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What kind of sticks are used for each kind of taiko drum?
The answer is, there is no rule. Any type of stick is OK. It's entirely up to the kind of sound you want to make. Generally, however, for larger drums, you want larger sticks because small sticks simply don't bring out the full sound of the drum. For smaller drums, smaller sticks are often used to allow for speedier rhythms, and to bring out a higher pitch.
Depending on the style of play, the shape of stick will also differ. Groups that play "Yatai-bayashi", for example, often use a club-like stick- the hitting end of the stick is much thicker than the part you hold. As "Yatai-bayashi" is played while sitting, there isn't an enormous amount of room for swinging sticks. Thus, the club-like shape- it allows for a heavier hit with minimal stick length. "Odaiko" pieces generally use heavier, longer sticks. The heavier the stick, the bigger the sound. The lighter the stick, the easier it is to do rapid rhythms.
Sticks aren't limited to cylindrical lengths of wood. It's entirely OK to get creative if it produces the sound you want. Ondekoza, for example, uses "futon-tataki" for some of their pieces. A 'futon-tataki' is a stick with a broad end that is used to whack futon mattresses (in order to remove dust). They're flat ends produce a sharper, higher-pitch sound than sticks with cylindrical, rounded ends. Ondekoza also uses "bokuto", or wooden swords. They're very heavy, and difficulty to wield, but produce a much bigger sound than any typical taiko stick.
The same drum can produce a variety of sounds just by changing the size and type of the sticks you use. Each type of stick also allows for a new kind of playing style. So do some experimenting and have fun with the type of sticks you choose to use.
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