Don’t Forget the Percussion

Mike Lawson • May 2022Playing Tips • May 2, 2022

Adding percussion to your daily warmup routine will engage those musicians from the beginning of the rehearsal.  Consider doubling the woodwinds on keyboard percussion instruments.  Direct them to concentrate on implement and strike technique. In addition, they should focus on timbre/tone production with a careful and consistent playing zone on the individual mallet bars.

The development of your percussion musicians also requires engagement in the ensemble rehearsal from the beginning. Be sure to include the percussion in discussions regarding balance and blend. They should know what musical lines in the winds they support with their individual parts. I suggest letting them experiment with implements, strike technique and playing zones to find the percussive timbres that blend the best in the current musical scenario. Teaching the percussionists to listen across the ensemble is crucial for their musical success!

Joseph Canzano
Tampa, FL

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