A Conductor’s Guide to Percussion: A Demonstration of Timpani Methods

2011Symposium_1_2I thought today before going on to the next percussion instrument, I would show you some of what I talked about for timpani in action. This clip demonstrates matched grip, rolls, several dynamic levels, and use of different mallets. The sticks contact the drum about four inches from the rim, and leave the drumhead immediately after contact. Even when playing loudly, he does not raise the mallets high above the drum, but uses a more powerful stroke. This allows him to play fast and to move from one drum to the other in time. He frequently muffles drums, sometimes ones he hasn’t played to stop sympathetic vibrations. His body is visibly relaxed, and his arms easily move in an out. He has positioned himself in the center of the timpani, so all drums are easily reachable.

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