All About tombak Instrument

What is tombak?

Tombak, tonbak or zarb is a Persian goblet drum. It is considered the main percussion instrument of Persian music. The Tombak musical instrument is a single-headed musical instrument about 43 inches high with a 28-centimeter-diameter head. The shell part is carved from a single block of wood with an engraved design and geometric pattern. The shell at the bottom is slightly thicker than the top for durability. The wall thickness of the shell is about 2 centimeters. The player can heat or cool or moisten or dry the membrane to achieve the desired basic pitch on the musical instrument. Tombak virtuosos often perform solos that last ten minutes or more. Also Modern tombak players are exponentially expanding the techniques used when playing the tombak instrument


There are many techniques in the Tombak musical instrument, and this has made the instrument versatile and soundly diverse. Techniques include: Tom, Bak, Pelang's and Riz. Tombak is undoubtedly one of the most complex and layered percussion instruments in the world. The Persian Tombak is classified as a goblet drum. A few of the similar instruments can be mentioned: Darbuka in Turkey and Arab countries and Zir-baghali in Afghanistan are among them.

In addition to, unlike traditional craftsmanship, some tombaks are made entirely from hand-picked woods.

Goblet-shaped drums are played in different parts of Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. Although there are similarities between all goblet drums, the playing techniques of tombak are different from other goblet drums. 



History of tombak instrument

The Tombak musical instrument was not well known in the music world until the twentieth century. It was used only to accompany melodic instruments and singers until the late 1800s, but by the mid-1900s it became increasingly popular and as it gained more popularity, more and more artists started playing this instrument. Today it is the most popular percussion instrument in Iran.


Is it hard to play the tombak instrument?

As with any musical instrument, it is very difficult for beginners to play a musical instrument at first. At this point, the first thing to do is to get to know the musical instrument. For example, at first, you need to grasp the hold of the musical instrument and in which position it will be played. Afterwards, as you try to play the tombak musical instrument, you will inevitably gain a habit over time.

With regular work and a training you can get, you can come to a position where you can play very comfortably over time. The best advice to be given at this point is to repeat every detail you have learned abundantly and move on to the next when you get a habit.


How to play tombak?

There are two main beats to be played on the Tombak musical instrument.

Tom: Tom refers to the bass tone and is played in the middle of the head.
Bak: Bak is played in the hoop and produces a high-pitched tone
The combination of these two tones results in a harmonic Tombak rhythm. It can be played to one side, on the lap or under the arms of the musician. Hands and fingertips are used to create the rhythm.

You can also like: Tips For Purchasing a Good Tombak

In addition to, when you are visiting our website as a right now, our all tombaks we sell are hand-made, constructed by well-known makers who have mastered their craft. Besides their quality, the ornaments on our tombaks are also attractive and reflect Persian culture. In order to see our various types of tombaks do not hesitate to visit our store in Istanbul or see various models in our catalogue through our website. You will probably find in our store the right tombak for you at the best value.


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