Drum Building Tutorials



Okedo are rope drums, where the head is held onto the drum shell by an elaborate system of knotted ropework. Because the heads for these drums are not permanently nailed onto the drum body, they require stitching around the drum head ring. Below is a tutorial on how we made our okedo heads. This tutorial can be used for okedo of all different sizes.

Making an Okedo head, part 1
Making an Okedo head, part 2






This tutorial will assist you in making a simple homemade suwaridai that is easy to make but also sturdy and easily customizable to various drum sizes and playing angles.

Go to the tutorial here






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This tutorial shows you how to make a basic rolling (tate) stand to fit your chu-daiko.

Go to the tutorial here

6 Responses so far.

  1. Chris says:

    This works for shime too. You can use a 1/2″ punch to make the holes, although its unnecessarily difficult to get good cuts, also you have to put in dowels until the heads are very dry.

    I have also pre-stretched skins on a barrel or and old 14~16″ wheel before mounting it on the ring.

    As for the rings, quite a few drum-makers wrap wax paper around it.

    Beautiful tutorial.

  2. Abby Kingman says:

    Thanks for posting these great instructions! My partner built stands for all of Mountain River Taiko :-)

  3. PONZ says:

    Hi, I came across some of your drum building videos on Youtube tonight and was hoping you could help me. I’m an art teacher and total amateur drum maker who chose to dive in big time to help our school’s Taiko program by building a big Odeiko drum. I have a question that I hope you can answer…

    Here is a link to some photos of our project so far: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.760297460684366.1073741840.682346781812768&type=1&l=ee9ad4d90f

    We just got done stretching the buffalo hide this week. Tonight, I came across your video showing how you stretched a drum head in an ottoman; which got me thinking…

    Do we need to do the same to ours? We have not yet hit it with sticks, but it sounds pretty good right now. Is it important to stretch the drum head in this way? ( I can have a couple of kids walk around on it if it is better for it). What happens if we don’t? Can we walk on it now? Is it too late? Did I screw up?

    Thanks for any insight you can give us. This has been a fun learning experience for us. We plan on making another drum next year, so if you see anything we could do better next time, your comments would be very welcome. Thanks, PONZ

    • ShinDaiko says:

      Hi PONZ! Just took a look at your drum photos and the drum looks great. The stretching of the skin in the ottoman was done for a much smaller drum that has its head sewn into a ring. For a large odaiko that has its head tacked onto the drum body itself, you’ll want to use this method: http://www.shindaiko.com/site/2014/01/24/odaiko-construction-part-2/

      The head is stretched using hydraulic jacks, as well as having people walk and stretch the head with their feet.

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