My first introduction to Tabla was when my parents took me to the Barbican Centre in London to watch Ustad Zakir Hussein on Tabla accompany Pandit Ravi Shankar, the world renown Sitar maestro. I was only 14 years old at the time and at that stage I had not yet had a single lesson in music. I remember being completely mesmerised by the whole experience, or at least if I'm going to be honest, mostly by the performance of Ustad Zakirji. And like many people who go to watch Indian music concerts without any formal training...
I don't have much recollection of the very early Tabla lessons that I had as they were so long ago, but I do remember that focusing on how to play the notes with a precise technique whilst also making the correct sound was definitely a frustrating process for me. I'm also quite sure that it was made much more complicated by the fact that I wanted to learn everything as quickly as I could instead of adopting a more patient approach. Through teaching, I've come to realise that I am not alone as not many students possess patience when it comes to learning music.
I've been coaching Tabla and Vocal music for well over 10 years now and in that time I can say that there's rarely been a day on which I've not wanted to teach. The task of enhancing a person's musical potential is one that I relish and often leads to a great sense of fulfilment for both myself and the student. Throughout the many lessons of imparting the knowledge that I've gained over the years from my teachers and also from my personal musical journey, which I'm glad to say I'm still very much on, I can tell you that the one recurring question that all Tabla enthusiasts ask is 'how do I tune my Tabla?' There has always been a fascination with tuning Tabla because...