First day of Taiko practice was super fun, although I couldn’t understand half of what the Sensei was saying. She talks a lot though, so I still took in quite a bit. She’s a very small ball of energy, but she’s very nice. She speaks mostly English, but her accent is thick and she talks very fast. Half of the taiko terms she uses seem to be just little noises intended to demonstrate what the beat is supposed to sound like… I think. Doko doko may also actually mean something, it’s a little hard to tell. Here’s her doing a slow demonstration of a song:

I was surprised that I was the only American in the adult class. It seems like only American kids are much interested. On the other hand, we have a bunch of Japanese ladies, two from the Netherlands, and one french Canadian. Anyway, the classes do performances sometimes, like this one:

There are a couple different types of drums. I’ve only used the small snare-shaped ones so far. They put towels over them in practice so that they make less noise (which makes for happier neighbors.) The height of the drum-frame, and the length of your sticks are both supposed to be done by height, so I get a taller drum and longer sticks. One of the Dutch ladies is also quite tall, so there are a couple of us. Moko-Sensei was quite impressed with my posture… it’s roughly the same as several martial arts stances, so it seemed pretty natural, but apparently nobody expected the tall white woman to be able to rock the deep knee bends.

For reference, this is what a more professional Taiko group looks/sounds like:

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3 Responses to Taiko!

  1. tarainjapan says:

    As soon as I posted this Moko sensai sent an email with a youtube link for the beginner song we learned yesterday… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n9Urg0Bvys

    It looks a little more interesting when more people play because of the movement and drum switching/sharing.

  2. Alice says:

    Whoa, this is amazing Tara. I have totally never seen anything like that! Its like a musical martial art or something.

  3. Calley says:

    SOOOOO jealous! seriously, drooling jealous. I hope it all clicks and you’re rocking out like a taiko star soon! 🙂

    And in case there was any doubt, I definitely want to go see a show when I come visit. Perhaps would be worth timing said visit to good shows if there are any notable you-must-see-this Taiko events 🙂

    Good luck getting through the typhoon – hope it’s more interesting than Irene was!

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