Saturday, October 17, 2009

Taiko Drill Part 54, Keeping a Steady Beat

Whoa! How'd I miss it? All Things Taiko started over 1 year ago! I think I may have missed one week in there, though maybe none at all?! Happy Birthday ATT!

Writing here every Friday has become a real steady rhythm for me and that's exactly what I'd like to talk about today. I'll teach you the first line to a drill that's great for both timing and dexterity. Check it out:

Focus: Rhythm, Dexterity
Watch For:
1. Don't listen to the pattern and then copy it. DO hear the base line, get it going, keep the same form and play over it.
2. Your form might change as you practice this at different speeds. This is normal to an extent, because you have less time for movement, but your overall basic form should stay the same (see the video!).

Start off by playing the base with your right hand. Play a steady beat, one hit for each number.

Line One: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 & (that's 8 tsus on the downbeat)

Now, we're going to fill in the left hand on some of the upbeats. Play the left hand on all the bold &s.

Line Two: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 &
Line Three: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 &
Line Four: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 &
Line Five: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 &

From there, jump back to Line One and loop it.

I highly suggest you use a metronome. If you choose not to, you'll be missing out on the opportunity to improve timing!

For me, today, I wanted to check out any major changes in my form as I got faster. Even though I can play this pattern faster than I did in the drill, I stopped at ~120bmp to see if my form was consistent. You'll see very clearly that by the end, my left elbow tucked in to my side. Best to keep practicing slowly until I correct it! Hm... next week I'll have to switch hands and see what that looks like. Gambarimasu!

Extension: Try video taping yourself playing this pattern at 3-5 different speeds from slow to fast. The final speed does not need to be challenging for you. Check to see if your base hand looks mostly the same from beginning to the end of the pattern.

Does the right hand get higher or lower as you anticipate a hit with the left hand? Does the space between your arms and your body or your sticks and the drum change as you play at higher speeds? Did you notice these differences while you were playing because it feels different?

Practice, keeping in mind your discoveries, and at the end of the week, try taping again and note any differences.


  1. Good job! And good luck in ATT writening! We are taikogroup from Ukraine - TaikoDoremas aka Taikodrammers. We try studie taiko as you show in you blog. Thank you for you job! And we are waiting for a new lessons!

  2. Thank you and welcome! It's nice to hear there's taiko in the Ukraine.