Taiko isn’t called a martial art for no reason – a tribute to The Tantrum

It was very exciting news when we heard that Ursula started a new class. The more the merrier, yes. But it also meant that we (Carol, Lindie, Stephan and I) have acquired “intermediate” status. Bachi five, everyone!

People tend to think that playing the drums is not that difficult. And sometimes – but only rarely – it is true. After all, how difficult can it be? If you can count to eight, you fulfil one of the basic requirements for most pieces (at beginner level in any case – I can’t speak for the intermediate level yet. I’ve only just begun. 🙂 ).

But counting to eight becomes a complex matter when each player is starting at a different time, playing another rhythm at a louder/softer intensity…

Oh, and when you start feeling the vibrations: Anyone who has ever played Kazan would know what I’m talking about. There’s this one part: We affectionately call it The Tantrum. It goes like this:

1-2-3-BAM!-5-BAM! 1-2-3-BAM!-5-BAM! 1-2-3-BAM!-5-BAM!  BAM! BAM! BAM!

 When you stand with drums on both sides, playing with the left hand on the left drum and the right hand on the right drum, and two other players are throwing that tantrum on that same drums… Boy, you can feel it! And it can blast your ability to count clear out of your head!

Until recently I felt rather smug about not having blisters on my hands like the others. Somehow I managed to not get any. But our hot weather and the intensity of our sessions now in preparation for the Summer Party on the 19th is taking its toll. 😉

I also found out that it can actually be quite dangerous to be a Taiko player. Bachis sometimes fly through the air so that, in addition to the counting etc., you also have to be able to duck rather quickly in the right direction…

It’s not called a martial art for no reason!


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ursula
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 18:19:31

    Deirdre, sorry, but there is one BAM! missing at the end 😀 I love what you write…
    Lots of Love


  2. Ria
    Feb 04, 2011 @ 01:03:37

    Last Saturday I hit my own thumb with my bachi…
    I can recommend keeping the “arnica” on hand when playing taiko….

    be careful…



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