Taiko is very physical form of drumming. It's choreographed and just amazing to learn as well as witnessed in person. The timing, rhythms, movement are so spectacular to watch and tough to get down. Sometimes you're switching drums all while keeping this music going. Simply fab-u-lous!
There's an entire ritual that you perform at each & every practice, right down to bowing as you enter and exit the studio, greeting the Master or Sensai, the warm-ups, getting the drums out, holding the sticks, just everything. It's truly amazing. But it does give everyone a sense of unity as well as placement in the hierarchy of the group. And... believe me there is a hierarchy.
Again, you learn many of the rhythms by speaking a phrase or sounds which give you the tone or intensity you use to play the rhythms. When my friend & co-worker R. went to classes we had so much fun and laughed our butts off. She's from Okinawa and I grew up in Japan so the first phrase we learned caught us both off guard. I honestly, didn't quite get the phrase at first but knew I knew the words. I haven't even tried to speak Japanese in over 40 years so thats my excuse, but R. cocked her head to the side, gave me a puzzled look and as I began to figure it out, she started laughing out loud. I joined her, of course, and we were hooked.
Again a sense of community, and respect comes with the learning and playing of Taiko. Everything I stated last week in regards to the drumming circle are present in Taiko but with the added physical benefits of the choreographed movements associated with the drumming. You simply have to work together.
Beat On! Next week, Drums Alive!
This week I'm going to try some new salmon recipes this weekend. I'll be sure to let you know how they turn out.
Have a great week everyone. Peace out!