Beta Essentials

LATIdama Overview

Earning the Beta Essentials LATIdama indicates proficiency in a set of skills LATI considers fundamental to beta mastery. Specifically, recipients of the Beta Essentials LATIdama are able to play a LATI-curated set of rhythms with acceptable sticking, form, strike control, dynamics, and musicality. Recipients are able to learn and practice new beta patterns effectively.

For detailed information on the LATIdama system, see LATIdama.

In order to receive this LATIdama, you must complete the following Requirements.

  1. Demonstrate your ability to play an oroshi with acceptable form and control.
  2. Demonstrate learning, practicing, and playing the Challenge Phrase.

Requirement 1 Instructions
Video-record yourself playing an oroshi - starting at around 40BPM, the player shall gradually speed up to the fastest roll that they can comfortably play, slow down to end back at around 40BPM. The whole oroshi should last 30-40 seconds to allow the listener to evaluate form and strike control at any given speed.

Recording yourself playing while following the sample oroshi video is acceptable.

Requirement 2 Instructions
Video-record yourself watching, learning, and practicing the Challenge Pattern for five minutes. You may pause, repeat, rewind, slow-mo, and otherwise use the teaching video as desired, but the entire session of seeing the video for the first time, deciphering, learning, and practicing the pattern, must be video recorded. This video of you LEARNING THE PHRASE will be your submission for Requirement 2.

Prepare your space to allow you to easily watch and manipulate the teaching video as well as access the drum. You are welcome to use a tire or other substitute for the taiko. Place a video camera at a suitable distance to capture both the watching of the video and your practice for the full five minutes. Start the timer or check the clock time and begin the five-minute session.

IMPORTANT! Do not watch the following video until you have read the instructions, prepared your space, and started the video camera recording yourself. While tempting, sneaking a peek is not in your best interest! You can't fake learning a phrase for the first time. Be honest with yourself.

Challenge Pattern password: iamrecordingnow

Requirement 3 Instructions

Answer the following LATIdama Evaluation question.

  1. Did this Evaluation adequately measure your skill level? If not, why?

How to submit your evaluation

See the "How to submit your Evaluation" section at

Evaluation Checklist for email submission

  1. Include your full name in the email.
  2. Include your login email address for / (Non-LATI students can create a user account at no charge here.
  3. Requirement 1 - Link to video of you performing Oroshi (remember to include password if video is not publicly viewable)
  4. Requirement 2 - Link to video of you learning the Challenge Phrase

The evaluation will be graded as follows.

Req 1 Oroshi

  • Form
    • Stance is confident, balanced
    • Player "addresses" instrument
    • Shoulders relaxed, head in line with spine (good posture)
  • Large, independent strikes (slower than approx ???bpm)
    • Aesthetically-pleasing "apex" position
    • Sufficient elbow bend
    • Proper wrist rotation angle ("karate chop")
    • Relaxed grip
    • Bachi rebound
  • Large, "simultaneous" strikes (??? - ???bpm)
    • Upstroke is extended
    • Upstroke moves independently of striking arm
  • Medium strikes (???-???bpm)
    • Small strikes (faster than approx. ???bpm)
    • Stance and arm positions relaxed, strikes executed with arms stretched to the fullest according to speed.

    • Right and left hand strikes independent, yet equal in movement and dynamics.
    • Transfer of movement-foci transitioned well: shoulder - elbow - wrist.

    Req 2 Challenge Pattern (100BPM)

    • By end of allotted time, movements are repeated with 90% accuracy.
    • Performance demonstrates awareness of basics and facility of dynamics.
    • Performance demonstrates ability to maintain consistent pulse.
Supplemental Materials: