The Prabhupada Beat Translated
Here's the translation of the Prabhupada Beat given in this
Now, bear in mind, this particular beat is a complex one. It's
classified as a slow beat as described in Lesson 3
strokes for different folks), and therefore we are giving it
to you now, while we are discussing slow beats. But it's
significantly more complex than the mantras you have
learned so far.
However, fortunately, complex doesn't mean difficult to play.
We can break this mantra down into three parts, and practice each
Although this mrdanga mantra was taught to Srila
Prabhupada by his father (and therefore the name "The
Prabhupada beat"), it is a traditional Bengali mrdanga
beat. I need to warn you that there are as many variations of this
beat as there are waves in the ocean, or birds in the sky, or
grains of sand on the beach, or... well you get the idea. There's
a lot of variations.
On this course we'll teach you the beat in a few ways, and as
you familiarize yourself with mrdanga playing, you can
learn other variations of the same beat.
first, here's what the beat looks like, translated from into the
system we have been using on this course.
ti ta tiri tiri
ti ta ki tiri ki ti geDha duk dha duk dha Ge -
The beat can be divided up into three parts as follows:
ta tiri tiri ti ta
tiri ki ti geDha
duk dha duk dha
Each can be practiced independently, and then they can be
combined to make the entire beat. And guess what? You're already
familiar with the last part, because
you just practiced it on the previous page! That means you're
1/3 there already before we even start. Pretty cool, huh?
your hand close to the head when playing tiri.
Don't move your hand far away from the head.
The first part is also not too complicated to figure out, but
it does require a little flexibility. In order to play it you've
got to learn the proper way to play the small end of the drum.
That is - keep your hand close to the head and use wrist action
and verticle up and down motion, rather than moving your hand out
and in on the head. Take a look at the animation on the right to
refamiliarize yourself with how to do a tiri. Pay
close attention that my hand
is hugging the dayan. It never moves very far away from it. The
whole trick is to get the sound from a verticle up and down flick
of the wrist, not by moving the hand away from the head.
So, if you're ready, let's break it down and then put it all
together. Before you know it, you'll be an expert at playing the
"Prabhupada Beat!" And then you'll be REALLY cool.