What is bachi?
Drumstick is called bachi in Japanese. Drumstick for drum kit is also called bachi. Plectrum for shamisen and biwa is also called bachi. Plectrum for guitar isn't called bachi. We call it (guitar) pick.
How many types of bachi are there?
There are many types of bachi. They are different in the length, the thickness, the shape, and the material.
Like what shapes of bachi are there?
Basically, bachi has thin and long shape. The appropriate bachi varies according to the playing styles and types of taiko. For example, tapered bachi should be used for shime daiko and light and thin bachi should be used for katsugi oke daiko. For some festivals in Japan, the players use thick bachi and short bachi.
What materials of bachi are there?
Bachi is made of wood. Each material is different in hardness and weight. If you are strong, you can use heavy bachi. On the other hand, if you play the taiko to quick tempo, you shouldn't use heavy bachi. Choose appropriate bachi based on your strength, taiko piece, playing style, and type of taiko.
- Kashi (Oak)
- Kaede (Maple)
- Tabu (Machilus)
- Ho (Magnolia)
- Hinoki (Cypress)
I am a completely beginner of taiko. Please tell me how to hold bachi soon!
We recommend you to ask your teachers or taiko frineds first.But if there are no taiko teachers or friends around you, try the following five ways.
WAY1: THUMB & INDEX FINGER:
Hold with the thumb and the index finger firmly and wrap the remaining fingers around the bachi lightly.
WAY2: THUMB, MIDDLE FINGER & RING FINGER:
Hold with the thumb, the middle finger and the ring finger firmly and wrap the remaining fingers around the bachi lightly.
WAY3: PINKIE FINGER& RING FINGER:
Hold with the pinkie finger and the ring finger towards the palm firmly and wrap the remaining fingers around the bachi lightly.
WAY4: TIPS OF THUMB & INDEX FINGER:
Hold with the tips of the thumb and the index finger and adjust the slight movement of bachi with the remaining fingers. (For thin bachi like shime daiko bachi and bamboo bachi)
WAY5: ALL FINGERS
Hold with all fingers firmly in order not to drop bachi. (For thick bachi like odaiko bachi)
My playing technique of taiko is not so good. Others play better than me. What's the difference?
TIPS1: RELAX & SPEED
Basically, you should not hold bachi strongly too much., especially for regular taiko. If you hold it strongly, your wrist (and body, too) will be stiff and you won't be able to follow the quick tempo or complicated rhythm. Take a relaxed position and your performances will be better. However you should hold it firmly when you play odaiko.
TIPS2: PLACE TO STRIKE
Where on the taiko should you strike? Basically, the near of the center on the taiko head is the best part to strike. Striking the center of the taiko makes a bigger sound. On the other hand, striking far apart from the center, makes a smaller sound (though it may be a slight difference). taiko players use this method. If they want to make the sound gradually louder in their performance, first they strike far apart from the center, then gradually move nearer the center, and finally striking at the center of taiko. For beginners, to keep striking the center of the taiko may be difficult than expected. Practice and learn the appropriate distance between you and taiko, which changes according to various factors such as your height, the length of your arm, the height of taiko, and the width of the surface of the taiko.
TIP3: WRIST SNAP
The striking area between bachi and taiko should be small in order to make a good sound. It is important to strike taiko with only the tip of bachi. If your hands and bachi are flat when you strike, you may strike the edge of taiko and make some noise. In addition, using a wrist snap, you won't need extra effort when you strike taiko.