The Pakhavaj, is an Indian barrel-shaped, two-headed drum, the North Indian equivalent to the Southern mridangam. It is the standard percussion instrument in the dhrupad style and is widely used as an accompaniment for various forms of music and dance performances. The pakhavaj has a low, mellow tone, very rich in harmonics. Set horizontally on a cushion in front of the drummers crossed leg, the larger bass-skin is played with the left hand, the treble skin by the right hand. The bass face is smeared with wet wheat dough which acts as the kiran and is the cause of the vivid, bass sound the Pakhawaj produces. This makes it very traditional in its built and rich in sound.
The pakhawaj rhythms are taught by a series of mnemonic syllables known as bol. The playing technique vary from that of Tabla in many aspects viz. in the bass face, the artist hits with his whole palm instead of the finger tip hitting which is done in tabla. In the treble face, the artist very diligently hits his whole palm with the fingers properly placed on the skin to produce different bols.
In traditional pakhavaj-styles a student would learn a number of different strokes which produce a specific sound. These are remembered and practiced with corresponding syllables.
Pakhawaj loops are divided into 5 parts according to the speed .
1.Very Slow Loops ( 70 Beats per second ) - 275 + loops .
2.Slow Loops ( 100 Beats per second ) - 275 + loops .
3.Medium speed Loops (120 Beats per second ) - 275 + loops .
4.Fast Loops ( 140 Beats per second ) - 275 + loops .
5.Very Fast Loops ( 180 Beats per second ) - 275 + loops .
A Total of more than 1350 loops . These loops can be used in different genere.
Copyright to Dr.Arun shankar.