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Tabla Midi Tutorial for Music Production

Tabla Midi Tutorial for Music Production

Tabla Midi Tutorial | Electronic Music Production

Before we start the Electronic music production tutorial let see quick demo of some arranged Midi patterns. Don’t worry about the theory for now as we will move step by step.

Please note : – You can arrange the Tabla/Dholak any way you want ( Like many Composers use it in Cinematic , Ethinic , Electronic Music Production , Trap Genres , Hip Hop and many other fusion genres ) Now why not learn some tricks which helps in improvisation of Tabla Midi patterns which comes with Solo Tabla and Solo Dholak. This knowledge will open new creative ideas for the most coolest part of music production – Drum Track Arrangement.

Solo Percussion instrument we sample at Crypto Cipher are not just simple ethnic drums library. We take care of the language of Indian Rhythms giving you deep creative control over instrument and on the other hand these rhythms if used intelligently can blow your audience mind. You can use Indian percussion in variety of styles. There are many demos covering variety of genres just to show you how beautifully these sounds can be arranged in tracks.See Crypto Cipher products for more details.

Application of these rhythms in Tradational , Cinematic , Electronic , Ethinic and many other styles ( Now think of your own styles)



Step by Step topics – “Arrange Tabla in Your DAW”

1) Tabla History

2) Basics of Tabla Drum

3) Alphabets of Tabla Language

4) Few Combination using Tabla Language

5) Formation of Indian rhythm cycle

6) Improvisation – Exercise ( Some Kaida’s for for practice )

7) Tihai


Today we are going to discuss about the Tabla language. Tabla is the most complex percussion instrument in the world due many resonant and non resonant sounds along with bass bend capabilities . Lot of research work has been done by great Indian legend artist and they have developed the Indian Rhythm Language in such way that if played correctly then the sound of Tabla can literally talk.

This is the live performance of Tabla & Khol by Prasenjit Mitra

History Of Tabla

Though an instrument resembling the tabla was in existence much before during vedic era Many historians believe that tabla was invented by the Indian Sufi poet and musician Amir Khusro in the 13th century, originating from the need to have a drum that could be played from the top in the sitting position to enable the more complex rhythm structures that were required for his compositions. Its invention would also have complemented the complex early melodies that Amir Khusro was composing.
The carvings in Bhaja Caves of 200 bc in the state of Maharashtra in India show a woman playing Tabla and another woman performing a dance.
A temple known as Eklingaji in Jaipur, Rajasthan shows the carvings of Tabla being played.
Another person credited with inventing the tabla is Sidar Khan Dhari, a court musician in the Delhi darbar way back in 18th century.
Most likely no single person was totally responsible for inventing the tabla. influences from different civilizations led to the development of its present physical structure and musical repertoire.The mridangam and pakhawaj seem to be early forms of the tabla. The name tabla originates from ‘tabl’ the Arabic term for ‘drum’.
Arabic, Turkish and Persian influences might be responsible for invention of tabla.
In the Indian royal courts of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, tabla performers used to accompany instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers.
These artistes also developed their personal sophisticated solo repertoires in private musical gatherings. This aspect along with the teacher-student tradition determinate the way for the creation of the tabla gharana lineages. During the days of royal patronage, it was important to uphold gharana traditions and keep them secret.There is an interesting story which depicts that the Khalifa or the chief of Lucknow gharana ustad Bakshu Khan got his daughter married to Ustad vilayet ali khan of Farukhabad gharana and gifted him about 1000 Purab gats OR compositions as a dowry.

Basic Of Tabla


Alphabets of Tabla Language

The Tabla uses “ finger tip and hand techniques played from the top, unlike the Pakhawaj and mridangam, which mainly use the full palm and are sideways in motion being more limited in terms of sound complexity.
One needs to exercise to achieve the level of great control over your hand movements and finger movements in order to produce the particular languages of Tabla which is Termed as “bols”in hindi
The language of Tabla is like any other literary language , there are basic alphabets which are joined to form small and big words called boles or syllables. These boles are used to make sentences or compositions like Quida , Rela, Gat etc.


Few Combination using Tabla Language

2-2 alphabets Combination , 3-3 alphabets Combination , 4-4 alphabets Combination of phrases

Like any other language, tabla has its own language. The formation of tabla phrases are being developed with the help of basic alphabets , the combination of which make boles . Boles are used to make compositions garlanded in a musical way . lets see this example :

Dha Dha Tey Ttey- Dha Dha Tin Na – Ta Ta Tey Ttey – Dha Dha Dhin Na ( Kaida )
Now this composition is combination of Bols – which you can easily see in the chart shown.

Language of Tabla :

Right hand (daya) strokes – Ta , Na, Tey/Tee/Rey/Ttey, Tit, Tun, Tin

Left hand (baya) strokes – ka , Ki , Kat, Ghe, Ghen(Ga open).

Combination of two hand strokes – Dhaa, Dhin , Dhey, Gharan(gran)

Before we go further into complex compositions please memorise the alphabets combination shown.

Few combination used frequently –

Combination of two alphabets
(2/2 ) Tey-Ttey’, Dhey – Ttey’, Tina(Tin – Na) , Dhina/Dhuma(Dhin-Na), Dhage (Dhaa+Ga), Dhati (Dhaa- Tey), Tidha(Tey – Dhaa), Kat-Ta (Kat- Ta), Ghena(Ghaa+Na),keke(Ka- Ka), Ghege(Ga- Ghaa), Nana(Na- Na), Ghine(Ga+ney), Gina( Ga+ Na), Tadha ( Ta +Dhaa).

Combination of Three alphabets
(3/3) Takita(Ta +Ka+ Tey), DhiteyTtey(Dhey+ Tey+Ttey), Dhagina(Dha+Ga+Na), Dhinaka(Dhin+Na+ ka), Kataka(Ka +Ta +Ka), Nagina(Na+Ga+Na), Katita( Ka +tey+ttey), Ghetete( Ga+Tey+Ttey).

Combination of Four alphabets
(4/4) Tirakita(Tey+Rey+Ka+Tey) , Dhinagina( Dhin +Na+Ga+ Na), kitataka(Ka+tey+Ta+Ka), Gadigena(Ga + thun + Ga+Na), , Gheranaga( Ghaa + Rey+ Na+Ga), Dhatighene (Dhaa+ Tey+ ga+Na)


Formation of Indian rhythm cycle ( Important Concept )

Now we have memorised alphabetical combinations , lets learn interesting concept about formation of indian rhythmic cycle.

Khali & Bhari are two major section of any Talas or rhythmic cycle. All Talas are divided into two section of same division , like if we have 16 beats cycle , first 8 beats is Bhari and last 8 beats is Khali. This has got a great significance in the Indian Classical Rhythm system. Please note : The melody or the composition are composed considering the structure of this system.
The 1st beat is known as “sam”, which is the most dominant point of any Rhythmic cycle , to make the composition more approachable towards Sam or to emphasize that particular point, second part of the Rhythmic cycle known as Khali has to be little submissive. That is the reason the syllebles used in the Bhari section are heavier in terms of sound compare to the Khali section. For example In bhari section, boles like Dha, Dhin Ghen, Dhage etc are used whereas khali section is compiled with the boles like Ta , Tin , Na , etc.

Tip – This system will be very helpful for musicians of any genre who wants to jam with Indian rhythms in more meaningful way.

Following chart shows some opposite words used in the MIDI arrangement to maintain the Khali- Bhari system.

For example if Bhari part of composition starts from “Dha-Ti” than Khali part has to start from “Ta – Ti”Electronic Music Production Courses Delhi

♥Improvisation ( Important Concept )♥

Now we will create famous kaida using midi.

Now let us start with one of the very famous Kaida which is very traditional as well. ( Midi Patterns are Included with Crypto Cipher Solo Tabla along with improvised midi patterns of this Kaida )

DhaTey DhaaGe Nadha Terekete/ 2 2 2 4 / A B C D
DhaTey DhaaGe Tinna kena/ 2 2 2 2 / A B E F
Tatey Take Nata Terekete/ 2 2 2 4/ G H I D
DhaTey DhaaGe Dhinna gena/ 2 2 2 2/ A B J K

There are few things about this Kaida one should know :
• This is a 16 beats cycle Kaida, the cycle divided into 4 divisions of 4 beats in each .
• During the improvisation this cycle and the pattern of division should be maintained.
• No other words are allowed to include apart from the given words.
• It has two parts, one starts from “Dha” that is “Bhari”(first 8 beats of the given Kaida) , and the other part starts with “Ta” called “Khali”(second 8 beats of the given quida). This has to be mentioned when we unfold the quida with the disciplined improvisations.
• Last two beats of the “Bhari” section sounds like “khali” and last four beats of the “Khali” section sounds like “Bhari”.

2) Now the unfolding of the Kaida starts where we develop the kaida with the help of improvisation , esthetic imagination , poetic order & cycle . ( cycle should be the multiplication of 2 & 4 only , i.e : given 16 beats cycle could be 32 beats & 64 beats during the improvisation).
A B C D / ( Midi no.2)
A B C D /
A B C D/
A B E F/
G H I D/
G H I D /
A B C D/
A B J K /

5) B C D, B/ (Midi no-5)
C D, C D/
A B C D/
A B E F /
H I D , H /
I D, C D/
A B C D/
A B E F /

6) This is 64 beats cycle which comes four cycles of the given quida :
B C D B/
C D C D/ (3 times)
A B C D /
A B E F/
H I D H/
I D C D/ ( 2 times)
B C D B/
C D C D /
A B C D/
A B J K /



1) Kaida (16 beats) – Now start your Improvisation on this kaida

Dha Dha Tey Ttey/ Dha Dha Tin Na/Ta Ta Tey Tte/Dha Dha Dhin Na//

2) Kaida 2 – Now start your Improvisation on this kaida

DhaaTey TteyDhaa / TeyTtey DhaDha / TeyTtey DhaaGe / Tinna Kena
TaTey TteyTa / TeyTtey Tata /TeyTety DhaaGey / Dhinna Gena



Group of 3 similar phrases composed in mathematical order in a particular rhythmic cycle which is always used to conclude any composition.


Now we have learned Art of making Kaidas – which is just a good start in knowing the Tabla Art , Other topics we are leaving for future. Hope you have enjoyed what I have explained you today. I really hope you practice well and create mind blowing patterns in your compositions.


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