We're getting down to the wire with out hand coordination drills as we review the various timing drills we've learned thus far. It's Saturday! You are legally obligated to take some time for yourself today. Practice right now! Kris Q/A, Errata/Suggestions, Thoughts Q - I've finally realized I'm not sure what the exact metronome vs drumstroke combo is for the 16s drill. If the metronome is set at quarter note = 70 bpm, are the first 16 hits on each hand (i.e., WITHOUT the in-between hits) supposed to be eighth notes (in other words, two hits per metronome click)? And does the same apply for Ice Skater? -- Margaret A - There should be two hits on the same hand per click. On the 16s drill notation on Day 4, the clicks are notated with small circles below the lines to show where the clicks should line up with hits. -- Kris Q - I was interested (gobsmacked, really) to realize you do drills with Western-type drumsticks. Do you ever perform on taiko with those? I'm wondering how fine motor skills that are evidenced on lighter bachi transfer to heavier bachi. Wouldn't you be using more muscles, and/or firing different neurons, that-a-way? -- Margaret A - I indeed use western drumsticks for much of my practice. I use very light, small drum sticks (Promark 7A). Because they are so light, they are very revealing of inaccuracies in my basic strike. Western drumsticks feel great on a variety of surfaces and bounce really well on a drum pad. I don't actually like the way they sound on the shime, though, so I don't use them in performance very often. They have a "tinny", thin sound. You certainly could use them though, if the music called for that tone -- perhaps a rich, full shime sound is overpowering other parts. It all depends on what sound you're going for. The quintessential shime sound for me is produced by the short, hinoki shime batchi. They have a huge, open, unique tone. These sticks don't bounce very well on a practice pad, however, and they produce a rather loud tone themselves, so they're not my ideal practice stick. Q - I've been thinking lately about the equation "mass x acceleration = force" as it applies to hitting a drum, although I know nada about physics, because it seems relevant to me to making the drum "ring". I would love if somebody could actually explain (simply...in slow-mo...) what happens to a drumstick after it hits a drumhead. What stops the drumstick and what causes it to reverse direction? What happens to the drumhead while that is going on? I'm thinking that resonance (not dampening the drumhead unnecessarily) is very important to drum sound. It seems obvious that there's a limit to how hard one should hit a drum, or how heavy one's bachi should be when playing a given type of drum....thus, rebound, which I surmise depends on grip (when using more "normal" weight bachi & strike velocity), is probably key to maximising resonance. But this is probably better discussed live than on a website forum!.... A - I like this question! Take this answer with a grain of salt though... I went into college as a physics major but switched to taiko my freshman year. :) As I see it, there are two main aspects of the strike make an impact (har har) on the tone of the drum: weight of the batchi, and the speed of the tip at impact. As you say, those combine to give us total force. This force depresses the head at impact and the elasticity of the head then starts working to slow and eventually reverse the path of the tip. A light stick will rebound quickly, letting the head ring on its own. A heavy stick will stay in contact with skin longer, muffling part of the resonance of the drum. Try tapping the shime wih a hinoki shime batchi and then an oak nagado (chuudaiko) batchi. The tonal difference is dramatic, and you can clearly hear how the heavy stick muffles the skin. This description of the mechanics of the head assumes that our hands are not part of the equation and my goal in the basic strike, is in fact to keep my hands from contributing any extra weight or force to the tip of the batchi.. At the moment of impact, I want the batchi to be more-or-less falling freely, and free to rebound without any resistance from my fingers. I see the tip of the batchi like a basketball. I push it down for a period of time, but before impact, it's falling on its own. After impact, on the way back up, my wrists and fingers are moving in concert with the stick, simply following it up as it rebounds. I don't add any lifting force if there is enough rebound to do the job for me.