This is my practice for tehai phrases in Ektaal. I have created a number chart in every taal that I can use with various phrases of various lengths, and with 3 to 4 different spaces: no space (bedam), 1 beat, 2, and (for the longer phrases) 3 beats.
Ektaal is of course a 12 beat cycle. My phrases start with 3 notes in length, and go to 17 notes in length. This is equivalent to 1 beat through 4 1/2 beats in Madya Laya Ektaal.
I chose the first of my three self-composed phrase options for each length. (see tehai sheet below):
My goal is to be able to spontaneously compose phrases of these lengths and be able to improvise these tehais in any taal without using the sheet.
I have found this practice routine to be very fulfilling and fun. I developed this from a combination of ideas from my Guruji, Pandit Samir Chatterjee, my experience in India studying with Shailendra Mishra, as well as my studies in the Western music and drum set tradition, notation, and studies.
I have three sheets with three different sets of phrases appropriate to each tempo: Vlambit, Madya Laya, and Drut (left sheet: only Madya Laya sheet is pictured). The middle sheet shows which beat to start each phrase on in order to end on Sum (beat one), related to each space option: 0, 1, 2, (3) beats.
The right sheet has a slit to expose the taal you are working with and cover the taals on either side for ease of reading, and labels the starting phrase beats with 0, 1, 2, 3 for how much space between each phrase.
I hope to post renditions of other taals in the future.
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