Jay’s family has been running a business of manufacturing and repairing Indian musical instruments under the name of “New Dattatray Tabla Stores” in Ahmedabad, India, for more than 12 decades. His grandfather, Late Mr. Fakirchand Dabgar had been honoured with the “Best Tabla Maker Award” in 1974 by the Tabla maestro late Pt. Samta Prasad. Artists such as Pt. Kishan Maharaj, Pt. Nandan Mehta, Pt. Samta Prasad, Pt. Vishnu Sahay and Pt. Kumar Bose, have been some of their esteemed customers. The generation old legacy of Tabla-making is currently under the guidance of his son Mr. Navinchandra Dabgar, who is assisted by his sons – Jay and Jignesh.

Making Tabla, Dhol, Dholak, Naal, Pakhawaj, and for that matter, any percussion instrument, runs in Jay’s blood. Having spent most of his life in this environment, Jay was exposed to everything there is to do with making these instruments. Gradually, he gained expertise in this and also, in understanding the technicalities involved.

In order to further his family business, Jay graduated in Commerce and then, completed post-graduation studies in ‘Business Entrepreneurship and Management’ from the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDll).



Tabla refers to a pair of two separate drums, the Dahyaan (also called Tabla in its own) and the Bahyaan. The Dahyaan produces the treble and the Bahyaan produces the base. It is a percussion instrument from North India, and is used as the primary rhythm instrument in all forms of Indian music. Owing to the wide range of tones it can produce, and the amazing different rhythms and patterns that can be played at varied speeds, it has become one of the most popular instruments worldwide and is considered to be one of the fastest percussion instrument in the world! Due to its growing popularity, Tabla is now widely used in many non-Indian music forms such as the western jazz, pop, world and fusion music.


Known to be an instrument of Lord Ganesha, Pakhawaj is one of the most ancient percussion instruments in India. It is believed that the Tabla was invented out of this drum. It is a cylindrical drum, placed horizontally while playing. It produces a low and mellow tone. While the bass end produces a loud propounding sound, the base is maintained by applying wheat flour paste on the skin, to get the deep bass out of it. Pakhawaj is widely used in accompaniment with the Dhrupad style of vocal, and is also used in the traditional Haveli Sangeet and religious music.


Dholak is a double-headed drum with bass on one end and treble on the other. It is one of the most common drums used in Indian folk music, especially in the states of Rajasthan and Punjab. Dholak is very popular owing to its typical high-pitch sound and the unique rhythm patterns that are played on it.


Naal is a double-headed drum that originally comes from the state of Maharashtra. It is a folk instrument of the Maharashtrian fishermen, very well known for its typical rhythm patterns like the Laavani. It could be argued that Naal is a combination of the Dholak and the Tabla, as it has got Tabla skin with the ‘shyaahi’ on one end and the skin with ‘masala (paste)’ applied inside like in a Dholak, on the other. Naal is normally tuned in the higher octave whereas Pakhawaj is normally tuned in the lower octave and Tabla is normally tuned in the middle octave.


Harmonium is an acoustic instrument that produces melody. Since around the 19th century, it is one of the most common instruments used in all forms of Indian music such as the traditional Indian classical, semi and non-classical, ghazals, bhajans, kirtans, folk, bollywood, and so on. Tabla players and other percussionists use this instrument in accompaniment with their solo performances for the Lehraa/ Nagma (cyclical melodies). Most of the vocalists too, use Harmonium as their main supporting instrument. It has a beautiful sound, and typically, adds life and energy to make the music much more filling.