If you are interested to learn Tabla, or just want to see if it is the right instrument for you, Manish gives both individual and group learning experiences; lessons for beginners and for experienced players. Also, his Workshops are a one day activity that could be perfect to have a full day experience with this instrument and will give the possibility to explore a little deeper, giving you the chance to feel if it's an instrument for you.
Manish Vyas, teacher and multi-instrumentalist
THE TABLA is regarded as the queen of drums and percussion instruments and is the most popular Indian rhythm instrument. It consists of two drums, the smaller drum is termed dayan and is made of wood and is played with the right hand. The larger deeper-pitched drum is made of metal and is known as bayan. Both drums have goat or cow skin covering. They have a black middle spot made of iron fillings, soot and gum which produces a characteristic bell-like sound when drummed.
The combination of the two drums produces an incredible fullness and details of different rhythm structures and this fullness of expression is unmatched by any other rhythm instrument. No other percussion instrument has as many combination possibilities as tabla.
It is not easy to play the tabla. You need to exercise great control over your hand movements. A seasoned tabla player uses his palms and fingers to generate diverse sounds at different pitches thereby creating amazing effects on music compositions. Playing a tabla solo is a cherished and unique phenomenon in the art of drumming. The percussive instrument can hold its melodic own for hours and yet not sound boring thanks to the wide repertoire of compositions.
THE LESSONS aim at developing the correct technique and tone quality to allow students to create their own music and their own improvisations as tabla players while maintaining the sublime tradition of Indian tabla. In learning the instrument, all tabla students learn the spoken rhythms of the tabla known as tabla bols. According to each student's needs, lessons cover many aspects of tabla playing, including grooves and creative accompaniment, improvisation and expression as well as the more detailed and advanced techniques.
The study of tabla is in the oral tradition and is a continuation of the pakhawaj repertoire, which is thousands of years old. The vast oral literature of drumming is divided into two categories, fixed rhythmic compositions and theme and variations. In ancient times, a language was developed using words called bols that imitate the sounds that the drum makes.
BEING TABLA his first instrument, which gave him an amazing basis to continue studying Indian music, Manish Vyas initiated into tabla by his first teacher Zinda Hussain in Gujarat at the age of 9, which he continued for many years. Later when he moved to Pune, for one year, he continued his training with Nishikant Badodekar, a disciple of legendary Ustad Zakir Hussain. However it was under the gifted tutelage of the legendary Ustad Alla Rakha at the age of 20 that Manish received intense training for many years in Mumbai under the Punjab Gharana tradition and matured into a fine tabla player. He continued his studies with Ustad Kausar Ali under the Banares Gharana in Pune. Manish plays tabla in concerts in different styles: classical, folk, ghazal, kirtan, fusion, etc. Apart from accompaniment, Manish has performed numerous memorable solo performances in India and abroad. He plays tabla in all his albums and compositions. He has been teaching and running workshops since more than 20 years. His first students were Europeans who spent time in Pune, India to learn Indian music back in the 90s.
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“Outstanding – engaging and in depth workshop. Besides being a great teacher, Manish has a great sense of humor which make his classes easygoing and fun too. Made us want to explore even more so we continued studying.” Student
“The way Manish explains is really interesting and easy to follow. I feel I have a much greater understanding of Taals and Indian music in general and I have been practising the bols ever since!” Student
“The tabla experience was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It opened my eyes to new cultures and eastern music and rhythms.” Student
“It's really a priviledge to have Manish nearby teaching also tabla... he has an excellent solid background, of course... he learnt with a true master himself” Student
"Manish guided me in getting a very good pair of tablas for a good price and from a reliable source. You really need a good guidance to learn this instrument. I find Manish sense of rhythm and skill impeccable... you can feel he is in love with this instrument!" Student
"A great source as a teacher and as a being." Student
MY TEACHER, my tabla guru
Ustad Allarakha Khan was born in 1919 in a village near Jammu, in Kashmir, and was the eldest of seven brothers in a family of farmers and soldiers. The family later moved to Lahore where he trained in the tabla as well as in Indian classical vocals. He worked in both radio and in the film industry and later set up a music institute in Bombay, where he often taught. He once said in an interview that when he played outside India, his aim was to teach the Western world about the beauty of Indian music. When asked to say a few words at his 80th birthday celebrations, he played the tabla instead. "This is the language I know," he told the audience.
The tabla is probably the world's most recognized Indian hand-drum and certainly the most transcendent percussion instrument of India. Played with the fingers, palms and heels of the hands, it can produce an incredible array of sounds and rhythms. Its vocabulary is astounding and is commonly considered to be the most challenging hand drum in the world. It was the first Indian instrument Manish started learning as a child and continued playing all his life.
when we pay attention to nature's music, we find that everything on the earth contributes to its harmony.
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