We also learned about pauses in mrdanga mantras.
We discussed the three speeds of mrdanga beats (slow, medium and fast) and the two styles for each, known as standard beats and off-beats.
The Basic Kirtan Beat is a standard, slow beat.
The Basic Kirtan Beat is a REAL mrdanga mantra – one that you'll be able to play in kirtans. In fact, when I used to live in the temple, I'd almost ALWAYS start a kirtan with this beat and gradually progress from there. So, you see, if you learn how to play this ONE mrdanga mantra, you will be up and running the drum in no time flat!
The Pause note is extremely important for two reasons: It creates suspense and without it you'll never get the timing of the beat correct. Remember to say the word pause whenever you see a dash – in a mrdanga mantra. If you see two dashes ( - - ) then say pause pause.
Homework Assignment: You homework assignment for this lesson is to practice and learn the Basic Kirtan Beat, and to play it comfortably.