Okay, I admit it. I have kind of a don tsu ku obsession, but with good reason! Don tsu ku is a very common taiko rhythm, but it's difficult to play correctly because each hit is a different volume. Please jump back to review form and the dynamics (explained in the extension) before getting started today because it won't be reviewed here.
Focus: Balance, Counting
1. We often use our ears to determine if something is being played correctly, however, try to use your sense of body awareness as well. Do your hands feel the same when you strike the drum?
2. I challenge you again to keep those sticks hitting the same place on the drum. Probably there are a couple of little spots on the drum you can use as markers until you're consistent with this. Watch your hands to make sure they hit them every time.
Alrighty then. Here's what I've been playing around with the last few days:
So, you have the basic don tsu ku pattern, 4 times, followed by the same sticking pattern with a different rhythm. The second rhythm is very basic, hit on every beat, but it might be tough at first because your body is used to playing don tsu ku a certain way (hopefully!). Be sure to keep the same dynamics even though the rhythm is different.
Okay, actually, the real reason that 3rd line is there? Well, I bet you can guess... You finish with a double right so that leaves the left hand free... You got it! Repeat starting with the left hand and loop away.
Oh--and count!! It will help later with the extension :)
Line 4 above can be played more than once. But, when you're working in counts of 4 (or 8), you can't just repeat it any old number of times. For example, if you were to loop it here's what you get:
You'll see that if you play it through for 4 lines, you finish in the same convenient double right as if you play it 1 time. If you play for 2 lines, it's also a convenient place to switch to the left hand for the next set of 4 basic don tsu kus (as above). Switching after 3 lines isn't so smooth, but you're welcome to do it if you want to.
So you have 3 options to finish on the right hand: repeat through 1 line, 2 lines, or 4 lines. Go back to the original drill and adlib this part of the drill, alternating or deciding on the spot if you'll play for 8 beats, 16 beats, or 24 beats. Try to keep with the tempo--counting will help.
See you next time!