I've been thinking recently about what drills have really helped to balance out my strong and weak hands. While I'm sure it takes a combination of drills, practice, and training, this drill was one of the key components for me.
If your hands are not balanced, please be persistent with this one! Practicing ryou-te (striking with both hands together) will help you begin to make the relationship between your two paws a little more equal:) If you'd like other tips on bringing your weak hand up to snuff, check out any of the drills with a "Balance" focus.
1. Use your ears with this drill. Make sure that when you hit both hands together, there is only one sound.
2. Try to figure out what's happening if you hear two hits. Playing it over and over won't make it better if you don't know what's wrong. Most likely a quick look in the mirror can explain any discrepancies. Check the speed and form of each hand, and try to make them identical.
Alright, we're working with the same rhythm from last week:
Don is emphasized and both hands strike for every beat.
Okay, where is the sound not clear? Big hits or small hits? If the small hits are clear, are they equal in volume? Do the big hits have a consistent volume? Use your ears and eyes (if you have a mirror) to self-evaluate yourself.
If you're not playing taiko every day, probably this drill is too much to do for 15 minutes without stopping. A fast metronome speed is not the goal here--focus on accuracy. Here are some options:
1. 5-7 minutes today's drill. 8-10 minutes don tsu ku.
2. 3-5 minutes today's drill. 10-12 minutes with same pattern, alternating Right hand, Left hand, then Both hands.
Here's something fun!
Close your eyes and say "don tsu ku" a few times so I know you remember the rhythm. If you forgot, then jump back to TGIF 13 real quick and review.
Alright. Use the same beat sequence as above, but change the rhythm to "don tsu ku". Both hands strike together, for every hit.
Catch you next time!