search_all
Home World - India The Chaal Rhythm for the Dhol & Beyond
The Chaal Rhythm for the Dhol & Beyond

Big thanks to my Bro Johnny Kalsi & The Dhol Foundation

The following rhythms are presented for a right handed player , they should be reversed for a left handed player.

The thin thilli cane is held in the right hand, it strikes the high pitched end of the drum. The thick bent cane is held in the left hand and strikes the bass end of the drum.

There are a number of strokes which are either single hits or combination hits. The method of learning uses 'bols' (words) and each word represents one of those strokes. Players use these to teach, learn and pass on information. Johnny uses them to tell the players what is coming next, he can even teach over the phone, It is fascinating to experience.

Dhol 'Bols'

 

  • Na/Ta - Treble side only
  • Ge/Gi - Bass side only
  • Dha - Bass and treble sides together
  • Ke - Bass side struck and stick left on the head to mute
  • Kin/Kran - muted bass stroke with open treble stroke

It is most common to hear the rhythms as a 'shuffle' feel almost like a dotted eighth, the rhythms are actually regarded as straight and the 'shuffle' is merely an slight advance of every second beat. For the purposes of this introduction, I'd advise treating the rhythms as a shuffle to get the feel of the flow of the music .

The base rhythm is known as the Chaal, most rhythms use this or variations thereof as the foundation It translates excellently to djembe (and bodhran :)

Dha Na..Na .Na .Na .Dha Dha.Na

B ..L...L.. L ..L.. B.. B.. L
1 ..2 ..3 ..4 ..5 ..6 ..7 ..8

The underlying feel is like a light shuffle, if you play it like a dotted eighth you're close enough, it is bit square [?] when played straight.

Here's what it feels like, note how the beats are grouped, it skips along when played slowly but rocks at 200+ bpm on the dhol! :))

.. ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B o o o o B B o B o o o o B B o


You can hear it on Johnny Kalsi's New Year's day set for BBC Radio,

There's a different version which realy rocks as a base rhythm, you will hear this in The Dhol Foundation set too

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
o...o o o..
o o o . o o o . o o
B ........B B ..B ........B B



Paul Marshall -

Paul is the owner of Drumdojo and the Dojo Sites, He is responsible for writing and collating a lot of of the material that you see here on drumdojo.

Playing drumset since age 5, Paul has been a drummer on and off for most of his life. He plays every drum he can get his hands on. Paul works as an instrument designer, has designed many instruments for the Stomp orchestra and more recently in Holywood Movies. Paul is a prolific web designer and currently has a portfolio of around 40 business and hobby sites.



Articles by this Author:

EquipmentEquipment
This article is based on common knowledge on this subject, it reflects many issues that have been covered on the Shriners' Convention e-list, the RMMP newsgroup as well as facts and pointers obtained...
Read More >>
Servicing a djembeServicing a djembe
Djembe Maintenance  Just as your car requires a service to mend any faults or to prevent faults occurring, a djembe will require periodic maintenance to ensure that it stays in good playing...
Read More >>
About Frame DrumsAbout Frame Drums
Frame Drums Paul Marshall Introduction Framedrums are perhaps one of the earliest forms of drum made by many civilizations across the world, in essence they are a piece of animal skin stretched over...
Read More >>
Dhol RhythmsDhol Rhythms
Based on a post to the Junkmusic Yahoo group - Thanks to Johnny Kalsi & The Dhol Foundation The high pitched end of the dhol is on the right hand side and is struck with a 'thilli', a thin...
Read More >>
logo footer   Designed by Marshallarts (c)1999-2010 - All Rights Reserved