DHOLAK is a hand drum which is also popularly known as dholaki. Dholak is a classical North Indian percussion instrument. A dholak may either have traditional lacing or turnbuckle tuning. While the Dholak has a simple membrane and a handle on its right side it’s left-hand membrane has a special coating on the inner surface. This coating is made up of a mixture of sand, tar, and clay also popularly known as the dholak masala, which not only helps in lowering the pitch but also provides a fine tuned and well-defined pitch. The shell of the Dholak or the drum shell is usually made from sheesham wood.
The results of the finished process of hollowing out the drum determines the tone quality of a dholak. The resultant shape and the surface of the Dholak’s interior, whether left rough-hewn by a drum carver or carefully smoothed decides the quality and kind of sound ti will produce and a lot depends upon this aspect of Dholak. Because basically Dholak is about rhythm, Sound and quality of sound and pitch that it can provide.
The Dholak with high-pitch head is played using a typical thin, around say, 1/4”/6 mm or less in length stick of solid rattan or hardwood. The Rattan is preferred for the flexibility it provides. The low-pitched drum head is generally played either by hand or by using a somewhat thicker, semi-angled stick which roughly measures the dimension and shape of a small hockey stick. Dholak masters are often adapt to singing or chanting and may also often provide a primary entertainment or lead drumming for a dance troupe, this especially happens in Punjabi bhangra tradition, which is their traditional folk dance.