Thursday, May 14, 2015


Ever get bored of taiko?

Maybe you don't want to go to practice, maybe you don't want to play "Taiko Song XYZ" for the millionth time, maybe you feel like it's same-ol' same-ol' yet again.

Well, you're not alone.  We're all humans (well, I'm assuming most of you are) and when you do something long enough, it's pretty normal to get bored of it.  It's what you do next that matters.

There are three schools of thought which can sometimes be at odds, but not always:

  • Beginner's Mind (or, "There's always something to learn!")
This is the idea that no matter how long you've been doing taiko, no matter how long you've played the same song or the same drill, you can find something to improve.  And it's very true!  If you think you're "the shit" and have nothing left to improve on, I can give you a list of 50-60 taiko players that will find something, don't you worry.  There's ALWAYS something you can work on.

That doesn't mean that by focusing on a few points, you'll magically be "un-bored".  Sometimes focusing on a specific concept or section (like being relaxed or staying light on your feet) helps you practice your art in a different frame of mind.  It can help keep you from "business as usual" and prove refreshing and/or challenging.

  • Find a Distraction
Sometimes your brain and/or body needs to do something else.  It's why a lot of people find taiko conferences/gatherings so refreshing.  You learn new things, you hear new things, you may even hear old things said in new ways.  It can be rejuvenating!

Cross-training can also be very effective, keeping you from doing just one set of motions over and over.  I do karate and taiko, some do dance and taiko, some do sports and taiko, etc.  Finding what's common and what's different in your activities can also help keep you from getting bored.

  • Take a Break
Time off can be both the best thing and the worst.  It can be a vacation for your brain and body, letting you have time and space.  You may find that you miss being at practice, talking to the people, all the fun you had there.  And when you do return, you find that you appreciate some of the things that you took for granted before.

On the other hand, I know a lot of people that take a break or a sabbatical, and find other things to do with their time, never coming back!


The one thing you can't do is expect the group to make you excited again.  It might happen with a new song or show or direction, but if you expect it from the group, resentment is sure to follow.

So if this happens to you, and you find yourself bored, what steps will you take to make things better for you?  Just get to play taiko!  How.  Cool.  Is.  That?

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