Small Drum Essentials

LATIdama Overview

Small Drum Essentials LATIdama evaluation A

Small Drum Essentials LATIdama

Earning the Small Drum Essentials LATIdama indicates proficiency in a set of small-drum (tsukeshime, okedo) skills LATI considers fundamental to small-drum mastery. Specifically, players should be able to:

  • play loud and soft hits confidently with either hand in representative tsukeshime rhythms
  • demonstrate familiarity with common tsukeshime jiuchi (base beats): ten tsuku, ten tsukutsu ken
  • count bars while playing these jiuchi
  • recognize and perform dynamic changes to these patterns
  • be able to confidently repeat rhythms composed of quarter, eighth, and sixteenth-notes at 90+bpm


  1. Copy Cat - Repeat rhythms in call-and-answer format. Four rhythms, each played one time.
  2. Jiuchi - Demonstrate ability to play "ten tsuku" and "ten tsukutsu ten" jiuchi at 90+bpm while counting.
  3. Long Phrase - Decipher and play 4-bar set of tsukeshime rhythms in 3 minutes or less.

Small Drum Essentials LATIdama holders are ready to learn next-level rhythms and small-drum techniques. Good luck and have fun!

For general information on the LATIdama system, see LATIdama.


The evaluation will be graded as follows.

Req 1 - Copy Cat

  • Rhythms are repeated with 90% accuracy.
  • Sticking is matched with 90% accuracy.
  • Timing of quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes is precise.
  • Right and left-hand strike volumes are equal.
  • Grip and arm positions allow relaxed movements.

Req 2 - Jiuchi

  • Individual hits of jiuchi are consistent in tone and volume.
  • Jiuchi maintains a constant tempo.
  • Counting is correct.
  • Dynamics are clear.

Req 3 - Listening

  • By end of allotted time, rhythms are repeated with 90% accuracy.
  • Sticking is matched with 90% accuracy.
  • Dynamics are correct.