Taiko Backbeats App

Developer: Allen Liu
Release Date: 2017
License: (c)2017 Allen Liu. All rights reserved. Use with Proper Credit. For more information and to share comments or suggestions contact developer at: dokodon.com


From developer Allen Liu…

Taiko Backbeats started out as a personal project since I mostly practice by myself. Then I figured other folks may find it useful as well, so I cleaned it up and decided to share it with the taiko community. This will forever be a work in progress. Please feel free to email me if you have any comments, suggestions or any other ideas that you would like to share.

Taiko Backbeats let’s you use one of several common taiko Ji patterns, or, make your own!

Features include:

  • Preset or Custom Ji
  • Continuous Play
  • Adjustable Tempo
  • Hit Strength (Example: don vs. DON)
  • Chu Sound
  • Shime Sound
  • Ka Sound
  • Vocal Hup
  • Save Settings
  • Reload Settings


Access app online: http://dokodon.com

Taiko Right-Left Practice (Drill)

Composer: Andreas Prescher / Kumano Taiko Dojo
Arrangement: Andreas Prescher / Kumano Taiko Dojo
Composition Date: 2016
License: (c) 2016 Andreas Prescher / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/


A short, fun drill to train right and left sticking. This arrangement is for two chus and a chappa.

(Original composition name: Taiko Rechts-Links Ubung)


Scores, notes, and audio files to help learn this piece.



Score PDF: Taiko_Rechts-Links_Ubung

Check Pattern (Drill)

Composer: Thom Hannum
Arrangement: David Cheetham
Composition Date: 2012
License: Open Source


Notes from arranger, David Cheetham…

This drill is an algorithmic approach to playing all possible combinations of notes within a single beat using a 4-part subdivision (16th notes, or 4 notes per beat). There are 16 possibilities, and this exercise covers them all in a logical order.

The exercise is played with the first line being repeated after each individual line, and the sticking for an individual line is always dictated by the first line, i.e. if a note’s position within the beat means it is left-handed in the first line, it will be left-handed in the individual line regardless of what else is happening in that line.

This drill is best played with a metronome and at a wide variety of tempos. There are also many variations and mutations of this drill for working on specific skills, such as splitting the ensemble into 2 groups and playing different patterns which interlock against each other, or playing it “filled in” where one plays all 4 notes every beat but adds an accent to the notes present in each pattern. This drill can also be played in a swing style for additional variation.


Scores, notes, and audio files to help learn this piece.


PDF: check-pattern-2012-hannum-xlsx

Editable Excel file: check-pattern-2012-hannum


PAS Rudiments


Being open to inspiration (and education) from other percussion forms helps expand options for creating Taiko pieces.

From the pas.org website

The 40 Percussive Arts Society International Drum Rudiments © consist of the traditional 26 rudiments along with a number of drum corps, orchestral, European, and contemporary drum rudiments.

This listing was an outgrowth of a five-year project compiled by the PAS International Drum Rudiment Committee, a highly select group of percussionists, organized and chaired by Jay Wanamaker.

It is the hope of the International Drum Rudiment Committee that this new listing of rudiments will create a new vocabulary of drum rudiments that will serve contemporary percussionists for many years to come.


View the Rudiments Online… http://www.pas.org/resources/education/Rudiments1/RudimentsOnline.aspx

Download the Rudiments PDF… http://www.pas.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/pasdrumrudiments2015e3ccc06de1726e19ba7fff00008669d1.pdf?sfvrsn=0

Listen to the Rudiments… http://www.pas.org/resources/education/Rudiments1/RudimentsSound.aspx

Learning Taiko


Learning Taiko, General Notes:

It is our desire that people new to Taiko will make understanding the history and traditions that form the basis of Taiko as we express it today part of their Taiko journey. The Taiko History and Bibliography at TaikoForum.com, as well as the Taiko resource links at Rolling Thunderhttp://www.taiko.com, are great places to start. Potential practitioners and students new to Taiko are encouraged to seek-out Taiko mentorship and/or training through established groups, workshops, and at a Taiko Conference near them. In North America: http://www.taikoconference.org/

Many established groups welcome the opportunity to nurture Taiko interest outside of their area, and are happy to travel to work with interested groups. Give them a call! You can find established groups on the TaikoForum.com Group Map.

Notable traveling workshop leaders and mentors have included:

(If you are an established Taiko-practitioner and are doing out-of-town/state/country workshops, PLEASE add your URL to the list above!)

Additionally, many touring Taiko groups performing in your area are often happy to do public workshops for those interested in learning more about Taiko. Contact their booking agents in advance of their arrival.

Getting Started

While the following resources are handy to get started, or to help refine at-home practice for established students, it is strongly recommended that you seek-out professional Taiko instruction whenever possible.

Rolling Thunder

Rolling Thunder’s “Learning Taiko” pages offer an overview of Taiko basics.

— Notation with backstory


Original pages: http://www.taiko.com/taiko_resource/learn.html

— Audio files: http://www.taiko.com/taiko_resource/sheet_music.html

Jiuchi (Ji-Basic)

See Song Database entry for learning Jiuchi (Ji-Basic).

Simple Songs & Drills

Drills / On Song Database

Jiuchi (Ji-Basic) / On Song Database

Kaoru Watanabe: Beginner’s Piece / On Song Database

Matsuri Phrases / On Song Database

PAS Rudiments / On Song Database

Tips by Drum Type

From stance to how one holds the Bachi, each Taiko has a different way of playing it to get the best ranges of sound, with the least impact on your body. This is where lack of formal instruction becomes the most notable. When possible, seek-out professional Taiko instruction.

Katsugi Okedo

Basic Katsugi form by Ryo Shimamoto from allthingstaiko (click the ALL Videos link to access the video series).

Making Practice Taiko


Tire Taiko: http://users.lmi.net/taikousa/files/tire_taiko.pdf

Sensei Walter on the Tire Taiko: http://vimeo.com/17500827

Sensei Walter > Making a Cheap Practice Drum, Step-by-Step:


Tire-Taiko Stands

Tire-Chu Naname Stand: A metal folding chair offers a good approximation for Chu-Naname height and angle. Hold the Tire-Chu in place with a hook bungee attached at the back.

Tire-Chu Beta Stand: A low-height waiter’s folding serving stand, or tall folding luggage stand, offer a good approximation for Chu-Beta height and angle. Hold the Tire-Chu in place with a hook bungee attached at the back.

Tire-Chu and Tire-Odaiko: Dedicated folding stand plans coming soon…


Practice Katsugi-Okedo: (Scroll to bottom of page) http://jedlicka.com/taikojinsei/KatsugiOkedoStrapTjin.html

Tying Okedo: http://web.archive.org/web/20081002134717/http://members.cox.net/drum2/okedo05.htm

Making Practice Bachi

Common Wood-types: Use dowels from a local hardware store. Oak (or other hardwood) gives a crisp sound, and though they are quite durable, they are heavier than the softer woods. Poplar is light and comfortable to play with, the sound is a bit softer than hardwood, and will wear out more quickly.

Bachi-type / Length (cm) / Diameter (cm) / Dowels commonly available in the U.S.

Shime and Katsugi-Okedo / 36 / 1.5 [5/8″] / Poplar

Shime (Seiza set-up length) / 32 / 1.5 [5/8″] / Poplar

Chu / 42 / 2.5 [1″] / Oak

Odaiko / 51 / 3.4 or 3.8 [1 3/8″ or 1 1/2″] / Poplar, Pine


Using dowels available at your local hardware store…

— “Sight down” the dowel to find a nice straight one.

— If you’re going to make a few bachi, tap the dowel end-wise on the floor to select dowels of the same density/tone.

— Look at the dowel end. Look for grain that is compact (lines close to each other). Denser grain = longer bachi life.

— Have the hardware store cut these for you to size if you don’t have a fine handsaw of your own.

— If you don’t own a course wood-file, you can quickly rough-in the playing edge of the bachi by rubbing it on a cement sidewalk (the inner part of cement steps works great!). Then use 100-grit sandpaper to finish the bachi for handling comfort and a clean sound.

— NEVER play with unfinished bachi. A sharp edge will wear-out your Taiko head super fast.

Making Practice Percussion

Using practice hand-percussion is much, much, easier on the ears as you learn these instruments. Additionally for Atarigane (Kane), a simple practice version will minimize hard impact time, extending the life of your Shumoku (mallet).

Practice Atarigane (Kane)

Plant Saucer: 4″ plant saucer (the short pan that goes under a flower pot). Look for one with a depth of 3/4 to 1.” Heavy plastic is preferred if you can find it. Stick on folded duct tape “tabs” on either side to approximate the feel and function of the mimi (“ears”) on a real Atarigane.

Food Storage Container: Low round plastic food storage container 500mL size (2.1 cups).

Deli-Tub: 8oz. low, flat, to-go or deli tub. This is a bit on the small side, but it still works.

Practice Clave

Dowel Cutoffs: 1″ Oak or other hardwood dowel, cut into two 8″ lengths. Finish as per Practice Bachi above. If you made practice Chu-bachi, you may have enough leftover to make a pair of Clave. If not, look in the scrap bin at your local hardware store, or buy hardwood dowel and have the store cut it for you to size. It should be noted, real Clave aren’t expensive, but they are loud. So depending on where you practice, this quieter practice version might be handy.

Practice Chappa

5″ Cymbals (or Kid’s Cymbals): These are available at most music stores, but also online. For a more authentic look and feel, replace the wood handles with “small, ring drawer pulls.” Be sure to get the kind where the ring is attached in the center. Add the word “Asian” to your drawer-pull search for some really nice looking options. Cut-off extra bolt to fit (the cymbals must slide cleanly across each other), or, replace bolt joint with a leather-strip joint tied off on the inner side.

See Also

Rolling Thunder Resource “Learning Taiko”: http://www.taiko.com/taiko_resource/learn.html

Kaoru Watanabe’s Downloads Page: http://www.taikonyc.com/downloads



Kuchi-shōga (shouga), kuchi shoka (shouka), kuchi showa (shouwa) — “mouth writing”, “mouth singing”, “mouth chatter”; mnemonic system of vocalizing taiko sounds and patterns in a type of solfege solmization; part of the oral tradition in teaching/learning Japanese music; different instruments have their own vocabulary (e.g. shime-daiko, chu-daiko, atarigane, fue); different groups or regions may use different vocabularies as well; thetaiko adage, “if you can say it, you can play it” is an expression referred to learning kuchi shoga first before playing it on a drum. (From TaikoSource.com Glossary)

Kuchi-shōga Pages

Rolling Thunder Learning Taiko
Grid broken into instrument type, includes listening exercises. http://www.taiko.com/taiko_resource/learn.html

Tatsumaki Taiko
Sounds used in teaching taiko by kuchi showa. http://users.lmi.net/taikousa/taiko_rudiments.html

Rudiments showing kuchi showa in use. http://users.lmi.net/taikousa/taiko_rudiments.html


Kuchi Shoga practice during STI 2009

Jiuchi (Ji-Basic)


Listed here are Jiuchi (Ji-Basic) common to many Taiko songs, or new/other Jiuchi to share. Typically played on Shime or Atarigane (Kane, Chan-Chiki), but also played on the edge of a Chu or Odaiko, on a Cannon (Tetsu-zutsu), Chappa or Clave, or other instrument able to audibly raise above the main drums.

Note: The Kuchi Shoga used here: Tek-Ke = Te-Ke, TekKe = TeKe. Use preference may differ by region, but the meaning is the same. テ ケ = teke, from http://www.taikonyc.com/kuchishouga

Kuchi Shoga Key: Kuchi Shoga on TaikoSource.com Song Database.

Classic Jiuchi

Notation Notes:
— CAPITAL letters indicate “LOUD.”
— Mixed Capital and Lower Case Letters indicate “medium.”
— lower case letters indicate “soft.”
— Parentheses ( ) indicate “more soft.”
— Brackets [ ] indicate a “rest” in the count.

Straight-Ji = TenTen TenTen TenTen TenTen …
Insight: Can be eighth or sixteenth notes depending on the speed of the piece — sticking remains the same.

Western count 4/4 time: Eighth note straight hits
Even hits: 1&, 2&, 3&, 4&
Sticking: R L R L R L R L

Swing-Ji (aka: DoKo or Horse Beat) = Tek-Ke Tek-Ke …
Insight: You can often find this beat as an accent option on metronomes (it appears as an eighth note triplet minus the middle beat). A super fun exercise is to do one measure Right accented, then the next Left accented, then Right…etc.

Western count 4/4 time: Eighth note triplet with the middle hit missing [8th rest]
Even hits: 1[&]A, 2[&]A, 3[&]A, 4[&]A
Sticking: R-L R-L R-L R-L
R/l, Right accented stroke option: TEK-ke TEK-ke TEK-ke TEK-ke …
r/L, Left accented stroke option: tek-KE tek-KE tek-KE tek-KE…

TEN tekke (Horse Beat) = TEN tekke …
Insight: Keep left close (1″ or less) to drum head at all times for a more “driving” feel.

Western count 4/4 time: Sixteenth notes with the 2nd hit missing [sixteenth rest]
Accent on the downbeat: 1[e]&a, 2[e]&a, 3[e]&a, 4[e]&a
Sticking: R-rl R-rl R-rl R-rl

Matsuri-Ji = TEN tsuku Ten Ten (or, TEN tsuku ten Ten)

Western count 4/4 time: Accent first quarter note, then two eighth notes (soft), then two quarter notes (med.)
Single accent: Accent on the first hit of the measure: 1, (2&), (3), (4)
Single accent Sticking: R (rl) r l
Double accent: Accent on the first and last hit of the measure — …Four, ONE 1, (2&), (3), 4
Double accent Sticking: R (rl) r L


Jiuchi Resources

Jiuchi Metronome with Shime sound. Classic Ji-beats, plus option to make your own new patterns and save to .mp3 or .wav. Beat visualizer, with volume adjustment for each beat to help with learning (or creating) the right dynamics.

Taiko Jinsei Audio Pool
Song-length downloadable audio and sheet-music files to help work on solos, songs, or Ji training. Formats: .mp3, MIDI, plus PDFs for visual training. Sound files at various speeds: 4/4 quarter note = 80, 100, 120.
-Temporarily Unavailable-

Additional Jiuchi To Share

TERE tsuku = TERE (tsuku) … (Play the tsukus super super super quietly)
Insight: Think — HIT HIT (touch touch) HIT HIT (touch touch)

Western count 4/4 time: Eighth notes alternate LOUD LOUD (soft soft)
R/L, accent on the first and third pair: 1&, (2&), 3&, (4&)
Sticking: RL (rl) RL (rl)

Have a Ji to share? Let us know! … (Use “Submit” link at top of Song Database.)



Listed here are are classic and new drills groups and individuals use to help learn Taiko, as well as keep ever deepening skills sharp.

Classic Drills

The Set-Up: Drills are best done to a metronome when possible. A shime player keeping a quarter note Straight-Ji [see Jiuchi (Ji-Basic)] without the aid of a metronome will tend to adjust for the group, leaving everyone thinking things are going better than they really are. To give everyone solid timing training, a simple digital metronome (Example: Korg MA-30), a SmartPhone with metronome app (Example: Musebook’s m30 pendulum style), or a PC using a free online metronome like Taikonome (http://www.taikonome.com) can be plugged into an amplifier with with a double-male plug earbud cable (easily found at local audio store or online). Some amplifiers may need an additional jack adapter: 3.5mm female to 1/4 inch male.

If an amp is not available, have one Atarigane (or Clave) player listen to the metronome through earbuds, keeping the quarter note Ji-pulse for the whole group. The Ji-keeper’s job, stick with the metronome no matter what.

Tip: Start slow then work your way up to faster tempos. The key is to do phrases well, then increase the difficulty with speed. With each practice session though, it’s good to do a few rounds where you push yourself a bit. This helps you identify trouble spots to work on.


Western count: 4/4 time.

To begin, set metronome to 60. Repeat each phrase twice before moving on.

Sticking: R/L Even strokes — R-L R-L R-L R-L

Quarter Rests: iya, hup — vocalized or not. So-re can be used for two quarter note rests in a row at the end of a measure. (So-Re [two quarter notes] and SoRe [one quarter note] are also handy end-of-measure signals called-out over the top of play.)
Whole note: 1 [2-3-4] = JON [hup, So-re] {JON = RL Simultaneous single hit}. Other optional: 2xDON R-L single hits.

Half notes: 1 [2] 3 [4] = Don [hup] Don [iya]

(1) hit per quarter note (= quarter notes): 1-2-3-4 = Don Don Don Don

(2) hits per quarter note (= 8th notes): 1& 2& 3& 4& = DoKo DoKo DoKo DoKo

(3) hits per quarter note (= 8th note triplets): 1&a 2&a 3&a 4&a = DoKoDo KoDoKo DoKoDo KoDoKo

(4) hits per quarter note (= 16th notes): 1e&a 2e&a 3e&a 4e&a = DoKoDoKo DoKoDoKo DoKoDoKo DoKoDoKo

(5) hits per quarter note: 12345 22345 32345 42345

(6) hits per quarter note: 123456 223456 323456 423456

(7) hits per quarter note: 1234567 2234567 3234567 4234567

(8) hits per quarter note (= 32nd notes): 12345678 22345678 32345678 42345678

— Now work backward through the pattern > 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Half, Whole.

Insight: For the 6s, try to think of them as double triplets. To work-up to including the 7 and 8 subdivisions, at first set the metronome really slow in order to get a good feel for how these fit into a quarter note pulse.

Add Movement: For the Whole and Half notes, add-in Windmills, Bachi Flips, or other movement in the “Hup” space.

Group Play: Divide group into smaller teams and have them start the pattern in different places. Example for 3-teams: (A) Starts with the Whole notes, (B) Starts with the Quarter notes, and (C) Starts with 16ths. Team members call-out SoRe before going on to next pattern to help keep group together. This gets super fun as the sticking gets faster and the count trickier.

Atarigane (Kane) Practice: Have the Kane player play the Ji-pulse as — Chan (1), ChiKi (2&), ChiKi (3&), ChiKi (4&).

Kuchi Shoga Key: Kuchi Shoga on TaikoForum.com Song Database.

Subdivision Drill Resources: Taiko Jinsei Audio Pool downloadable audio and sheet-music files for this exercise. Formats: .mp3, MIDI, plus PDF for visual training. http://www.jedlicka.com/taikojinsei/TaikoJinsei-AudioPool

Subdivision Drill Videos…

Beginning Taiko Warm Up Song from AllThingsTaiko > http://www.youtube.com/user/allthingstaiko

Western Drum Rudiments

PAS Rudiments offer a variety of patterns to help with timing and stick control.

New Drills

Unless otherwise noted by the contributor, use the same “set-up” and “tips” as for Classic Drills.

30 Days to Better Shime

30 Days to Better Shime by Kristofer Bergstrom of http://onensemble.org is a great by step by step to better timing and stick control. This free program provides one month of daily exercises for small drum practice. You simply download the workbook and companion CD, get out your practice pad and batchi, and follow the daily instructions!


On the 30 Days to Better Shime pages you’ll find…

— Downloadable workbook and audio files

— How to order a printed 30 Days set

— Individual audio files

— Source files