Nagado daiko is the most popular type of taiko also called miya daiko and odaiko. The best material is keyaki wood, Japanese zelkova wood. There are a wide range of the nagado daiko from the low price one to the excellent one. In addition, the metal parts are also important in the respect of the look.
Type of the Body Structure:
Kurinuki (Hollowed-out): It is original structure, which is made of one piece of wood. It's the excellent because of not only the beautiful grain of the wood but also the deep and reflecting sounds produced inside the thick and hard wood.
Shusei (Stave Shell): It is constructed by wooden boards. There are not so many suitable wood for kurinuki available in these days. Also, based on the high technique to make the taiko as good as the kurinuki taiko, shusei type is becoming popular. It has relatively reasonable price and the light weight is one of the reason why it's popular.
Material of the Body:
Keyaki (Japanese zelkova): Keyaki is the best material of the taiko body.
Meari (The second best material): Meari is the term for the second best material such as tamo (ash) and sen (Kalopanax).
Other Material: Other than keyaki and meari, there are some taiko made of the various wood.
Diameter of the drum head represents the size of the taiko except for the shime daiko.
Old unit of measurement in Japan, shaku is used for the taiko size. 1 shaku is about 30cm and about 1 feet. Actually, another unit of sun is also used in Japan (as 1 shaku 1 sun) but sun is not used in this website to make it simple. 1 sun is 1/10 shaku.
1.5 shaku is the most popular size for the adult. The bigger the taiko is, the louder it sounds. Also, the bigger the taiko is, the taller it is. The body height of the nagado daiko is calculated to multiply 1.25 - 1.3 by the diameter of head (we use the rate of 1.25). Children is hard to play the tall taiko and we recommend to choose the appropriate size depending on the player.