Here is an exhaustive list of terms we use during practice.

Term Definition
Bachi (ばち) The wooden sticks used to play taiko, comes in all sorts of sizes depending on the type of drum or song
Taiko (太鼓) Japanese word for "drum", comes in various sizes and forms
Kuchi shōga (口唱歌) Musical notation used in taiko playing through phonetics
Kiai (気合) Intended shout or yell in order to add expression or vocal components to a musical piece
Nagado-daiko (長胴太鼓) Japanese word for "long-bodied drum"; medium-sized drum that produces a low, deep sound
Shime-daiko (締め太鼓) Japanese word for "tightened drum"; small-sized drum that produces a higher-pitch sound
Fuchi (ふち) Edge or rim of a drum
Jiuchi (地打ち) "ji" for short, a repetitive base beat or underlying rhythm played in a musical piece
Genki (元気) Japanese word for "energy" or "spirit"
ōdaiko (大太鼓) Japanese word for "large drum"; large sized drum that produces a low, bass sound deeper than a nagado-daiko. Also the name for a style of play, where the drum is high up on it's side, often with the player facing back to the audience
Uchiwa-daiko (うちわ太鼓) A small handheld drum played with only one bachi
Shinobue (篠笛) "Fue" for short, a style of traditional Japanese bamboo flute that emits a high pitched sound
Chappa (チャッパ) Small Japanese hand cymbals
Atarigane (当たり金) A small hand held brass gong
Bita (びた) The standard style of play where the drum is facing uprite
Hachijo (八丈) A style of playing where the drum is high up on it's side, often with one person playing on either head of the drum. Named after Hachijo-Jima, where the style originated.

Kuchi Shōga (口唱歌)


Here is a list of common phonetics we use to learn a musical piece. The phonetics come in pair, where the first word denotes a bachi hit from the right hand, and the second word denotes a bachi hit from the left hand.

Phonetics (R L) Translation
(San/Don) (Kon/Ron) Deep-sound hit on the drum; commonly played as quarter notes
Do (Ko/Koi/Ro) Quick or light hit on the drum; commonly played as eighth notes
Ka Ra Hit on the fuchi
Ki Ri Hit bachis together, right over left (Ki) and left over right (Ri)
(Tsu/Su) (Ku/Ru) Rest from hitting