How long should the heads last on my tablas?
  • Moderator June 2009
    The bottom line is your head is going to wear out and need to be replaced after some time. There are so many factors involved it is hard to say how long that period of time will be. It can be months or years. Climate, changes in climate, how much and how hard you play, how well you keep the drum balanced, and how often you change the pitch of the tabla – all are factors that contribute. Most people sweat some when they play, and consequently use powder to save the gob. Using too much powder can be detrimental. The acidic content of some people’s skin will wear heads out faster than others. Hot dry climates, a lot of humidity, and high altitude will contribute to wear. Drastic climate changes will too. Each tabla will have an optimal pitch. For longevity it is best to keep the drum well balanced at that pitch. Trying to keep a C tabla cranked at D# or E is not a good idea.. Nor will consistently changing the pitch of the tabla.

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