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Thread: Some advice from Tuned Percussion experts?

  1. #1
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    Default Some advice from Tuned Percussion experts?

    I'm learning Flight of the Bumblebee for Marimba and haven't had my percussion lesson in a while, so I haven't been able to ask him some pretty important questions.

    I've not got any queries on my pace, or dynamics, but I'm a tad unsure on a few areas:

    1) What type of mallets should I use?
    2) How should I hold my mallets? (e.g tight, loose, held at the end or nearer the middle etc.)
    3) Where should I stand? (e.g near the marimba, facing straight ahead etc.)

    Any advice that you can give me will be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Member Kezza's Avatar
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    Well I'm no expert but I can tell you what my teacher says to me.

    1. This all depends on what you want it to sound like and what you have available to you.
    2. Don't hold them to tight, stay relaxed keep a good open Fulcrom. And the pro percussionists I know laugh when they see people holding the mallets halfway up. So I wouldn't do that.
    3. Have you been taught where to stand when playing solo snare drum? It's exactly the same. Not too close. Keep your upper arm by your sides and just bend the elbows. Then put the Mallets in the middle of the bar and that's where you should stand. My teacher kills me when ever I walk around so avoid that as much as possible unless your playing a big concert Marimba and don't have much of a choice. He tells me to move at my hips if you understand what I mean.

    What you could also do is just call your teacher or send them an e-mail and ask them. They won't mind.

    Hope I've been some help.
    Last edited by Kezza; Jun-03-2008 at 15:13. Reason: Spelling
    "The next few years of your life are going to be hard and miserable if you want to be good" - My percussion teacher..
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    Thanks, I've been practicing for a while now and I don't want to slip into any bad habits. I've been stuck at 105 beats per minute for ages. I don't know what it is about that number but I can play it perfectly at any slower speed, but as soon as I get to 105 beats per minute it gets sloppy. Perserverance!

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    Member Kezza's Avatar
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    Count out loud. It really really helps. You'd be amazed. Just play at the slower tempo first counting 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a etc out loud. You'll learn the notes more quickly and you'll be able to follow the music a lot easier. I'm currently learning Bach Two inventions #4 (both parts) and I learned it very quickly.

    Don't forget to take a rest or play something different while your practicing or you'll just get more frustrated with yourself when you can't play it.

    Happy Practising

    "The next few years of your life are going to be hard and miserable if you want to be good" - My percussion teacher..
    Damn

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    What type of mallets should I use?
    Considering RK didn't have Marimba (eww.... do it on xylophone!!!) in mind, that is up for interpretation.

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    All the xylophones available to me are too small to cover the range of notes I need, so it has to be marimba. I don't mind though, Marimba sounds great!

    It's not really keeping up the speed or remembering the piece that trips me up- I can do those well- it's just that I keep on hitting wrong notes. I've never been so determined to learn a piece though, so I'm just going to keep practicing.
    It was arranged for violin and piano, but it was easy enough to re-arrange for Marimba and piano.

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    i start with matched grip in the old french style (thumbs inside). some may use german grip, thumbs atop.

    dj

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    Member Kezza's Avatar
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    German grip wth is that lol. Never heard of it.
    How big are the xylophones available to you
    My xylo is 4 octaves

    I know 1 guy who is a jazz drummer and he plays mallet percussion using Traditional grip...
    I think that's a bit weird.
    "The next few years of your life are going to be hard and miserable if you want to be good" - My percussion teacher..
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    It's a bit hard to picture in my head, but I think the xylophones are about 2-3 octaves, and the marimbas are.....4 or 5 octaves? I think our school's actually quite lucky for the amount of of percussion instruments we have, considering we're a pretty average town school in Scotland, so I'm quite content with my marimba!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kezza View Post
    German grip wth is that lol. Never heard of it.
    .
    ?? amazing that you haven't.
    it's a timp technique i've seen some adapt to keyboard percussion.

    dj

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    practice a cromatic scale on 108 and 112

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    I am not a marimba player ( I am a Santursit) but my feeling is that you have to use semi-hard mallets to let the notes come out. if you go for the classic soft marimba mallets it sounds too muddy.

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