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Playing in odd time signatures

Playing in Odd Time signatures

Many cultures use vocalizations to learn specific Rhythms. Vocalizations are also used to count out the rhythms. This is especially useful when learning what are referred to as “odd” times. They are called “odd” time signatures because the rhythms seem strange and “odd” to musicians that are used to the common rhythms of our culture - rhythms with 2,3,4,&6 beats per measure. Rhythms in these times will be referred as common rhythms.


Listen to Ganesh Kumar demonstrate the Kanjira (linked from Cooperman Dr ums site)

 We’re going to look at the basics of the South India drum called kanjira, which is found primarily within the Carnatic classical music system.   I perform solos on this drum on my first two albums.

This is my first foray into the Eastern Indian school of thought. It's a rhythmic pattern that I learned right here on the internet (yes, the internet IS instructional at times...) It's culled from a master drummer from London named Pete Lockett. The actual drum lesson is over at Rhythmweb- I strongly recommend you download the file.  

There are 5 basic syllables to create a 5 note rhythm-

Ta Ka Ta Ki Ta

We will stress the syllables in a 2-3 division, and clap twice on the "3" side for definition:

TA ka TA KI Ta

Indian Percussion Instruments List

Indian Percussion Instruments

Peyman Nasehpour

Budbudke: Hourglass drum of Mysore beaten with a knocked string by shaking the drum

Chenda: Cylindrical drum of Kerala, usually heard as accompaniment to the Kathakali dance, made of wood, it is suspended from the shoulders of the player almost vertically and only upper face is beaten with sticks.

Daff: A large circular open drum usually played with drumsticks. This word itself has been imported into India from Persia.

Danda: This is a pair of sticks, with or without jingles, beaten together, used in folk dances.

Ektaal Theka Kaida Tihai

12 Matra-s Taal
Ektaal, Theka, Kaida-s and Tihai-

By Peyman Nasehpoor 


Four major rhythms used in Indian Classical music are: Teentaal (16 beats), Ektaal (12 beats), Jhaptaal (10 beats) and Rupak (7 beats). Kaharba (8 beats) and Dadra (6 beats) are the most common rhythms used in light Indian Classical music.

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