Friday, June 12, 2009

Taiko Drill Part 37, LATERAL KATSUGI

Focus: Balance, Form
Watch For:
1. Make sure the higher pitch of your drum is at the front when you play. When you switch to horizontal form, this becomes the right side. (NOTE: in the videos, my drum is unfortunately the wrong direction)
2. When playing for a while in this position, be sure to ground yourself, but relax, keeping your weight centered even though the left foot is slightly forward as mentioned last week.

When you play with the drum sideways, there is a slight alteration in the grip. The one I use is like this:

If you're new to katsugi, take a moment to practice switching between the two stances as in last week's drill and simultaneously switch between the two grips. The original grip was explained here.

Now, check out the video for an example of form when playing the basic pattern, do ko do ko:

When striking with the right hand, it hits consistently at the center of the drum.

Notice that the angle of the left wrist changes from an outward position when hitting the left, to inward when hitting the right. When the left hand hits on the right side, it should strike just forward of the tip of the right bachi. When the left hand strikes on the left side, the hand stays closer to the front of the drum than the middle and the bachi aims back toward the center of the drum. Accomplishing this will make it easier to reach high speeds.

Now, just how do you get your bachi to hit the center of the drum when you can't see it?? It's simple, really--use your ears! Through practicing regularly, you'll soon be able to hear when you get the full, solid sound from striking the middle and your body will memorize how to get you there consistently. So--gambarimasu!

Time to practice! Use your metronome, 15 minutes a day. Increase the speed just slightly each time, but never to the point that you can't play it comfortably. Until next time...

do ko do ko!

So, you feel comfortable with all that and you want to get faster? First, remember to relax. This is important. It's also important to make sure your arm is moving in an arch forward, away from your body and close to the drum, rather than up and over. This reduces the distance traveled from side to side.

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