Vocal music lessons were begun at an early age in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh State where Ahmed Jan Thirakwa was born into a
musical family in 1892. His father trained him on the sarangi while his uncles - Sher Khan, Faiyaz Khan, and Bashwa Khan - gave
early tabla lessons. Ahmed Jan was drawn to the art of tabla playing after hearing a live performance by Ustad Munir Khan; who
he became a student of when he reached the age of twelve.