Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Explore Article Library

Percussion Show Solutions "Shake Well Before Use"

By Mike S.

One of trickiest situations a drummer/percussionists can find themselves in is that of a pit orchestra for a Broadway style show. Tricky because, among other reasons, he or she is often faced with a part that leaves little or no time to switch to a "proper" mallet.

Additionally, they may be asked to combine two percussion parts into one in order to provide the most percussion for the production. Then, by doing so, find that they've created a part that has them bouncing back and forth between two very different instruments. Forget the notes, the challenge becomes which stick or mallet to grab! In my spare time (as if my Day Gig wasn't enough) I freelance in just such orchestras and can offer a few of my solutions to these problems.

Perhaps the most effective and desirable approach is to simplify. Less is more for this setting. One common and effective way to simplify is to seek out multi-percussion sticks or double ended mallets.The most widely know versions of these are known as Swizzle sticks, but many of the companies now offer versions designed to solve the doubling situations that will occur in the a musical score. I personally have never "warmed up" to double ended mallets or sticks, but I do recognize how efficient they can be at tackling the problems that one will face.

Another approach is to look at the mallets in hand and see if they will work on both instruments or at least until another more appropriate mallet can be picked up. For example a bell mallet can be finessed to play a snare drum. Believe it or not with a little practice you can pull off a decent roll. At the very least, a simple Ump-Chick time pattern can be played with such a mallet.

Finally, the method I tend to gravitate towards combines a bit of both of the previously mentioned approaches. I might for example, turn a timpani mallet (wooden handle please!) around and play "time" on the hi-hat with one hand whilst grabbing another stick or mallet in anticipation of the next cue. Often times the part on the instrument can be "skeletally" played/covered and the audience, performers and MD won't notice or be concerned. Ultimately, the seamless shift (which is my goal) from instrument to instrument doesn't draw attention and will often lead to the comment "Wow, I can't believe there's only one percussionist!"

Offered above are some ideas you can try to see what works for you and your particular situation. Once the concepts are understood you may and should start to develop your own unique technique(s). After all "There's more than one way to skin a show" [phrase modified to conform to HUMANE SOCIETY regulations]

About The Author
Mike is currently an employee of Steve Weiss Music, Inc.


Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
Kids & Teens
Public Speaking
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd