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Suggested Reading

1. Rehearsal Rooms

Struggling to improve the acoustics in your band room? Check out how the Medan Band did it.

2. Concerned about playing swing music properly?

Check out my guidelines

3. Ear training exercises for bands

Unlike piano players, ear training is essential for wind band performers. But how many band directors bother to give their bands suitable exercises?

4. Intonation problems

While tuning is simple act of adjusting a length of tubing on a wind instrument (often by reference to a single note), intonation is an ongoing process in which a player strives to match the pitch of others in the ensemble during performance. 

5. “Blowing” a wind instrument

A common misconception among wind players is to believe that the air moves through the instrument in order to produce the sound. This is simply not true. 

6. Conducting – suggestions for home practice

The best way for a conductor to improve is in front of a live ensemble. The unfortunate reality, however, is that this is not always possible. Aspiring conductors therefore have little choice but to find other ways of honing their skills.

 

Other Percussion Instruments

There are, of course, a large number of other instruments used in the percussion section.  A short list would include the tambourine, the triangle and the castanets.  Latin American rhythm instruments such as the maracas, woodblock, bongo and cowbell are also popular. 

Tambourines are held steady in one in one hand and struck with the other using either the fleshy part of the fingers, the heel of the hand or the knuckles.  The rim may also be struck with the fingers, timpani sticks or snare drum sticks.  A tambourine can also be shaken or even muted with a handkerchief.

Size determines the general pitch of the triangle. A triangle can be struck with a variety of beaters, including wire coat hangers and even heavy nails.  Most of the time, however, it is more appropriate to use the metal beater specially made for the purpose.  Most playing is done by placing the beater inside the triangle and then striking the base.  The sides may also be struck in faster rhythms.

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