There are following 6 main Taal in classical music:

  1. Teen Taal – 16 Beats
  2. Dadra – 6 Beats
  3. Keharwa – 8 Beats
  4. Roopak – 7 Beats
  5. Jhap – 10 Beats
  6. Ek – 12 Beats

Now I will explain the most important Taal – Teen Taal (16 beats) which has been used in most of our lessons:

Teen Taal has 4 sections of 4 beats each –

DhaDhinDhinDhaDhaDhinDhinDhaDhaTin TinTaTaDhinDhinDha

Dha Dhin Dhin Dha | Dha Dhin Dhin Dha | Dha Tin Tin Ta | Ta Dhin Dhin Dha |

X                              2                            0                         3

X – is the first beat and is called SUM (Join) and also first Taali. This SUM is very important in Tabla as the most powerful place for singing or playing in a composition, meets here with Tabla with a sort of a bang, so both Tabla and singing or playing go together in a synchronised way thereafter.

2 – is 5th beat and is called 2nd Taali

0 – is 9th beat and is called Khali (meaning empty)

3 – is 13th beat and is called 3rd Taali

There are Electronic Tabla available, made by Radel India. Also, for iPhone there is iTablaPro which is very good.

For singing or playing, make sure you start at the right beat of Tabla, as per the composition, which will be clear from notation.