Thursday, August 20, 2015


Well damn.  This is my 700th post!

This post is less of the usual celebratory post I do when I hit a multiple of 700, and instead more of me looking back at the person I was when I started playing taiko.  To me, "ensemble drumming" was just about the music, and I didn't really understand that my intentions could be misinterpreted or how much that could affect my position within the group.

A few weeks ago, Yurika came across a document from back when I was auditioning with SJT.  PJ had written notes to herself from my first year (?) of taiko, with a dozen comments or so.

The first two comments are positive, about my technique.  Yay!   Annnd then there's ten more comments that are critical, all about my attitude.  Oof.  Thankfully none of these are new to me since they were all communicated to me by Staff for several years.

There were some of these comments that took longer to address than others, to be sure.  I'm stubborn!  But I can say that I made a LOT of progress on these critiques and now I can look back at them as a checklist of sorts.  I would also say that if I was honest, they're also the things I could easily lapse back on if I'm not careful.

My blog is full of posts on how you should try to be better, try harder, try to make yourself a better person and artist, etc..  It's NOT just about your skills, though.  In many cases, the things that cause friction aren't the way you play shime or how much syncopation you put in your solos.  It's more often what comes out of your mouth, the things you do (or don't do), and how people perceive your intentions.  I see these things, I hear these things, and actually didn't make it into SJT the first time around because of these.  I learned the hard way!

It's easy to sit down with a drum pad and work on technique, but it's a LOT harder to work on character, intention, and personality.  Sometimes, the biggest impact you create isn't from the taiko - it's from you.

P.S.: Thanks to all my readers for your support, your time, and your kind words!

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