Flirt with Wadaiko Taiko Drums

19 Jul

Taiko (太鼓) or Wadaiko (和太鼓) means “drum/wide drum” in Japanese and the taiko drumming ensemble is known as Kumi-daiko (組太鼓)

I was blown away with Tao Drum – Samurai of the Drum performance at the Palms@Crown.

A lil’ info on the Tao Drum troupe:

  • they were formed 16 years ago, with a 10 year plan on establishing themselves
  • the troupe is divided to Tao Red and Tao Yellow
  • Tao’s homegrown is Aso-Kuju National Park (that’s where they lived, trained, performed. Accommodation with full facilities such as halls, sauna, spa, theater, gym etc.)

Morning on the Handa Plateau, Aso-Kuju National Park. Good place to focus and practice.

Tao Red and Tao Yellow

The group that performed at the Palms was Tao Red as a recognized some familiar faces:

Arisa Nishi - the hot chick who plays the biggest drum

Maki Morifuji - the super hyper lion head

Takuya Era - the one who can really swing that stick :p

My seat at the Palms. Quite a good view for last row seats




















































































No pictures allowed during performance but here are some pics from the Tao Drum Gallery

The humorous part where they tease each other

It's not only about hitting the drums, it's got body movements too

Drums and Flutes

My hyper lion head chick!!

Because they looked like they’re having so much fun, I wanna try it too. Before I start Googling, I found this in my bookmarks

Can’t remember why I bookmarked this last year but.. .yay!!

Contacted the instructor, Toshi Sakamoto and he asked me to come for the basic class  (right timing, they were about to start the new term). I figure I could go for the Beginners class instead, since I’ve did drumming and percussion before (as long as its not constantly hitting the  downbeats like triple cello parts in Steelpan >.< ….that still haunts me……) and plus I do play Taiko Drum Master (hwa hwa hwa)

Taiko Drum Master

Reached there early and got so excited when I hear the drums going on. The people in Abbortsford must be cursing these drums. I walked around the neighbourhood and I can still hear it a block a way.. its so LOUDDDDD (I guess that’s just how it is, Taiko Drums were meant to motivate military troops during war)

My Taiko Drum sticks

Taiko drumming isn’t just about hitting the drums. Its also about the pose, body movements making it all a great work out!!!

one hand hits the drum while the other make a circle while keeping your knees bend

Move 1: X across your chest

Move 2: Throw hands to the sides

Move 3: swing your right stick *swish*

These moves were part of the Umai, which generally have more spirited movements based on the rhythm. We had a brief session on Hachijodaiko, with two person hitting the drums at both sides and the rest of us following them, like a call and response.

Hachijodaiko (we had a much bigger drum)

Looking forward to my classes 🙂

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2 Responses to “Flirt with Wadaiko Taiko Drums”

  1. Camemberu July 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    Hi! I just saw TAO yesterday (they were in Singapore) and I was totally blown away too! Such amazing energy and precision. Loved the humour too in some of the sequences. Takuya Era was stunningly good with the stick!

    You’re lucky you get to learn wadaiko! I’d take it up too!

    • pixiebel March 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

      yeah TAO is amazing!! Sorry for the super late reply as I’m finally back to being active with my blog. Hey did you manage to pick up taiko? Really should, I did it for about 4 months now and is amazing. Played in a concert last year too. I was hoping to catch the Earth Festival at Sado Island this august, hopefully things will be better for Japan by then.

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