When to play what on Dhol


New Member
Hello all,

I am learning Dhol from a Tabla background and am so thankful I have some rhythm in my blood and quick twitch in my muscles. Its so difficult to write notes of how to play each style of beat accurately of how they are supposed to sound. On top of that I do not know how to count or hear when to play a different style beat. Am I supposed to know that a song is meant for Jhummar vs slow Dhamaal. When do I use Chaal vs Bhanrga? Do I base this beat off of the dancers I am performing with?

I know that there is a Dhamaal step my team uses so does that mean I use the Dhamaal beat but at the tempo the music is playing? Its so FAST!!!

In tabla taals the beat is signified by cycles/ patterns which are counted in seconds as well as a distinct pause in when to hit the drums to show the difference between a 7 or 6 beat rhythm. For all I know I'm playing a 16 beat stupid fast (2x fast) to fit into a 8 beat cycle on dhol. How do I know what beat to play on dhol? What do I listen for on a mix thats played from a computer?

Sincerely from your newest Dholi,


Tough times never last, but tough people do.
What up! First thing you should do is go through these and know the names of beats and know what they sound like: https://www.youtube.com/user/howtoplaydhol/videos

That is not all of them, but a good place to start. Once you have a decent idea of what they sound like, start watching some live team videos, some of which I'll post for you below. But the key thing will be to listen closely to the dhol and watch the steps being performed. Since you'll have an understanding of the beats via the videos above, you should be able to pick out the variations a dholi might be playing on the basic taals. As you go, you'll learn what beats line up with certain steps and footwork.