Friday, May 15, 2009

Taiko Drills, Part 34 SHIME ROLLS (form)

Welcome back!

Well, Golden Week is over and done with and I'm back on my regular practice schedule. I realize that I've been focusing significantly on shime daiko skills, and all the videos I've posted have been for shime. And, to be honest, I have no better reason other than I love playing shime and I find it challenging. So, as always, if you have requests, let me know. If not, then I suppose you just have to keep putting up with my shime obsession!

How's this: I'll do a taiko set drill next week OR katsugi okedo, BUT only if you tell me! Leave a comment and tell me which you're interested in. Whichever drum gets the most comments, I'll do a few drills starting next week. Don't worry, I'll start from the basics.

Today's drill is very simple and a cool trick to keep you from clicking sticks together and keeping your sound consistent when trying to play quickly. If you're new, be sure to practice the shime daiko grip here first. If you're not new, it doesn't hurt to review.

Check it out!

Focus: Form, Balance
Watch for:
1. Move your hand in a straight motion up off the drum and down again to make contact.
2. If your sound is inconsistent, either from hand to hand or from hit to hit, be sure the height your stick comes off the drum is consistent and the striking speed and grip are the same. If you've already done all that and they still sound different, this drill might be the key for you.

Okay, so there's no fancy rhythm or anything for this drill. We'll just repeat "do ko do ko" at a speed that's comfortable for you. You'll notice in the video that I play 4 "do ko"s at the edge of my drum, quietly, and 4 louder "do ko"s at the center of the drum, and repeat.

One reason for hitting close together at the center is to force your sticks to go straight up and down. If your sticks click against each other, slow it down a bit and really focus on your hands making a straight path. For me, if I think about the sticks making a straight path, my efforts become forced and I'm no longer relaxed enough to be successful. So, start with the hands and once you've got that, refine any small waverings of the sticks.

The second reason for the 2 different kinds of rolls in this drill is to help you notice if small rolls or louder rolls are more difficult for you. (then you can practice that kind more!) Be sure that all of the quiet rolls are the same volume and pay particular attention to the ones just before or just after the louder rolls.

Grab your metronome and get started!

PS: Sorry the camera's a bit lopsided. I'll spare you the details of my makeshift table...
(Do I wear those pants every Friday??)


Change up rolls! The pattern stays the same, but you can try something like:


If someone were to listen to you play the basic drill above and this version here with their eyes closed, they should not be able to hear the difference!


Remember to vote in the comments for next week's focus:



  1. I'm voting for Katsugi. I'll be taking a Katsugi workshop in a couple weeks at Asano's 400th Anniversary Celebration. Btw, will you be attending, by any chance?

  2. Hey Raion, thanks for voting! As of right now you're winning cuz you're the only vote so far:)

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it up to Kanazawa for the celebrations, but wish that I could. Who's teaching the Katsugi workshop? Have you ever played before?