top of page



Percussion is a second conductor of the band.  It's important for percussionists to practice being precise with the beat with a metronome to help keep the whole ensemble steady.  Like everyone in the ensemble no instrument should stick out over any other.  Playing music is collaborative and awesome and inspiring to others when played well.


Mallets include Orchestra Bells, Chimes, Xylophone, Vibraphone and Marimba.  They are called Mallets because they are all played with Mallets whether hard, medium, soft or yarn.


Orchestra Bells 

The Xylophone, Vibraphone and Marimba have resonating tubes that hang below.

The Marimba is much bigger and the bars are usually made of rosewood.  The shape of the tubes beneath can vary.  

Percussion 1  Bass & Snare Drums
snare drum.gif
bass drum.gif

The snare drum was originally called the side drum, because the player would carry it around his waist and played off to the side. The snare drum is shaped like a cylinder, with skin stretched over its top. The "snare" is a set of wires or strings strung across the bottom of the drum. This rattling helps to produce the snare drum's special sound

play po.jpeg

Make sure you are relaxed standing with arms angled down, elbows bent slightly.  The drum sticks or mallets meet in the middle like a V shape.  Feet are about a foot apart.  Elbows should be relaxed and slightly away from your body.

Cleaning Care

Need to put away percussion 2 equipment to protect it, turtle wax for cymbals, microfiber cloth to clean them with about once a month.

Best Quality Drum Heads
snare drum top.gif

A quality drumhead can make a big difference after someone has been playing for 3 months with consistent practice.  It sounds better when someone knows what they are doing.  REMO, Pearl, Ludwig

Percussion Websites

Chimes                         Snare Drum     Bass Drum         Cymbals                 Timpani                         
DSO Kids is the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's site.  It's mission is to provide attractive, child-friendly resources that introduce symphonic music, the orchestra and its instruments, and to encourage both adults and young people to explore the symphony orchestra.

Percussion Rudiments

Science of Snare

Listen to Percussionists

Tito Puente
Buddy Rich
Ringo Starr 
Beatles rock drummer

Evelyn Glennie Scottish Percussionist, deaf

4 timpani.jpg

Timpani is also known a kettle drum.  There are often 4 drums and they are usually made of copper.  Most modern timpani are pedal timpani and can be tuned quickly and accurately to specific pitches by skilled players through the use of a movable foot-pedal. They are played by striking the head with a specialized mallet called a timpani mallet. Timpani evolved from military drums to become a staple of the classical orchestra by the last third of the 18th century. Today, they are used in many types of ensembles, including concert bandsmarching bandsorchestras, and even in some rock bands.

bottom of page