaz Late Ustad Amir Hussain Khansaheb to promote the art of tabla - and also organizes various workshops and seminars for the same cause.

Here's a short clip of Pandit. Arvind Mulgaonkar playing a Gaind Uchaal (Bouncing Ball) Gat of  Ustad.Munir Khansaheb.

2.TABLA VADAN: EK VICHAR by Pandit.Bapu Patwardhan (Marathi Edition)

The book comprises two sections. 
In the first section, Pandit.Bapu Patwardhan has explained the difference between the solo style of tabla playing and tabla accompaniment. He also provides valuable suggestions on the difference between accompanying a Hindustani classical vocalist and an instrumentalist.

In the second section the author explains the styles of the various Gharanas (schools of tabla). He enumerates the difference between the contemporary style of playing a tabla solo and the style prevalent in the older times by citing examples of Ustad.Habibuddin Khan(Listen to Ustadji), Pandit.Anokhelal Mishra, Ustad.Thirakwa Khansaheb.

Pandit. Bapu Patwardhan is a disciple of Ustad. Ahmedjan Thirakwa Khansaheb.

Here's a short clip of Pandit.Bapu Patwardhan playing a Farrukhabad (a Gharana or School of tabla) Kayda.

3. TAALA SOUNDARYA by Shri. Ganpat Parvatkar (Marathi Edition)

This book has been written with the intention to nurture the Parampara (tradition) of Baldevsa Gharana. It includes compositions in 12 Taals (beat cycles) ranging from the Prachalit Taals (familiar Taals) to Aprachalit Taals (Taals rarely played).

About the Author:
Shri. Ganpat Parvatkar was born in Goa in 1928. He received guidance from Layabhaskar Khapurmama Parvatkar(read more), Ustad MehboobKhan Mirazkar, Pandit S.Y.Nagvekar and Ganatapaswini Mogubai Kurdikar(Listen to Vintage Records)

He has given several solo performances and accompanied well known vocalist and instrumentalists as a staff member of All India Radio. During 1988-98 he also taught tabla at Karnatak Vidyapeeth.

4. TAAL PRAKASH by Shri. Bhagwat Charan Sharma (Hindi Edition)

In this book Shri.Bhagwat Charan Sharma (M.A , SangeetAlankar, SahityaRatna) has shed light on topics of solo tabla recital, how its formation differs with gharanas (school of playing tabla), origin of tabla,definition of various terms related to tabla, practice of phrases and Karnataka taal system.

5. AATHWANINCHA DOHA by Pandit.Arvind Mulgaonkar (Marathi Edition)

Pandit.Arvind Mulgaonkar in this book has described how fortunate he was to learn tabla from Ustad Amir Hussain Khansaheb.
He shares memories of each and every aspect of Khansaheb's life: as an artist, human being, composer and teacher.

Here's a short clip of  Ustad. Amir Hussain Khansaheb playing Teental.

Share what you read
Have you read any interesting book on Tabla or music?
Do share more about it. 

Performance at "WASSUP Andheri" with Ved Institute of Performing Arts.


  WASSUP ANDHERI is a festival that celebrates the socio-cultural spirit of the liveliest city of India - Mumbai! 

Aditi Yadav 's  Ved Institute of Performing Arts presented the fast paced life of the Andheri suburb, revealed through dance form with intricate footwork, colourful costumes and artistic presentation put together in a Kathak Marathon - all performed on live music.

Check out some of the snaps.


Want To Learn KATHAK? 

Learn at VIPA(Ved Institute of Performing Arts)

Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi, Mumbai.
KATHAK- Thursday - 4p.m. to 6p.m. 
Saturday - 11a.m. to 1p.m.

Birla Kendra, Charni Road, Mumbai.
KATHAK - Friday - 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
BOLLYWOOD DANCE - Friday 4p.m. to 5p.m

Kinnari Culture Centre, Warden Road, Mumbai.
KATHAK- Friday - 4p.m. to 5p.m.

Do You Dance?
Have you been to such a dance performance? Do you learn a dance style?
Do share you experience with us.

Music Competitions for Students :: 2013

1) Instrumental: Sitar
First Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh Sitar competition 2013 (Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh ) : Pune, India
(click on the images below to read more)


2) SurTaalNritya 2013: Hindustani Classical Vocal, Tabla and Kathak

Feel free to share any information or pictures of any music competition that is organised or one that you participated in.

Some Compositions in a Solo Tabla Performance.

A composition played in the beginning of a tabla solo performance. It includes all the bols (syllables) and layakaris (rhythmic patterns). It is a challenge to a tabla player's creativity.

Now listen to a Peshkar set in Teentaal (16 matra/beat cycle)

A composition which has a main phrase called Mukh, which is elaborated according to the bols (syllables) used in it, positive (bhari), negative(khaali) spaces in the Taal ( beat cycle) and division of the Taal(beat cycle).

Listen to a Kayda set in Teentaal (16 matra/beat cycle). 

A composition with open syllables (khulaa or with resonance) played aggressively in fast tempo (dugun or double).

Listen to a Paran set in Teen taal (16 matra/beat cycle).

A composition with a main phrase and a Tihai (a rhythmic variation comprising 3 equal repetitions) played in fast tempo (dugun).

Listen to some Tukdas in Teen taal (16 matra/beat cycle). 

Do you like a composition by your favourite artist?

Share it with your fellow music lovers here.

Rhythm of Life

These hands, caught in a frame, 
are like those of a devotee.
Immersed in a prayer, appearing still.
Yet, so full of life,
throbbing with the unbound ecstasy.

Have an picture of your favourite musician or when you were practising music?
Share it with us with a few lines about yourself.

With my students

Time flies by with my students.

Some incidents take you back to long-forgotten moments.
Here's a moment which took me back to the days
when I played the syllables (bols) on tabla for the first time.

Donate A Pair - Help Them See The Beauty of Rhythm

Welcome to Arvind Academy of Tabla

Welcome to Arvind Academy of Tabla!
Founded to provide interactive sessions in learning the art of playing Tabla - the classical Indian percussion instrument.