Practice Shime (sitting Style)




Introduction: Practice Shime (sitting Style)

About: I have a FB page called "DIY Taiko". I am a classical trained composer, taiko player, and sound engineer. Most of my DIY are creative solution to a frugal living style. Sometimes it's just easier t...

This was built to practice shime in ohayashi style while sitting in seiza position.

The aim is to practice Edo Bayashi quietly at home. The style of playing required to seat in seiza style (sitting on your feet) which is very common for Japanese, but a hardship to many who didn't grow up with it. Even so, my training has always been in seiza, it doesn't feel right to not sit like that.

Attached pictures are taken from Miyamoto Unosuke, a taiko manufacture company in Japan.

Step 1: WARNING!!

This Instructable includes bending pvc pipe using kitchen stove. I have done this on gas and electric stove.


It certainly smells, and the gas is supposed to be poisonous. I have never felt sick from the smell, but there's risk for sure. Understand the risk, and decide whether you'd do it or not.

If bending pvc pipe is not for you, you can buy 45 degrees fittings, which however limits you to have one angle only. Bending the pvc pipe yourself gives you freedom in choosing angle of your choice.

Step 2: Material + Tools

- 3/4" PVC pipe, schedule 40 (white). You can certainly use schedule 80 (grey), just slightly more expensive and the joints' still gonna be white…

Length: Around 7 feet (I used 62")

- (6) x 3/4" PVC 90 degrees elbow

- A tool to cut PVC: PVC cutter or a saw

- Few stripes of Duct Tape

If you decide to bend the PVC pipe:

- Some rounded / angled surface where you can safely bend PVC while it's soft and hot

Metal or wood should be fine. Here I used my kettle bell (which is basically a chuck of steel)

If you are not bending the PVC pipe:

- (2) x 3/4 PVC 45 degrees elbow

Step 3: Decide the Measurement


Note: I built mine as to simulate a shime. If you would like to simulate an odaiko, adjust accordingly.

Suggested measurement for the PVC pipes (can also refer to the picture):

- (4) x 8": the width of the practice shime

- (2) x 15": desired height where the bending starts + bending area (1-2") + length of drum head (= width) + extra buffer space (~2"). In my case, it's 4" + 1" + 8" + 2" = 15"

* I underestimated the height of the shime, and had to extend with couplers; it's always easier to cut excess than to extend. So feel free to add more buffer space.

All length are suggested, feel free to improvise.

Step 4: If You Choose to Not Bend PVC

Refer to the drawing!

- (4) x 8" pipe

- (2) x 10 - 12" pipe

- (2) x 4" pipe

All length are suggested, feel free to improvise.

Step 5: PVC Bending

First of all, put together two of an 8" pipe and a 90 degree elbow**. They will help the bending process, as well as the base of the drum.

At the 15" pipes, mark the area you are planing to bend, which is 1 - 2" higher than the desired height.

Place them over gas or electric stove, focus to heat the marked area. Keep them turning for few minutes until the pipe get soft, beware not to get too close to the heat!

When the marked area is soft enough, it's time to bend the pipe! Notice the pipe could deform when it's soft. To make sure the pipe ends remain round for the fitting, plug the pipes to the other end of the 90 degree elbows** we prepared just now.

Refer to the picture and see how I bent the pipes! Keep them both align so they are bending the same angle! Bend the pipes slowly while it's still warm and soft, then hold still until the pipe cool down and harden!

Because I was bending on a relatively small area, the bends flattened a bit. If you want to keep the pipe rounded at all times, you can try to fill the pipe with sand. However, this method is mainly used for a bigger curve. Bending sharply like this requires extra stretch on some area. Hmm, I think it's fine though, you are not gonna play hard on this drum anyway.

Step 6: Assembly

After the bending is done and cooled down, you an assemble the rest of the pieces (top and bottom).

I thought about saving some pipes and elbows by skipping the bottom part. But I realized it's necessary to keep the tension for the duct tape (next step).

Step 7: Tape!

The whole reason about using duct tape is that it's quieter than packaging tape. It does get very fluffy while stretched in long length (such as a practice taiko), but actually fine to stretch across 8".

From my experience, taping an "X" is more effective than horizontal + vertical. If you look at the picture, you can see I had to tape the top because the horizontal stripe gets fluffy. Since you only need to hit one spot (center), making a "cross" would produce a well tension center space for hitting.

Step 8: Done!


Ignore my amateur playing!

Since PVC is very light, I use a free weight to stable the drum; real drums are obviously a lot heavier and more stable. Alternatively, one could put sand to the bottom pipes. However, I am not sure how stable the limited amount of sand could produce.

Step 9: Update! Go Crazy!

Here comes an upgraded 3 surface practice set!

Check out the picture!

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    3 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Looks great, if you fill you pipe with sand before you heat it, the pipe will not buckle.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Yes, I mentioned this in the bending step too!


    4 years ago

    This was very interesting! Nice job