The heart and soul of Taiko is the great drums.

The echoing reverberations from these instruments reach to the core of your
being. Playing them gives one a new focus in life.

Taiko drums from Japan are quite beautiful, but also unbelievably expensive. A
standard 24 inch Taiko from Japan currently costs around $3000! This is quite
a barrier to forming new Taiko groups since new groups always have very
limited budgets.

Some Wadaiko Newark members have been Taiko drum builders for awhile. It
would therefore follow that the group would build all of the instruments that we

So we start with a barrel that looks like this......>>>

Then we dismantle the 60 gallon wine barrel.

and carefully sand the staves. Following
sanding, is drilling the staves for dowel pins. >>

Either dowel pins or
jointer biscuits are
used to make the
glued joints stronger.>>>

At this point the ends have been cut off
and the finished size of the drum is set.

Then we lay out the precise head size on a piece of rawhide. It takes a 30 inch
circle of top grade cowhide to make one drum head.

Then the  laws of gravity are used to stretch and soften a drum head that is
being put on a practice drum. These practice drums are made from the cut off
ends of the wine barrels.

                                      Left; the hide has been placed on the drum
                                      of PVC pipe for stretching. Then the ropes
                                      are woven through the wood handles; they will              
                                       tightened to hold the shape and let dry.           

                                                           This is a finished
                                                            wine barrel chudaiko drum.

A Short Overview of Building a Drum
for more information call Terry at (510) 791-0901
Email us.
Copyright 2007-2014
All rights reserved.