Learn to Play > Lesson 2:
Prabhupada's Practice Beat

Srila Prabhupada taught the following beat, which we call Srila Prabhupada's Practice Beat. (All beats in this lesson have names).

The mantra for this beat goes as follows:

ki ti ta ki ti ta ki ti ta ki ta -
ge ti ta ge ti ta ge ti ta ge ta -

Notice that "ki ti ta" and "ge ti ta" repeat more or less four times, however, the last time the ti is omitted.

You've got to memorize this mantra, you know, as you have to memorize all the mrdanga mantras on this website. Although it's okay to play looking at your computer monitor, to be proficient you've got to be able to play the beat without looking at the mantra. The mantra should be in your head. Then you SAY the mantra OUTLOUD as you play it.

Why verbally speak a mrdanga mantra as you play? Well, you want to be able to lead a kirtan, right? You want to go out and sing Hare Krishna on a street corner or lead a mangal arati kirtan one morning while playing that drum, right? Well, how are you going to do that unless you are accustomed to verbalizing at the same time as playing?

Besides that, memorizing a mantra will assist you in playing it. You don't have to look at anything. You just have to say it. In fact, the whole trick of learning mrdanga mantras is that you have to learn how to say it correctly. It has to have the same timing as the actual beat itself. That's the whole point of a mantra. The mantra must sound exactly like the beat itself.

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