Friday, April 17, 2009

Taiko Drills, Part 30 ROLLS

Hi, and welcome back!

Good timing certainly doesn't come overnight, so it's still been a focus of my practice recently. Of course, this skill is easily combined with others, so I'd like to move on from the Fraction Drill but keep the overall theme of 'timing' in mind.

A friend of mine recently asked me how to get better at rolls. My immediate response was, "Practice!" Since then my teacher brought out the basic line from KODO's shime daiko piece Monochrome at one of my private lessons and I've had to consider on a more in-depth level how to produce efficient, controlled rolls. Needless to say, Monochrome is far out of my reach, but certainly motivating.

Focus: Timing, Balance
Watch for:
1. Do your arms/hands feel different? They shouldn't, so if they do, take the time to consider how they feel different, determine which hand is correct (Check out the tips and videos below for possible ways to do this), and focus on bringing the other hand up to par.
2. Take it slow until you have the balance we're aiming for. If you need ideas on how to reach this goal, review any of TGIF 11-18!

In this first video you'll see today's drill. Alternate RLRL with an even beat for 8 counts using the basic shime daiko grip taught here. Then keep the same feeling of the grip, but lift from the upper arm as well for 8 counts, double time. Loop it!

It's not easy to combine the grip and form, so by isolating the grip and then adding the form and repeating, your body will gain a gradual sense of what you're teaching it to do.

Notice that my elbows are out, but not locked, and shoulders down. The bachi are at the same angle and rise off the drum at the same height to produce an even roll.

In this second video, you'll see me playing a roll at 3 tempos, slow to moderate pace. I tried to give you an idea here of how even though as you get faster and there is not time to lift the arms up and down, the feeling of the lift is still present. My elbows don't drop and my wrists don't break, keeping the sound consistent.

Gambatte, ne!

PS: One of these days I'll get a camera that captures audio...

1 comment:

  1. Rolls are really about relaxation. The bachi bounce does so much of the work! You have to identify where the tension is gathering, have the tools to get rid of it (breathing it out), and keep your whole body loose, not just your hands. The more someone puts in *effort* to roll, often the harder it is.