Shime-daiko 締太鼓

Today was lesson day at Somemaru’s. In addition to my shamisen lesson, I also learned how to tighten a shime-daiko, which has to be slackened after every use in order to preserve the taut animal skin. The reason I wanted to learn how to do this is because I will buy a shime-daiko of my own before returning to the United States. If I am going to teach college students how to play, organize amateur yose productions, and host professionals in the future, I will to need to know how to use and care for this instrument properly.

Tightening and securing a shime-daiko takes a lot of muscle. In the yose, you use your hands, legs and feet – and two bachi (drum sticks) – for the job, and it can be dangerous if your not careful…  I was taught a couple ways to do tighten a shime-daiko today, both of which I was advised not do in front of practitioners of noh theater, which also regularly uses this drum. Somemaru has a rare book about the proper way to care for and play shime-daiko, so I made a copy of this for future reference.

Somemaru was very kind to give me an introduction to a respected taiko maker, the Maruoka family, which has been in business since Meiji 3 (1870). Somemaru and other professionals in various arts (e.g., noh, kabuki, etc.) rely on Maruoka Taiko for quality instruments. This is the kind of store you would do well to have an introduction to, and call before going. As with any instrument, there is a very wide range of prices, but what I found most interesting is that you do not simply go in and buy a drum. You discuss your needs – and budget – then the drum maker recommends a selected combination of parts: animal skin (kawa) for drum head and base, wooden body (), and cords (shirabe). Of course one also needs things such as bachi, a stand (teren), and a case for transport.

Finally, all Maruoka drums are handmade, and orders can take up to one or two months. This is perfect for me since I need at least that much time to save the money it will cost. I am excited to get my own shime-daiko and begin practicing. I should probably apologize to my neighbors ahead of time…

今日、師匠のお宅でお稽古日でした。三味線のお稽古と共に締太鼓の締め方を習わせていただきました。皮を守るため、締太鼓を使った後毎回毎々緩めないといけないことまでも… なぜ締め方を習いたかったというと、アメリカに帰国する前に締太鼓を買い求めようと思っているからです。将来に大学生に鳴り物を教えたり、素人落語会を行ったり、プロ噺家をアメリカに招待したりするのであれば、やはり自分で叩くようにならないといけないし、ちゃんと楽器のケアもしないといけません。


とてもありがたいことに、この間、師匠が評判の高い太鼓のお店に紹介してくださいました。丸岡太鼓店 (創業明治3年) と言いますが、染丸師匠のみならず、他の演劇(能楽、歌舞伎など)のプロにも信用されているお店だそうです。このようなお店では、ご紹介があった方がいいでしょうし、本社に訪ねる際、先にお電話していった方もいいかもしれません。どんな楽器にしても同じですが、締太鼓は幅広い価格帯で販売されています。僕にとって最も興味深かったのは、締太鼓一丁をそのまま買うんではなく、太鼓を何に使うや、予算などの相談の上、適当な部品 (皮、胴、しらべ) を進んでくださいます。もちろんですが、バチもテレンもケースも必要です。



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