Saturday, April 3, 2010

Don! Don! Doko-doko

I took my first Taiko drumming class last year at the CSUS arts resource faire and I really, really liked it. It took until now to get back into the swing of it (pun!) though. It's definitely something I'll consider starting at my future school - or at least in my own classroom.

Drums are typically $250 each, but you can make one with strong, clear packing tape, large garden trash bins (no lids), and a sharp razor blade. The drumsticks, called bachi, can be made from wooden dowels (just be sure to sand the edges down) or bought at Japantown (San Fran has a pretty good taiko supply store apparently). The bought ones are of course more expensive.

So far in my taiko lessons, I've learned beats through doubling. More specifically, the number of beats halves each time you repeat a new pattern, like 8 sets of four beats, followed by 4 sets of two, then 2 sets of one, where each beat is two counts (i.e. you swing your arms once each time, so the right and the left hand hits the drum once for every "count").

Lessons are on Saturday afternoons with the Sacramento Taiko Dan. I'm looking forward to today's.

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