I was a little torn about what to do this week... I have one more taiko set drill I wanted to share, but there's so much to think about as a result of my time in LA! I decided to jump back to taiko set for today, but be sure to keep checking for more on my STI and NATC experiences.
Focus: Form, Timing
1. Movement is initiated at the core, not the arms (do I sound like a broken record?)
2. Try to anticipate the next step as you're playing this drill. Know where your stick will hit before it's time to strike.
Today's pattern is simple as can be:
do kon ko
(red is right hand)
If you want to count this in 4, the beats fall on 1, 2, 4. There is a rest on beat 3.
What we're going to do to tease your brain a little is the first 8 times you play "do kon ko", alternate the right hand between the right and left drums. The left hand plays always on the left drum. The next 8 times, the right hand stays on the right drum and the left alternates: "kon" is on the right drum, and "ko" is on the left drum. Repeat that from the beginning, totalling 32.
Play the drill again, but only 4 times each and repeat once to total 16. Finish up with just 2 times each, repeating 3 times to total 16. Start over again from the beginning.
Remember, it doesn't do anyone good to set a metronome faster than he/she can play something well. Be thoughtful about your metronome tempo and your comfort at higher speeds will increase with regular practice.
Here's the video (if you want to match up with me, put your high-pitched drum on the left this week):
My suggestion with this drill is to take it really slow at the beginning. Notice if you are consistently hitting the same place on each drum--try to notice discprepancies by listening as well as watching. Do you like how it sounds when the two tones are completely different? Play around to see what you like best, make sure you still look good while you're doing it, and then think about increasing speed.
If you're having trouble with where to place your eyes, try looking down to the floor, between the two drums. This way you can see both drum heads out of the periphery.