Questions    15:29 on Sunday, November 01, 2009          

(99 points)
Posted by tuba1

I am thinking about starting to play percussion. I have played the tuba for three years and the sousaphone for three years. Recently I have thought about learning a second instrument. I decided to try percussion. I am in a school band so will talk to my band instructor but I have a few questions first.

1. Is percussion hard to learn with all the instruments?
2. How many instruments are in percussion?
3. Could I learn how to play all the instruments?

Re: Questions    14:33 on Saturday, November 07, 2009          

(99 points)
Posted by tuba1

Someone reply it's not asking that much.

Re: Questions    20:48 on Sunday, November 08, 2009          

(79 points)
Posted by ikqdrum

it's not that no one wants to reply, but you are asking more from us than i think you realize. it's like your asking how many birds are in the world and what colors are they? lol narrow your questioning down a little first : )

Re: Questions    07:55 on Monday, November 09, 2009          

(1279 points)
Posted by JOhnlovemusic

Here is your answer(s) :

I don't know how good your musical skills are, or your motor coordination. I pciked up percussion fairly easily, other good musicians I know still don't get it. It's like sports - look at baseball - some people will never be good pitchers, some people will never be good catchers, some people are meant to only play first base, some outfield. Every now and then there is someone who can do pretty much any position fairly well.

1. Is percussion hard to learn with all the instruments?
Hard? You should be able to get a grip pretty easily, but to actually do all the techniques correctly on all the percussion instruments (and them remember them)? It is challenging and time consuming. I would say at least a full year to learn all the basic rudiments for the snare drum alone.

2. How many instruments are in percussion?
There are 60 (sixty) percussion instruments you will need to learn to have a basic command of the most common percussion instruments. These are the common minimum. If you don't know piano, you will want to learn it as it will make percussion easier for you.

3. Could I learn how to play all the instruments?
Probably not. I doubt you have the patience and commitment to learn them all, or learn them all well enough.

Re: Questions    16:19 on Monday, November 09, 2009          

(99 points)
Posted by tuba1

Oh my apology I will mainly be using the snare drum, bass drum, tambourine, symbols, and the Xylophone. Any advice or information is welcome.

Re: Questions    18:42 on Thursday, December 31, 2009          

(426 points)
Posted by MusicRawks

I've been in percussion for about six year, and I think it is definately possible for to play percussion! It's a ton of fun! You should give it a try!

Challenges for you, coming from tuba, would probably be mallets. You would need to learn treble clef (the only time bass clef is used in percussion is for tympani). When your first learning to play mallets, it feels like a hit'n'miss kind of job. Piano experience really helps. Even if you just work with yourself on a keyboard, I would consider getting to know the piano to help you with percussion.

Snare/bass/cymbals/other auxillary percussion is mostly rhythms in concert season (If you are considering snare, bass, or cymbals for marching season, it would take more work. I do know several people who play bass in marching season and a wind in concert season). It is mainly reading rhythms, but their are some snare tecniques that are difficult.

Personally, I would recomend a few lessons when your just beginning. If you can't afford them or can't find an instructor, maybe there are few good snare players that would tutor you, because I think there are some snare techniques that you may need some help with. Again, I would also work with the piano for help with mallets.

I hope this helps a little! If you have any questions or anything doesn't make sence, message me!

Re: Questions    17:05 on Wednesday, February 17, 2010          

(3 points)
Posted by Jacinthe

I think the most common ones you need to learn are:

1. Timpani
2. Snare Drum
3. Any mallet instruments (bell, xylo, marimba....)
4. Cymbals (both crash and suspended)

Re: Questions    03:44 on Saturday, March 20, 2010          

(1 point)
Posted by Nachtschisma

Percussion, overall, is a lot of work, but it's well worth it. The question is: do you want to master percussion, or do you simply want to know the basics?

The hardest percussion instruments to master are timpani and marimba, and, to a degree, snare drum - or, if you want to include it - trapset.

Timpani - simple enough at first, but when you start using more than one drum, it gets confusing to tune and retune in-between songs. Get a pitch pipe, this will help. Also, you have to use the French Grip on Timpani. It gets even harder when you start employing muting techniques - where the timpanist must find the time and coordination to mute the drum he just hit while simultaneously hitting another timpani. Not too difficult, overall. The hardest part of timpani (except maybe for someone with perfect pitch) comes when you must retune a drum midsong. It's quite difficult to play 7 or so pitches on 4 drums.

Marimba - memorization of pieces is key, because sight-reading is difficult on marimba. Use the German Grip here. Knowing the basics of any keyboard instrument is pretty easy - things like scales and quarter note rhythms. But once you play actual music, things get harder. It takes time to develop the coordination needed for faster melodies, and sticking requires a lot of attention so you don't get anything too awkward. But then you get to a point when you wanna use 4 mallets - which is hard. Pace yourself. I'm no expert yet - I can barely do 4. But stop practicing this when your hands get tired - things like tendonitis can develop if you overdo it. Furthermore, there is a technique for 6 mallets - which I only attempt in my wildest of dreams.

Snare Drum - Gets some of the most complicated rhythms. Lots and lots of practice is required to get things like rolling and flams down. Especially the concert - or triple stroke - roll. Practicing for this instrument is really tedious but it must be done. DO NOT just buzz roll all the time. The number of roll bars above the note actually indicates the type of roll the composer wished. Pay attention to this.

Trapset - this, by far, is the strangest machine. This takes a mix of coordination and anti-coordination. You mix techniques you learn playing the other instruments. This is a customizable instrument, and the subtleties are always changing.

sticking, though, is something you must do right and do well. Find a teacher for this, because it'd be difficult for me to teach you sticking via text.

I hope that helped. The other instruments are easy... enough. Triangle may give you trouble. The best advice I can offer is to practice OFTEN and do not ignore dynamic markings. If the paper says Forte, smack that damn drum at Forte!

Re: Questions    09:58 on Thursday, August 05, 2010          

(2 points)
Posted by fynest-AK

I JUST AS you played a previous brass instrument Bb cornet i now play the percussion majorly the set drum although i still pley the english horn and cornet percussion has added advantage as it is not restricted as for how many percussion instrunent they are i can say cos if i wrote a score for a percussion instrument and wrote a part for cup this makes the cup an instrument i also take classes for other instrument bun in the true sense one can learn many instrument but can never master them all
as teh saying jack of all trade master of none.


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