The natural way of Wadaiko

"Always when I thought I understood something my teachers pointed out new possibilities to me, or that things should or could be different. They showed me things I didn't know existed. As a student, how can you know what you want to learn? After all, you don't know anything yet... It has been my greatest lesson and it has given me my clearest insights."

Erwin Oudshoorn was trained by the drummers of KODÕ. Sinds 1993 geeft hij met Circle Percussion slagwerkconcerten over de hele wereld. Na verloop van tijd is hij deze ervaring gaan delen door middel van zijn zelfontwikkelde taiko-workshops -en trainingen.

"Taiko playing inspires me. After many hundreds of concerts, I feel more and more driven to transmit the art of taiko. My professional training as a musician and my extensive music didactical background certainly contribute to this."

With his energetic and relaxed playing, combined with his seemingly effortless and loose way of conveying, you will experience great taiko training with Erwin. He always knows how to find ways to make you rise above yourself.


"You learn taiko drumming from experience. Above all, you have to train a lot. No teacher can help you do that. Sometimes you just need the right instructions. I teach you to hit without 'hitting' and to move without 'moving', i.e. without straining yourself frenetically. This is how you learn to play freely. Space is created in yourself, allowing your authentic performance to develop naturally. Have fun, enjoy what you are doing. Let go of the idea of achievement. Enjoy failure, see mistakes as perfect imperfections that give way to your creativity and contribute to the development of your play. Be aware of your surroundings, your fellow players, your audience. Thus taiko drumming expands your awareness, which also has an effect on your daily life."


In Japanese arts, the essence is often in simplicity. That simplicity goes into infinite depth. To keep it simple, you have to study infinitely. You need the right mindset. It takes complete dedication both physically and mentally to develop your technique and expand your insights. Your state of mind is all about how you feel on the stage floor, how you move and how you act. This is an important starting point for Erwin.

"We tend to think of taiko drumming as 'macho drumming'. That you can let out your aggression nicely... However, that is a big misconception. Playing Japanese drums is a very delicate business where your head and your body merge. Without that interaction, you wont get too far. Souplesse and a natural posture are very important".

What I do and who for

By KODÕ member Ryutaro Kaneko, Erwin learned the Yurumi-Daho he developed, playing according to the natural way. His workshops are highly regarded internationally. Erwin sees the principle of Yurumi-Daho as the core of taiko playing, the essence, the starting point.

During a training Yurumi-Daho, Erwin mainly uses alternative means. For many, this is surprising. You wouldn't expect a taiko workshop without drums. Yet it works very enlightening! You will discover that playing taikos is not directly based on choreography, but rather based on the physically logical way, similar to a bird flying or a fish swimming.

"I like to use metaphors: Shoulders of the monkey, elbows of the mantis (acupuncture attack), Flexibility of sea weed and bamboo… and… be water! Because water flows freely, always follows its natural path and doesn't cling to anything".

Erwin now delivers his trainings from an intuitive 'knowing'. He is an inspirator by excellence and has developed a quirky and highly effective methodology for his taiko trainings. He will never take the easy way out, not for himself but also not for the group. He puts in maximum effort for maximum results and, as a result, really knows how to connect people.

In his down-to-earth training sessions, Erwin likes to talk more about this.

For anyone who still has doubts: “It will blow your mind!”