Learn Taiko: Bon Daiko Video Lesson Series – Introduction
Have you ever wanted to learn taiko? Have you ever wanted to play taiko at the Bon Odori? If you’re looking for taiko lessons on how to play this folkloric style of taiko drumming, this is the perfect opportunity for you!
In this lesson series, we will learn how to play some of the most popular Bon Odori songs such as Hokkai Bon Uta and Sohma Bon Uta. In order to add cultural context, each lesson will begin with a brief background of each song. This includes, for example, the geographic and historic origins of the music. We will also study the lyrics of each song. I kept the discussion of lyrics brief in the videos, but full translations of the lyrics can be found on each song page. Also, we will analyze each piece from a musical perspective. This includes going over the key points for playing each song, such as the structure and particular rhythms. And finally, we will put everything together. This final step includes a play-along to a recorded version of each song.
I’ve always wanted to host a Bon Daiko class, because I feel it’s the roots of my taiko drumming experience. It’s been so much fun making these videos, and I hope you enjoy watching them!
What is Bon Daiko?
Bon Daiko is a folkloric style of drumming that accompanies the Bon Odori, also known as the Obon Festival. The Obon Festival is a Japanese Buddhist custom held to honor one’s ancestors. For three days during the summer, spirits revisit the household altars. This time has become a family reunion holiday that has been celebrated for more than 500 years.
One of the most notable characteristics of Bon Daiko is the Naname style, also known as the slant stand. Naname style was popularized by Sukeroku Daiko, who borrowed from various traditional drumming styles such as Bon Daiko, Edo Bayashi and Hogaku.
Today, Obon Festivals are held not only throughout Japan, but in North America, Argentina, Brazil, China, Korea, and Malaysia.