01 February 2010

Refined rhythms

Fingers have better dexterity than palms, wrist or arms. Therefore much better control over rhythm production is possible using fingers than anything else. Because Tabla is played using only fingers and to very less extent using palms, naturally the rhythm emanating from them is a lot refined than others when played well. Mrudanga can produce similar refinement but increased use of palm in Mrudanga actually reduces the tonality and also the ability to control rhythm production. Similar argument may apply to Maddale and Pakawaj.

For drums Chande that need drum sticks to play are best payed using the wrist. They can not produce bogglingly loud sound but can produce better tonality and sophistication in rhythms. Other way is to use arm and shoulders which undoubtedly produces less refined sound and reduces tonality.

Therefore playing hard and loud on any drum is not a virtue since it means use of parts of hands that have less dexterity. Amplification is best left to electronic devices of the day and drums can focus on better quality of sound rather than on being loud.

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