Taiko Fundamentals – 2

Taiko Fundamentals

2. Base Rhythms


The short training videos on this page provide guidance for teaching taiko base rhythms. A base rhythm is the pulse that underpins a taiko piece. Some might call them an ostinato, others may use the Japanese term, ji-uchi.

These videos are intended primarily for school teachers in the UK, but may be suitable for other audiences. They are supported by a book which can be purchased from Kagemusha Taiko. With the book comes the password that you will need to access the videos.

Please be aware that the videos can be expanded to full-screen size. All are suitable for classroom use.


7. Base Rhythm: Dongo

(4.5 mins)
In this video, you will get an introduction to different ways of teaching this particular base rhythm, and how to troubleshoot some common difficulties people experience when learning it.


8. Base Rhythm: DonGo with Kas

(4 mins)
While playing the same rhythm pattern, different parts of the drum can be hit. In particular, the rim of the drum can be used to contrast with the sound of the skin. This can create some great-sounding patterns, and can also service as a diagnostic.


9. Base Rhythm: Straight Beats

(2 mins)
This video provides an introduction to playing straight beats as a base rhythm.




10. Base Rhythm: Straight Beats with Accents

(4.5 mins)
This video provides a guide to using accents while playing straight beats. Doing this, you can create your own base rhythms, and also create some interesting practice routines for your group.



11. Base Rhythm: Don DoKo

(2.5 mins)
Don DoKo is a base rhythm that will take a lot of practice, but the investment is repaid with a beat that’s really exciting, especially when played at a high tempo. In this video, you will get introduction to Don Doko, including some guidance on sticking.


12. Base Rhythm: Don DoKo with Kas

(3 mins)
As an alternative to making Don DoKo more fun by playing it fast, use of the rim of the drum can make for some really fun patterns. Don DoKo can also be inverted – DoKo Don – to create new patterns.


13. Base Rhythm: Matsuri

(3.5 mins)
This base rhythm is one of a kind that you might hear at a festival in Japan. In the video, some variations are demonstrated, using dynamics, playing different parts of the drum, and making some subtle (or not so subtle) changes to the pattern.


More videos:

1. Taiko Fundamentals – Foundations

3. Taiko Fundamentals – Simple Motifs

4. Taiko Fundamentals – Extras


Free videos:


5. (Learn) Shimabayashi

6. Kagemusha Taiko performance videos