Friday, November 14, 2008

TGIF, Part 9 (taiko drills)

Hi and welcome back!

A couple of quick notes before we get started.

I have been hoping to get more feedback from viewers on my posts and have just found an easy, quick way to do so. I certainly enjoy the time I spend creating these tips and drills, but it would be great to know if they're actually useful to someone out there! Please take a second at the bottom of each drill to check whether or not you found it helpful. And, if you didn't, please let me know what would make this a more useful place for you. Feel free to go back and rate older drills, too.

And--let's get connected. Check out the top right column to become a follower of my blog. Thanks!

Alright, here we go!

Focus: Dexterity, Counting
Watch for:
1. Make sure that the timing between each hit is even. You can check this by putting your metronome on double-time.
2. Relax your wrists! You won't accomplish speed without this.

Okay, it's the last week for the paradiddles (though I can't promise they won't pop up again in varying forms:). If you tried the extension last week, then you are familiar with the pattern we'll start with this week. Try counting the beats as you play. You should have 8 counts of 8:

R L R R L R L L
x4

R L R R L R L L
x4

R
L R R L R L L R L R R L R L L
R L R R L R L L R L R R L R L L
x2

R L R R L R L L
x4



Concentrate on making non-emphasized hits come from the wrist and NOT the whole arm or forearm. You can most easily accomplish this by providing leverage with your fingers on the underside of the bachi. Note that this grip is only for small, speedy hits:

1. Pinch your thumb and index finger together. Make another set with the remaining 3 fingers.



2. Place the thumb and index finger so their center is lined up with the center of the bachi.



3. Use the index finger and thumb to pick up the bachi. This is what holds your stick in place.



4. Wrap the remaining fingers around the bachi.



5. The 3 fingers at the back stay together as one unit and are flat against the bachi.



Here's a video that demonstrates how to use this grip. First you'll see the grip from different angles, then don don don don... I finish by playing don tsu tsu don tsu tsu don tsu. The end pattern demonstrates what it should look like for big vs. small hits in the paradiddle pattern.
video

Extension:

The entire paradiddle drill takes up 8 counts of 8. We practiced this above. Got it? Okay, so here's the challenge: Play the entire paradiddle drill one time through, then immediately start improvisation. Continue improvisation for exactly 8 counts of 8 (yes, you have to count!). Then repeat the paradiddle drill. Keep looping!

Catch you next week--Please rate this post!

Gambatte!

6 comments:

  1. Good breakdown! I would add that relaxing the fingers as much as possible without dropping the bachi will give the bachi the optimal amount of bounce. It takes time to learn what works for each person and depends on the bachi, but you've shown the basic grip really well.

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  2. Thanks! There are many different grips to use for shime daiko--this is just the one I prefer so far. I was taught this grip by Ryo Shimamoto, my teacher in Japan, and he really prefers to keep the three fingers on the underside active. It is important to find a balance between keeping relaxed and keeping control, just as you mentioned. And, I completely agree that each individual needs to take the time to find what works best for him/her. In fact, my grip changes quite regularly depending on the demands/style of a song.

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  3. Having just started taiko 3 months ago, you and your website are heaven-sent!!! Thank you for great interactive, user-friendly drills & instructions. You are a terrific Sensei!

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  4. Hi there! I'm so glad you've found some useful things here. I've not been posting for a while, because I'm going to grad school, but I'll be posting irregularly. There's lots of old stuff here, so I welcome feedback on ways to reorganize things.

    Ganbatte!

    Carrie

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  5. I just found this website as well and am working my way through all your post. Your explanations are great and very helpful. Thank you. I just wish I could find the metronome you're using on your computer. . .

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  6. Hi and welcome! I like to use the online metronome www.metronomeonline.com. If you'd like to purchase a metronome, here's my review of the one I use: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlU2tSq2g-U Happy taiko-ing!

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