Saturday, November 14, 2009

Taiko Drill 58, Bachi as a Metronome Extension

It's pouring! Wish the sunshine would come out--that always sparks my creativity.

I've been working with last week's drill and added a section to it. If you're practicing with a metronome, try using different different rhythms to play along with as an added challenge. I noticed that if I was playing on eighth notes every day and switched to quarter notes, my tempo wasn't quite as steady as I had thought.

Focus: Timing, Rhythm
Watch For:
1. Anticipate the double stroke to switch the leading hand. If you're getting off-tempo here, slow down the speed, or practice just one hand for now.

I have found that, for me, the best way to improve my inner metronome is to play a repetitive pattern over and over again with an actual metronome. While last week's drill is great for this, I thought I'd add one more line (and if you know me, you've probably guessed what it is already!).

Here we go:

Line 1: don X8 (with one hand. this is the downbeat)
Line 2: do ko X8 (alternating hands)
Line 3: repeat Line 1
Line 4: don tsu ku X4 (RRL or LLR, depending on your starting hand)

You decide which hand to start with and when to switch. I try to reach 60% left hand lead and 40% right hand lead. If you're not used to starting with your left hand at all, then aim for twice as much practice for that side than the right.

Here's the video:

Next week I will be in Michigan working with an amazing non-profit youth performing group called Heritage Works. So, no drill next Friday, but I'll try to get some more NATC '09 stuff I've yet to post in between now and then.


It was easy enough to add another line to this drill. In fact, you can add any 8-ct. line to change things up. Experiment to create your own version. The goal is something that is simple enough for you that you can consistently play on tempo. You should feel comfortable enough playing the line so that your mind and ears are free to really notice the moments when you stray ahead of or behind the metronome.

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