The bass side of the Five Star Khol has, contrary to the traditional Clay Khol, a black Gab as is usual for the Tabla. Thus it offers the potential for a differentiated modulation. Moreover the whole corpus is from brass which gives the Khol a better stability than the one made from clay. In India, too, many Khol players choose this variant.
The Khol is a double skin drum from Northern and Eastern India with a body made from clay. It is traditionally used for accompanying bhajans and kirtans and is also called Mridanga. Its high skin is unusually small with a diameter of ca. 9 - 10 cm which gives it an especially high, shrill sound. It is used in situations where this sound is desired. In India, the Khol is used in folk music, in spiritual songs, bajans, light classical songs, kirtans and other devotional songs. The bass skin has diameter of about 20 cm and is coated with a special paste in order to receive a low-pitched sound. Both skins have, like the Tabla, a double layer of leather on the outside border. They are tautened by a leather strap.
The usual Tabla fingering can be used. There are 108 different Taals available for the Khol. There is a very close relationship between the way of playing the Tabla and the way of playing the Khol. There are, however, special syllables for the Khol such as Ta, Deta, Dhoia, Jhan, Ghini, TiT, Tini, Naka, Guru etc. Should the bass side have too much tension, you can moisten it by rubbing the skin between Kinar and Gab with a damp cotton cloth which makes the bass sound lower.