Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hand Independence

One thing a good percussionist should be able to do is have a modicum of independence in their hands. Most taiko players can belt something out on two or more different drums, but hand independence goes further than that. So try these simple drills:
  1. Trace a triangle in the air with one finger while tracing a square in the air with the other. Try switching hands and even switching which directions you're tracing in.
  2. Touch your fingertips together. One circles away and down from you, the other circles towards and down from you at the same time. The tips should pass by each other at the halfway point. When you feel like you have it, switch direction every 2 circles.
  3. Your right hand taps/plays R R R R RRRRRRRR while your left plays LLLLLLLL L L L L. Basically, one hand is playing 4 notes while the other plays 8, then switch.
Those were for the fun ones!
  1. Play the ji of a song (the base pattern) on one hand while you play melodies with the other. Start slow and find simple patterns at first!
  2. Have one hand stay on a not-too-fast straight beat (R R R R etc.) Improv with the other.
The last one is actually the basis for a new song I'm working on, so drills like these can not only be good for building skill, but applicable! Good luck!


  1. These drills read easy but are difficult afterall :-)

    Just posted a comment re: Tsunami.

  2. I tend to like deceptively hard drills - makes one feel like "I should be able to do this!"