The Dayan is made of wood, it’s diameter varies between 5 to 6 inches. The Bayan is usually made from copper with a nickel or chrome plate. The heads of the drums are made from goat skin. The heads have three distinct parts which enable it to produce a variety of separate tones depending on how and where it is struck. The black spot on the skin is made from a mixture of gum, soot, and iron filling, it gives the tabla its bell-like timbre.
The playing technique for both drums involves the use of the fingers and the palms to create a wide variety of different sounds. On the Bayan the heel of the hand is used to apply pressure, or in a sliding motion, so the pitch is changed during the sound’s decay.