Bachi is a pair of stick used for playing taiko drums. There are 5 main materials of bachi: kashi (oak), kaede (maple), tabu (machilus), ho (magnolia), and hinoki (cypress). They have different hardness and weight. In addition, there are some variations in size and shape. If you just started learning taiko and play the nagado daiko, we recommend bachi, which has 2.5cm in diameter and 40cm in length.
(For Nagado Daiko, Hirado Daiko, Okedo Daiko & Odaiko)
Straight bachi is used for playing nagado daiko and hirado daiko.
Thickness: about 2.1cm-2.5cm (about 0.8in-1in)
Length: about 33cm-42cm (about 13-17in)
Long and thick bachi is used for playing odaiko. It's made of light material because it's long and thick.
Thickness: about 3.0cm-4.0cm (about 1.2in-1.6in)
Length: about 45cm-55cm (about 18-22in)
(For Shime Daiko)
Tapered bachi is used for playing shime daiko. Hitting end is tapered and thinner than grip end. It is easy to play fast tempo.
Thickness (hitting end): about 1.8cm-2.4cm (about 0.7in-0.9in)
Thickness (grip end): about 1.9cm-2.8cm (about 0.7in-1.1in)
Length: about 33cm-41cm (about 13-16in)
(For Katsugi Oke Daiko)
Thin bachi is used for playing katsugi oke daiko.
Thickness: about 1.8cm-2.0cm (about 0.7in-0.8in)
Length: about 38cm-40cm (about 15-16in)
Do you know the types of taiko? See also this article.
Kashi (oak) is the hardest wood of bachi. Player needs enough strength to play with bachi made of this heavy wood. Also, it's enough hard to hit the tacks (byou) and the edge (fuchi) of the taiko body. But, please don't hit them strongly because kashi (oak) wood is so hard that it breaks them.
Kaede (maple) is the second hardest and heaviest wood of bachi. It is lighter than kashi (oak) but heavier than other wood and popular among players who want a little heavy bachi. Due to the weight of the bachi, the player can play taiko without unnecessary power.
Tabu (machilus) is a little hard wood of bachi. It has the moderate weight and easy to play. It's harder than soft material like ho (magnolia) and softer than kaede (maple). It's not too much heavy and hard. So, it's recommended for beginners.
Ho (magnolia) is soft and light wood of bachi. Bachi made of ho (magnolia) is often used for taiko of which the head is soft and thin. For example, bachi for katsugi oke daiko is made of ho (magnolia) to reduce the damage on the head. However, it's easily dented by hitting hard part of the taiko like tacks (byou) and edge (fuchi). It makes a soft sound.
Hinoki (cypress) is the excellent wood of bachi. If you want to make loud sound, bachi made of hinoki (cypress) is recommended. This light wood is often used for thick and long bachi. For example, bachi for odaiko and miyake style is made of hinoki (cypress). Bachi for yatai style is also made of this. It fits nicely the player's hand.
Broken bachi damages the skin of the taiko. In that case, purchase new bachi or make the surface of the bachi smooth with the sandpaper.
Bachi bag prevents it from scratches. We have some recommendations. Please check.
4. Playing Style
Bachi made of hinoki (cypress) is used for playing miyake style taiko. It's thick and long but shorter than bachi for odaiko.
As well as bachi for miyake, bachi for yatai style is made of hinoki (cypress). It's a little tapered shape and thicker end is hitting end (thinner end is grip end).
Bachi with tassels on the ends are used for kagaribi style. Player swings it like twirling a baton.
Bachi for children (under 8 years old) should be lighter and shorter than bachi for adults. We recommend bachi in 2.3cm x 37cm (0.9in x 15in). If they are as tall as adults, bachi in 2.5cm x 40cm is recommended.
Taiko video game is popular around the world. There are enthusiastic users play it with their original bachi (called my bachi) at amusement arcade in Japan.
To get high score, bachi with sharper end is recommended. It's easy to do drum rolls. If the wood is too light, the sensor may not be tripped. So, the bachi should be moderate weight and bachi made of ho (magnolia) is recommended. Because the hitting end is sharp, it shouldn't be used for real taiko drums.
Want to know how to hold bachi? See also this article.
Which size should I use? See also this article.
😚Thank you for reading this to the end. Please feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments😉