Thursday, April 7, 2016

Enjoying the hiradaiko

Today's post is just me talking about something I'm really enjoying

For our home concert this year, one of our pieces has me doing a ~3-minute odaiko solo.  I've played on odaiko a lot in concerts, and for songs much longer than 3 minutes, even with some soloing, but never just an odaiko solo.  But it's not just that that I'm happy about.

We're using our hiradaiko, a massive drum over 6' in circumference.  It's thinner than a normal odaiko, but that doesn't do anything to make it look or sound less amazing.  And the thing that I've really been enjoying is the sheer size of the head.

With most taiko, the "sweet spot" is a smaller circle in the center.  Hit outside (or inside) this area and you don't get the same tone or ring that you will otherwise.  It's all about vibration and harmonics.  With most odaiko I've played on, because of my broad shoulder width, I have to play with my arms held in more than I'd like, in order to hit that sweet spot..  With our hiradaiko, however, I can play with my arms straight out and be well-within that circle.  And it feels so good to play and not have to maintain a certain position of my arms, knowing my default strike is exactly where I should be hitting.

Add that to the serious BOOM of that massive drum, and I'm one happy camper.

Mind you, at the end of those 3 minutes, I'm happy it's not a 4-minute long solo.  Things start to hurt after 3...

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