Saturday, October 3, 2009

Taiko Drill Part 52, Thinking About Improvisation

Back on the East Coast here and enjoying the start of Fall!

Unfortunately, I've yet to find a practice space here that is accessible, so you'll have to put up with a few more weeks of me drumming on my bed with a practice pad. Speaking of improvising...

Focus: Counting, Improvisation
Watch For:
1. One, Two, Three, & Four
2. Try to find a rhythm with these 4 lines so that you don't have to think about it. This will be helpful for next week.

Okay--the dreaded topic: Improvising on taiko. It's something that's difficult to teach, almost every group does, and most newbies (and even seasoned players) have a really tough time with. So, my goal here is not to give you a set of rules for improvisation, or any direction really on a good way to improvise. Rather, I hope to share with you a very basic starting point that you can take, morph, and further create with.

This week we'll learn the rhythm. Come back next week for ideas on how you can change them up to play a solo.

Here goes:

do ko
do ko do

Simply put, we're just playing "do ko" repeatedly; the first time omit 0 hits, the second time omit the 2, the third time omit the 3, and for the fourth time omit the 4.

Since most taiko songs are written in phrases of 4 or 8, we're using this pattern which can be seen as 4 sets of 4 or 2 sets of 8.

Loop it, 15 to 20 minutes and the real fun begins next week!

The video:


If you find you'd like to be more challenged with this drill, feel free! You can set speed goals (use your metronome), practice timing (alternate half and double time), practice left-hand lead... If you have other ideas, post 'em in the comments so the rest of us can get in on it!

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