Friday, November 21, 2008

TGIF, Part 10 (taiko drills)

Hello! I hope you found the paradiddle drill useful. It's a great way to challenge yourself with counting, if you have a partner. One person plays the pattern and the other improvises on top of it. It's tricky to keep track of beats because the emphasis is not always on the down beat.

So, recently I've been practicing dexterity with a simple pattern that can be done 3 ways. I'll introduce it first here and once you've got it, check out the Extension.

Focus: Dexterity, Speed
Watch for:
1. Pay attention to your wrists and don't let them break in a way that you lose the angle between the bachi and the drum.
2. Practice using the grip introduced last week, TGIF Part 9

This line should be played by one hand at a time.

DON tsu tsu DON tsu tsu DON tsu

If you find that one had is obviously weaker than the other, say the left, then play this once on the right hand for every 2 on the left. Relax your wrists--this drill is meant to practice speed, so you shouldn't have time to lift the whole arm up.

Pay attention to where your stick hits the drum. The DON and the tsu should be played at the exact same point on the head of the drum. If you're having trouble with this, check first to see if your arm demonstrates a rocking motion, coming closer to you for the tsu. Eliminating this, and paying attention to the wrist should help.

15-20 minutes a day for this one. Challenge yourself to increase metronome tempo daily. Have fun!

Take the same pattern and apply try this twist:

Play 2 times on the right hand.
Play 2 times on the left hand.
Play 2 times with both hands.

When you hit with both hands together, notice whether there is one, clean sound. Is the sound clean for the emphasized hits and the non-emphasized hits? Slow your metronome down significantly until you accomplish this consistently.

Gambatte yo!

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