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The dholak is primarily a cylindrical wooden drum with leather sides. A dholak's normal length and breadth are 18 to 20 inches and 12 inches, respectively. Dhol is the bigger version of this dholak, and it is usually drummed during large-scale celebrations, especially baraat ceremonies.
The authentic traditional dholak is made of sheesham wood, while the less costly ones are made of coconut palm stems or a less valued wood. The two sides are securely fastened to the frame with rojju and are connected inside with small circular rings that correctly seat the dholak's leather sides.
The dholak is built with a 'complex syahi to lower the pitch and enable the distinctive Dholak sliding sound ("giss" or "gissa"), usually the caked residue of mustard oil pressing, to which more sand, oil, or tar may be added.'
On one side, the dholak has a high pitch while on the other, it has a low pitch. This drum, which originated in rural northern India, is widely used in folk music today. The dholak is often played while sitting cross-legged, with the dholak either on the dholak player's lap or in front of the dholak player. The large end of the dholak should be tapped in the centre with the flats of your ring and middle fingers. One easy method for enhancing your dholak drumming is to strike on the leather side quickly rather than having your fingers stay on for a longer length of time, since this will result in a lower bass sound.