--Photo by Thiophene_Guy
As I talked about in this previous post, taiko drums are darn expensive. It's a big barrier to anyone who's interested in playing/learning or starting a group.
I mentioned a few ways one might obtain drums, and one of them was renting.
I received a few emails about renting taiko drums recently, and the fact is, there really aren't a lot of renting options out there right now.
Big companies like Asano and Miyamoto do rent out drums, and they're definitely the best you'll find in terms of quality. The issue of course, is cost. If there's a cheap alternative in your home-country, that'd obviously be best.
There are a few music stores in the US and other countries that have a stock of taiko drums available for rental. But these aren't common, and in the likely case they're not very close to you geographically, shipping costs and shipping times may not be ideal.
My suggestion is to consult nearby taiko groups. Taiko groups know your pain- getting drums is tough and expensive. So they'll have sympathy, and will hopefully be willing to talk to you about it.
However, because they know how tough it is, they will also be a little apprehensive about dishing out their precious drums. Even if you're a perfectly trustworthy person, there are issues of liabilities. Accidents happen.
But, in the growing age of collaborative consumption, maybe it's time to think of inter-group rentals/lending as a real option. I think taiko groups should at least think about the possibility of renting/lending drums, and those wanting to borrow shouldn't feel so apprehensive about just asking.
In the end it's a matter of trust. It'd be best if you can talk to members of other taiko groups in person, or at least by phone, and have an honest talk about it. Even professional taiko groups will reach out to other pro or amateur groups in times of need. It's nothing bizarre.
What's important is to show that you're trustworthy and responsible. Be clear about how you intend to transport/ship the drums, the dates of rental/borrowing, where/how you will store them, and how you intend to use them. Do know, however, that you'll have to be willing to take responsibility in the unfortunate case of accidental damage. After all these talks you should be able to come up with something mutually agreeable.