Do any other Dopers play Taiko drums?

'Cause I do, and I’m curious to see how widespread this is outside California. If you do, where is your doujo located?

I just play Taiko no Tetsujin on the PS2. I don’t think that counts.

I’m very much looking forward to the 35th Annual International Taiko Festival in Berkeley in November, though. Got my tickets already.

No, Taiko no Tetsujin doesn’t count, but it sure is fun. :smiley:

Maybe you’ll see me there with Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan (in the audience, not on stage!), Zellerbach is always a great show.

I don’t play taikos, but the percussion section in my high school’s band has 5 or 6 of them. I believe the band director made them himself.

don’t play them. i love the music and go to any concert i can.

i would love to learn.

Cool, I’m really looking forward to it. The only time I’ve seen a Taiko performance is at Epcot at Disney World, and they usually just perform in groups of three, but that’s plenty impressive enough.

Since I can’t provide anything useful, how about some questions to keep this from being a total hijack: how do you get started with a dojo? Do you audition, or can you go in as a complete beginner? It’s as much about choreography as percussion, correct? Do you go in with more of a musical background or a martial arts/performance background? How long do you generally have to practice/train before you have a “real” performance?

It depends on the group. Basically in California we have professional groups, community groups, and college groups. For a professional group like San Jose or Sac Taiko you would have to audition, but they have taiko classes you can take with no experience (although of course they will cost you money). Community groups are generally less formal, and whether you’d have to audition to perform is probably specific to the group in quesiton. College groups are basically like community groups, only specific to a college. Membership in any taiko group will cost you money, because drums are expensive. Generally you will pay some kind of annual or semi annual dues.

The catagories aren’t really as well defined as I make them. For example, my group, Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan is the UCD taiko club but it’s always been open to the general community so it’s both a college group and a community group. To join all you’d have to do is show up at the door at the beginning of an academic quarter and be willing to pay 20 bucks a quarter in dues. When the group was still small, everything was really informal, but these days you have to explain your taiko experience and you get filed into either the beginner’s group or the intermediate group, or you audition to join the performers. We just started doing it that way this quarter actually, before it was more like “well you know that song and we need another body playing it for our next performance so are you going to be there?”

A group like Sacramento Taiko Dan is much more structured. To join with no experience you have to go through all their beginning classes, then come regularly to open practice on Fridays (and start paying dues). Eventually when you’ve improved enough Tiffany (their leader) will invite you to audition. I think their performing group is split into a few subgroups but I don’t know the details. To skip any of the steps you have to talk to either the beginning instructor, the person in charge of open practice, or Tiffany and demonstrate that you really are experienced enough to just jump in at whatever point it is you want in.


Personally, I don’t think it matters.

Totally dependent on the group you join. For the more professional groups, many years. For Bakuhatsu about a year unless you’re really uncoordinated. This is probably pretty similar to a lot of the community groups. It also depends on how hard and how often you practice.