Percussion

The Lewisville High School Percussion Cluster is led by Quiyan Murphy.  There are four middle schools, in addition to the high schools, in which Mr. Murphy oversees the percussion program.  We are excited to have him assist with some beginner and 7th grade percussion classes this year at DeLay Middle School!

The DeLay Middle School Percussion program required materials include:
Metronome (online version)
Bell Kit and Practice Pad
Mark Wessels, Fresh Approach to Mallet
Mark Wessels, Fresh Approach to Snare
Innovative Percussion FP2 Mallet Package


Percussion Links:
Percussive Arts Society
Vic Firth
Innovative Percussion
Loan Star Percussion

Percussion Pedagogy:
Speed Notes
Mark Wessels' Lessons
40 Essential Snare Drum Rudiments
Drum Database

Blast! Percussion


More Videos like this can be found at Harvey's YouTube Channel Percussion Playlist.


David Skidmore's Percussion 101

The following are links to the Percussion 101 lessons:

CONCERT BASS DRUM

01: General Characteristics and Maintenance 03: Playing Techniques
Including setup, proper beating area, stroke, mallet selection, muffling, rolls and special effects.
02: Replacing a Bass Drum Head
A guide for replacing a drum head and tuning a concert bass drum. Including basic maintenance issues while the head is off the drum.
Additional Reference:
Tom Gauger's Concert Bass Drum Lesson Series

Legendary percussionist Tom Gauger details many of the techniques involved in concert bass drum performance.



CRASH CYMBALS

01: General Characteristics and Maintenance
Including instructions on how to tie a cymbal strap.
02: Playing Techniques
A guide for playing loud and soft crashes as well as muffling techniques



GONG / TAM-TAM

01: Characteristics, Setup and Maintenance
Covering instrument selection, positioning and general maintenance tips.
03: General Playing Techniques
Presenting the fundamentals of playing the tam-tam, including proper beating area, stroke, muffling and rolls.
02: Mallet Selection
A demonstration of 2 popular mallet choices for the tam-tam.
04: Special Effects
Including suggestions for non-traditional techniques: bowing, scraping and dipping in water.



KEYBOARD PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS

01: Characteristics and Maintenance
Covering the characteristics for all the keyboard instruments, including a discussion of proper beating areas and general maintenance tips for replacing cord, fixing posts and stopping rattle sounds.
06: XYLOPHONE
Specific instrument characteristics and mallet selection choices for the xylophone.
02: Setup and Playing Position
A discussion of general set up tips for all keyboard instruments, including moving around the instrument and feet positioning.
07: GLOCKENSPIEL / BELLS
Specific instrument characteristics and mallet selection choices for the bells.
03: The Grip and Basic Stroke
Instructions for gripping mallets and performing relaxed strokes on all the keyboard instruments. Including mallet positioning on the bars.
08: VIBRAPHONE
Specific instrument characteristics and mallet selection choices for the vibraphone. Including an overview of dampening techniques.
04: Sticking Considerations
General suggestions making sticking choices on all the keyboard instruments. Including when to use double sticking patterns.
09: MARIMBA
Specific instrument characteristics and mallet selection choices for the marimba. Including moving throughout the registers with foot positioning.
05: Rolls
A guide for developing consistent sounding sustained rolls for all the keyboard instruments, as well as how to connect rolls from note to note.
10: CHIMES
Specific instrument characteristics, setup and playing techniques for the chimes.
Additional Reference:
Gary Burton's Vibraphone Masterclass

Legendary jazz vibist Gary Burton gives a detailed video lesson series on the Vibes, from it's history to all of the common playing techniques: 4 mallet grip, stroke, sticking recommendations, pedaling and mallet dampening.
Additional Reference:
Giff Howarth's 4 Mallet Lesson Series

The most extensive reference available online for learning the Musser/Stevens 4 mallet grip for marimba.
Additional Reference:
Speed Note Reading Tutor

An online video game designed to get students reading notes quickly in a fun format. Excerpted from Mark Wessels' “A Fresh Approach to Mallet Percussion” method book.
Additional Reference:
Ney Rosauro's Extended Cross Grip Lesson Series

Renowned performer and composer Ney Rosauro gives an detailed explanation of the extended cross grip, an easy-to-learn method of gripping 4 mallets that immediately applies to all the instruments.
Additional Reference:
Teaching the Beginning Mallet Player

Noted author Mark Wessels discusses the inherent problems with learning to read on the keyboard percussion instruments. Presenting a list of solutions and strategies for developing the musical percussionist.
Additional Reference:
Vic Firth Concert Podcast

The most extensive collection of video performances from percussion soloists and ensembles. A great resource for exposing students of all ages and ability levels to the wide range of musical genres in percussion.



SNARE DRUM

01: Instrument and Head Selection
A demonstration of the most common types of snare drums and suggestions for head selection.
11: Flams
A fundamental approach to playing flams, both single hand and alternating. Including suggestions for playing soft flams and achieving a consistency of sound.
02: Care and Maintenance 12: Sticking Methods
A demonstration of Lead Hand and Alternating sticking methods, including the pros and cons of each system.
03: Head Replacement and Tuning
Covering top and bottom head replacement and maintenance, including detailed instructions on tuning for a good concert drum sound.
13: Ruffs
The basics for playing ruffs: multiple bounce, double bounce, 4 stroke and 5 stroke ruffs. Including a discussion of which type of ruff (and sticking for the ruff) is appropriate for the music.
04: Stick Selection and Characteristic Sound
Including a demonstration of how various playing areas and muffling can effect the sound of the drum.
14: Alternative Sounds
A demonstration of other implements that may be used to achieve a variety of sounds and tonal colors: brushes, dreadlocks and rute.
05: Proper Setup and Playing Position
Setting the drum up to the proper height and position for the best playing posture.
Additional Reference:
Mark Wessels' Beginning Snare Drum Lesson Series

An extensive video lesson series based on ”A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum,” designed as a progressive approach for the beginning student.
06: The Grip
Instructions for gripping the sticks in the matched grip.
Additional Reference:
40 Essential Rudiments

A great resource for practicing your rudiments, with exercises and playalong tracks for each level of student. Including video demonstrations of each rudiment performed open-close-open style by Dr. John Wooton.
07: The Basic Stroke (Rebound / Legato Stroke)
Presenting the fundamental stroke for independent right and left hand strokes independently, as well as three important rudiments: alternating strokes (single stroke roll), double strokes (long roll) and paradiddles.
Additional Reference:
Norm Weinberg's WebRhythms

A series of articles designed to teach rhythm reading from the most basic to very advanced. Includes play along files for various skill levels and downloadable PDF files of the exercises.
08: Roll Fundamentals
An approach to develop the multiple bounce and double bounce roll. Including when multiple and double bounce rolls are appropriate.
Additional Reference:
Mark Wessels’ Rudimental Technique

14 fundamental exercises with video lessons designed for the beginning to intermediate snare drummer.
09: Metered and Unmetered Rolls
Selecting the stroke speed to produce a smooth sustained roll sound. Also including a discussion of various roll bases for different tempos.
Additional Reference:
Jeff Queen's “The Next Level” Rudimental Technique

Exercises and video explanations by rudimental master Jeff Queen that is designed to take the intermediate player to the advanced level.
10: Tied and Untied Rolls
Instructions on how to play rolls that are not tied to a release note
 



SUSPENDED CYMBAL

01: Instrument Selection and Playing Techniques
Selecting a good suspended cymbal, picking a suspended cymbal mallet Including basic stroke, rolls and muffling techniques.
02: Maintenance and Specialty Sounds
Covering a discussion of stand types as well as alternative implements and bowing techniques.



TIMPANI

01: Instrument Characteristics and General Maintenance
An overview of the timpani and tips how to maintain and transport the instrument. Including an extensive article on replacing timpani heads.
09: Articulation and Stroke Speed
Using stroke speed to create more articulation without changing mallets.
02: Setup
Suggestions for properly positioning the drums, music stand and mallet tray.
10: Mallet Selection
An overview of some of the sound possibilities possible using a variety of mallets.
03: Grip and Basic Stroke
Presenting the fundamentals of gripping the sticks (French, German, American), proper beating area and playing with a relaxed, full stroke.
Additional Reference: Interval Recognition Chart
A collection of tunes for all of the intervals, ascending and decending.
04: Sticking Considerations
A discussion of alternating, leading-hand, cross-over and double sticking techniques.
Additional Reference: Replacing/Clearing Timpani Heads
Including complete instructions on replacing a timpani head, clearing (tuning) it, and adjusting the pedals.
05: Rolls
Suggestions for developing a relaxed sustaining roll sound on timpani. Including a discussion of roll speed and moving from drum to drum.
Additional Reference: Tim Genis Timpani Clinic
Presented at the 2007 PAS International Convention by Tim Genis (timpanist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra)
06: Muffling
The basics for stopping the sound with the fingers, including muffling for note length and for clarity.
Additional Reference: Stuart Marrs on Elliott Carter
Watch Stuart perform and examine “March” from Elliott Carter's “Eight Pieces for Four Timpani”
07: Tuning
Learning to sing and hear pitches as well as transferring the pitch to the drum. Including finding the best drum for a given pitch.
Additional Reference: Recovering Timpani Mallets
Including an instructional video on how to recover your Vic Firth American Custom® Timpani mallets.
08: More Tuning Recommendations
Covering other tuning topics: singing intervals, tuning with a tuning fork, sympathetic resonance and tuning etiquette.
 



TAMBOURINE

01: Instrument Characteristics and Striking Techniques
A discussion of the basic playing techniques for playing slow and fast rhythmic passages on the tambourine. Including various striking techniques to get a wide variety of sounds.
02: Rolls
A guide for learning to play shake rolls and thumb rolls. As includes how to play crescendo rolls.



TRIANGLE

01: Instrument Selection and Playing Techniques
Including suggestions for selecting a triangle, clip and beater as well as general playing techniques and muffling.
 



WOOD BLOCKS AND TEMPLE BLOCKS

01: Characteristics and Playing Techniques
Covering instrument and mallet selection as well as general playing techniques.
 

 


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