This series of videos will cover all of the fundamentals for instrument characteristics, setup, maintenance, implement selection, and playing techniques for wood blocks and temple blocks.

To get the most out of the content available, we recommend that you download and print a copy of the Percussion 101 Snare Drum Study Guide and fill out the questions as you watch the videos. The questions in the study guide are listed in the order of the content presented in the videos.

After watching the videos and filling out the study guide, you’re ready to test your knowledge by taking our online quiz. The questions and answers on the test randomized and may have slightly different language than the study guide, so we recommend reviewing the material BEFORE attempting the quiz!

Ready to get started?

Download the Percussion 101: Wood & Temple Blocks Study Guide

Watch the videos below


1. Are plastic or synthetic blocks a suitable substitute for wood? Why or why not?

2. Is it recommended to have one sized woodblock?

3. Are wood blocks and temple blocks the same? Why or why not?

4. Describe how to hold the woodblock.

5. When is it appropriate to set the woodblock on a table?

6. Where is the best beating area on the woodblock?

7. What are mallets that you should avoid when playing the woodblock?

8. Do different sizes of woodblock require different mallets? Why or why not?

9. Describe the correct beating area for temple blocks.




Percussion 101: Wood Blocks and Temple Blocks

This quiz tests the fundamentals of instrument characteristics, setup, implement selection and essential playing techniques for wood blocks and temple blocks. Before taking this test, it's recommended that you view the training videos for concert bass drum on the Vic Firth Percussion 101 webpage.

If you pass the quiz with a 70% or higher score, you will be given the option to send or receive a Certificate of completion with the score from the test.  For your privacy, no names or email addresses will be stored, nor will you be added to any marketing or company email lists. This option is purely for your (or your teacher's) use.

We hope that you enjoy using this educational tool. Good Luck!

1 / 6

Which is a true statement about wood blocks?

2 / 6

The best beating area on the woodblock is usually close to the center, directly above the slit.

3 / 6

Which are true statements about playing the woodblock? (Select ALL that apply)

4 / 6

When playing the woodblock, the slit should always be facing towards the player.

5 / 6

Synthetic or plastic blocks are a great substitute for real wood blocks in the concert setting because they produce the same sound and are more durable.

6 / 6

Smaller woodblocks often require harder mallets to produce a bright, characteristic sound.

Thanks for taking the quiz! If you pass the test with a 70% or above, a "Certificate of Achievement" can be emailed to the address that you supply below. For your privacy, no names or email addresses will be collected or stored, nor will your information be added to any marketing campaigns or other email lists.

If you only wish to see your score (without being emailed a certificate), select the "See Result" option without filling in your name and email address.

Your score is



Vic Firth’s Percussion 101 and online tests are a great resource to implement in YOUR curriculum. Please take a moment to read the FAQ to find out more!

The PERCUSSION 101 project is a series of video lessons that provide students and instructors alike with a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental techniques for the most common percussion instruments.

The curriculum for this series was compiled by members of Vic Firth’s Collegiate Educator Program which includes some of the most influential university instructors in the country. The series covers instrument characteristics, maintenance routines, tuning, mallet selection and general playing techniques on the instruments. In addition, rehearsal techniques & exercises will help you to develop a great fundamental percussion program.

This project was originally developed for use in the college percussion methods class – to serve as instruction for non-percussionists who will be charged with teaching percussion in the schools. It quickly developed into a resource to find quick answers to common questions after these students went in the field.

After we began to see what a truly valuable resource this was, we began to integrate study guides and online tests so that percussion students could also take advantage of the information. After all, how much time do you REALLY have in your classroom or private lesson studio to cover all of the percussion instruments fully? Generally, we fix the problems with gaps in knowledge as they occur instead of proactively covering all of our basics!

Whether you are a college percussion methods instructor, a band or orchestra director or a private percussion lesson teacher, we’ve made this resource a valuable “HANDS-OFF” teaching resource! The information for all of the instruments is presented in a series of videos which cover all the fundamentals, so student can watch on their own. Here are some recommendations for implementing this in your curriculum:

AS HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT OR CLASSROOM ACTIVITY: On each instrument “module”, there is a STUDY GUIDE that students can download. This study guide will keep them on-task by asking simple questions on information that was included in the video (in sequential order). Simply assign an instrument to the student (giving him or her the appropriate link on our website), hand them a printed study guide, then collect the study guide as proof that they watched the videos!

AS A TEST: We have constructed a TEST based on the Study Guide (with the questions mixed up and slightly altered). Obviously would like to avoid letting students download the test itself. Send us a note and we’ll be happy to email you a PDF copy that you can print and use in your classroom (to keep students from requesting the test, please email us from a school or ISD email account).

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