Basic Strokes of Mridangam:
Chapu : Vibrating tone played with the small finger on the right hand side, between the black patch and the outer layer. The sound is tuned to the Shruthi/ tone of the tambura. This chapu is a melodic & divine naadham(tone) which has a soothing effect on a listener. The sound clarity of chapu is so important for a Mridangam player as it embellishes the song when played asthethically.
Tha : Non Vibrating tone played at the centre of left hand side of the instrument.
Dhi : Non vibrating tone played on middle of blackspot on the right side of the instrument.
Thom: Viberating tone played on outer side of left side of the instrument.
Nam: Vibrating tone played on the outer layer of the right hand side using index finger with the support of ring finger or middle finger on black patch ( Saadham / Karanai ) to minimize vibration of black portion.
Ghumki: Bass tone produced by playing on the inner layer of the lower end of the left hand side & simultaneously, A player should rub side of his/her thumb on the inner layer. This beautiful Sound can be produced only when there is a paste of semolina /rava / synthetic pastes. Usually 'Ghumki' will be taught in advance training.This is a very effective & special sound which gives 'Bhavam' to the song when played with Nadai( Sarvalaghu/ Teka) with suitable combinations which requires rigourus practice.
Lots of other strokes such as Ki Ta, Ara Chapu & many complicated sollukattus (Rhythmic syllables) & complex calculations which helps to form korvais & complex mohras during tani avarthanam.