(Catalog#: BRDHDX) Cord and Ring, Deluxe Quality, Wooden two-headed drum. Heads held in place and tuned by cords and rings. Held horizontally, both heads are played. Made in India. Shipping Weight: 11.00 lbs.
The dholak is one of the most widely utilized drums in the folk music of India. It has also found a permanent home in most of the recording and broadcast environments. Applications range from dance music such as bhangra and garba to devotional bhajans and keertans. It is not used for classical music where the tabla and pakhavaj reign supreme.
The dholak is basically a double headed drum with the bass head on one side and the treble head on the other. There is some form of putty applied on the inside of the bass head to give the head its lower tone. Invariably, when I've received a drum for sale at our music store, I have had to either replace this putty or replace the head. The one put on by the Indian makers falls off for some reason. It is possible to get a hold of this putty from a store and replace it. It's a paste made out of some tar etc. Some folk over the net have recommended butyl rubber caulk or some clear permanently flexible caulk as an alternative but we haven't given it a shot yet. Basically, Putting anything on a skin lowers its pitch and hence gives it a deep bass sound. Please try these suggestions at your own risk. One of these days I will try it and put the feedback here.
On the treble drum side, there is no putty added. It's just a thin goat skin head which when tuned up has a relatively dull but somewhat high pitched sound. To tune it, the rings on the chords have to be pulled and as the two chords are pulled closer together, the pitch of the drum will rise. Most good dholak players will try tuning this head to the tonic, 5th or 4th of the song. Many don't bother to do this their reasoning being that the dull tone hides the pitch and hence can be played without worrying about exact tunings.