Rock Pop Taiko Experiment: Monkey Majik & Yoshida Brothers “Change”


There were a lot of things I gained from the J-Pop Taiko Experiment, and I’m beginning to feel I’m somewhat on the right track. I think the challenge from here on is to really explore and refine the sounds of the Hybrid Kit. I’ve also noticed that incorporating a traditional Taiko rhythm somewhere into the performance makes a huge difference. Having even just a few seconds of traditional taiko rhythms really make a powerful statement.

Recording Methods

The Pop Rock Taiko Experiment uses the same recording setup and mixing method as the Utada “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence FYI” recording. AKG414 Overheads, SM57s on the Snare, Oke, Chu, a Beta57A on the Shime, a Beta 52a on the Floor Tom, and a Crown PCC-160 for the Room.

Performance Methods

Instead of laying back in the mix, I wanted the give the taiko a voice in the song. This time, I wanted to give the Pop Rock Taiko Experiment enough character to potentially take the song in a new direction, had been present at the original recording.

I took a lot more liberties with the solos, and I’m also playing with a lot more energy. The patterns that I’m playing are a lot busier than anything I’ve played in the previous sessions. I also threw in the taiko part for Aiya Bushi to allude to the Tsugaru Shamisen being played.


It still takes me several takes to play a relatively simple song like this correctly – or at least close to the way I plan to. I kept forgetting breaks, miscounting solo bars, and going into the wrong part of the song. It also takes me an inordinate amount of time to come up with patterns that work with the song. I definitely need to develop more vocabulary on this setup. I also need to practice adhering to song form.