Building an E-Taiko Drum


The plan was to build a taiko-like drum that I could use as a trigger for my Roland TD-20. It turned out pretty well but it was quite the learning experience. There are many different kinds of Taiko drums. This comes close to an Okedo-Daiko.
Here is an MP3 sample of me playing this drum using the TD-20. Taiko Sample
I started with a 22"x18" maple keller shell. The wood was not an issue since it would have no effect on the tone. I used a round router bit with a dremel tool to create the bearing edges. A little sanding, a little stainiing an voila!
I ended up using a Pintech-like trigger. It's basically a half circle of dense foam with a piezo glued in the middle. The gray line is where I slied it open. I used a silcone sealer to glue it back together. Another piezo is glue at the top and a TRS jack is screwed in at the bottom.
I started out with this trigger but it never worked. It is a basically a pizeo glued to a metal plate with foam glued over it. It was very insensitive.
Next put the heads on. Building the heads were the hard part so it gets its own page.
Building E-Taiko Heads
11 holes were punched around each head and them tied down in a close approximation to the Japanese Technique.
This took a little less than 100 feet of rope! You first thread the rope around in a pretty straightforward manner. Much like the snare drums from colonial days. Then you do loops around the middle all around to make it even tighter. Then 4 wraps around with the excess. I was surprised by how tight you could get the drum head using rope.
Of course you need something to wack the drum with. I made 16" bachi (taiko drum sticks) out of poplar. I rounded the edges and then started beating things.
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