Ghin. Kha-Taang. Taak-Ghin . Ghin-Taang. It’s that simple!Raju Maharjan from Kutumba sits down with a madal to give a basic lesson on playing the instrument.
Who doesn’t love the Ghin-Ghin-Taang-Taak-Ghin-Taang of a madal? Everyone does. But, have you ever tried playing one? If not then you’re in for a treat.
Raju Maharjan from Kutumba sits down with a madal to give a basic lesson on playing the instrument.
“The size and shape of a madal plays an important role in the sound it produces,” he says, tuning his madal. “Since our culture is diverse spanning east to west and north to south, the way a madal is played is also different among the communities in Nepal. So, I’ll show you the very basics of playing madal.”
Raju, who also teaches music at Kutumba Studio in Dhaugal, Lalitpur, gives you a step-by-step beginner’s guide to playing madal:
1.While playing the madal, you have to place bhale on your right. The bhale and pothi both produce open and closed sounds.
2.Hit the bhale with your index finger and you will get your ‘Taang’.
3.Now produce a closed sound by joining your middle, ring and little fingers together and hitting the khari on the bhale. The sound you produced by this step is called
4.The pothi (left side) also produces both open and closed sounds. Join all fingers except the thumb and hit the pothi. You’ll produce a sound called ‘Ghin’.
5.Now produce a closed sound by joining your middle, ring and little fingers together and hitting the khari on the pothi. The sound you produced by this step is called ‘Kha’.
6.Next, combine ‘Taang’ and ‘Ghin’ to produce ‘Dhang’.
7.Now, play a combination of all of the above steps.
“The popular Nepali song Resham Firiri is played with Samala Taal,” says Raju. “It is the easiest to play and popular among Newars of the Kathmandu Valley. There are four counts in this taal: At one, play Ghin. At two, Kha-Taang. At three, Taak-Ghin, and finally, Ghin-Tang. Again, Ghin. Kha-Taang. Taak-Ghin. Ghin-Taang.
Raju, who has been playing all skin-based Nepali percussion instruments, for the last 20 years, says, “Another popular Taal is Maruni which is as simple to learn as Samala. It also has four counts: At one, play Taang. At two, Kha-Taang. At three, Taang-Ghin, and finally, Ghin-Taang. Again, Taang. Kha-Taang. Taang-Ghin. Ghin-Taang.”
Another Taal he plays is Sangini. “It has six counts: At one, play Ghin. At two, Ghin. At three, Taang. At four, Taak. At five, Ghin and finally, Taang. Again, Ghin. Ghin. Taang. Taak.
Ghin. Taang. It’s that simple.”