Learn to Play > Lesson 15: Alternative fast beats

You can only go so long

So basically we've taught you two main fast beats, a standard one and an off-beat, and some variations. We also taught you some connecting beats for that. And that's pretty darn good. I'm proud of you and Bhakta Ozwald for learning so much, so fast. In fact, I think you've surpased Bhakta Ozwald by now!

Now we need to ask the question what happens if the kirtan keeps going faster and faster? You've learned how to speed it up... what happens if you are the mrdanga player and you're getting tired? What do you do?

You know, I need to talk to you about karatal players. Have we talked about those darn karatal players yet? You know, the ones that stand right up next to the drum player with humongous karatals that sound like they're going to put your hearing out of commission by the time you hit 35 years old – and then they think they're in charge of speeding up the kirtan. You know the ones? You want the kirtan to go at a nice steady pace in the middle so that you can have a fantastic grande finale with your new Fast Off-beat that you learned from the Internet – you know, throw in some of those fancy connecting beats and “breaks” and shout HARIBOL HARIBOL HARIBOL into the microphone... so you're trying to hold the kirtan at a nice steady medium speed in the middle, and here's this devotee with the humongous karatals trying to speed the kirtan up. Well, guess what? The KIRTAN LEADER is supposed to be in charge, and if that's you with the drum, you're the one that decides when to speed it up.

Anyway, now that I've talked about karatal players (haha), it's time to get back to the question. What happens if the kirtan is going really fast, then you look at the clock and suddenly realize you have ten minutes to go and your arm is getting tired? What do you do now???

Well, then you need some fast beats that go beyond ... We call them the "Beyond fast beats," and that's what this lesson is all about. We're going to teach you a couple of beats just for that.

So if you're ready, then let's go!

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