Drummers are percussionists too


Well into the teaching term now and already some of the drum pupils are asking about when they will be playing percussion again. Introducing the sounds of percussion into the drum lessons has inspired most of the students to consider the possibility of creating different timbres from instruments and listening to music from other cultures. This is all achieved by using hand percussion instruments and showing them ways to produce consistent sounds rather than just letting them ‘have a go’ as is often the case with the percussion trolley.

Limited resources in most schools means that most of the students will not be able to try timpani or tuned percussion, although some whole class teaching now uses glockenspiels, but much of this is taught in isolation. Ideally whole class percussion would have a mix of pitched and unpitched instruments to work with to facilitate a percussion ensemble rather than the narrow experience of a bells band, samba group or djembe circle.

Drums working with percussion and visa versa is an important introduction to the concept of working with others in band situations and my students that gain experience playing in bands progress much quicker than those that work on their own. As a band usually has one drummer, and drums as a study area is becoming more popular, sharing the chair and adding percussion at other times is a way to give more players this ensemble experience and some teaching of how to play the percussion instruments properly will make this experience far more rewarding.

With this in mind I have collected together my six ‘percussion for beginners’ titles for the novice percussionist. All my most recent music is now published online at https://payhip.com/prbpnews with 60 titles and growing.

The six titles cover simple, basic, rhythm reading with special dispensation for early technique limitations and instrument availability. The tuned percussion parts could be performed on any two from glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone, tubular bells or marimba, even piano at a push, only two timpani are needed (no pedals required and kit tom toms could be substituted as a start) and the rhythm quartets can be performed on the drums from a separated kit, using the body, with hand percussion instruments or any mix of the above.

The six titles are:

Four sessions for hand percussion https://payhip.com/b/adWR

Dozens of Duets for Timpani and Drum Book 1 https://payhip.com/b/to6X

Four sessions for tuned percussion https://payhip.com/b/ShPn

Dozens of Duets for Keyboard Percussion Book 1 https://payhip.com/b/sSkd

Dozens of Duets for Drums Book 1 https://payhip.com/b/qHwg

Rhythm Quartets Book 2 https://payhip.com/b/m8ZM

These six downloads contain over sixty-six different works for percussion and all for less than £6.00 including taxes.

Introducing the whole family of percussion to drummers can open up their imagination to many musical possibilities and I hope you find time for this during your lessons.

© P.R.Birkby 2017


About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
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