Dholak is one of the widely popular musical instruments used in bhangra, qawwali, kirtan, Lavani music and many other cultures. Both sides of the dholak vary in diameter, the smaller one produces high tones with single membranes, and the larger side creates a well-defined style and lowers the pitch. As dholak is all about rhythm, sounds and sound quality, they need special care and maintenance. The grades of dholak mainly depend on the type of wood it is made of, the ropes and the size. This guide gives you an idea of an ideal dholak and helps you in picking the suitable one.
Categories of wood are significant
The wood type plays a significant role in the quality of sound produced by a dholak. Dholaks made of mango wood are lightweight and do not produce dense sounds. Musicians paint them to avoid degradation. Raw Sheesham or Indian rosewood has a red and yellowish appearance and produce denser sounds as compared to mango wood. They are heavier too. Ripe Sheesham is aged and produces an extremely dense sound. Dholaks made of this are mostly preferred and are used by professionals. They are darker in colour, and the weight and thickness depend on how well it is dried.
Suitable ropes for the dholak
The rope must be of perfect size so that it does not create a hindrance while playing the dholak. With time, the rope undergoes wear and tear, so it is important to choose superior quality ropes as it the only component that keeps the base skin intact. Marine ropes are durable and sturdy and are available in various colours and sizes. Cotton ropes are traditionally used and can be sized according to the buyer's requirements. Adjusting the rope around the drum by pulling it closer or farther away from the central part of the dholak aids in moderating the tune.
Associated features of the dholak
Dholak with bright and vibrant colours appear attractive and are used in bhangra and weddings. Some of the dholaks are accompanied by a tuning spanner, bags and two wooden beaters. Base skins depend on the size of the drums. Thicker skin produces a much deeper base sound that is more durable. Hooks clamp the treble skin and are available in different style, size and quality of finish.
Categories Simillar to Dholak includes Cajons, Chinese Drums and Djembes