KEYBOARD PERCUSSION

This series of videos will cover all of the fundamentals for instrument characteristics, setup, maintenance, implement selection and playing techniques for the common keyboard percussion instruments.

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: Keyboard Percussion Study Guide

Watch the videos below

AFTER YOU'VE WATCHED THE VIDEO, SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS:

1. What is the best place on the bar to play most keyboard percussion instruments?

2. What can you do to keep your keyboard instruments in their best shape?

3. When restringing the bars on the keyboard, what is the best string to use?

4. Describe maintanance routines that should be performed on keyboard instruments.

AFTER YOU'VE WATCHED THE VIDEO, SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS:

1. What is the best position for the music stand on most keyboard instruments?

2. When moving up and down the keys on large instruments, what is the best way to position your body?

AFTER YOU'VE WATCHED THE VIDEO, SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS:

1. Describe the best general grip and stroke for keyboard performance.

2. How are mallets best positioned on the bar when playing alternating strokes?

AFTER YOU'VE WATCHED THE VIDEO, SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER THIS QUESTION:

How do you decide which sticking to use on a particular keyboard passage?

AFTER YOU'VE WATCHED THE VIDEO, SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS:

1. What type of rolls are used on keyboard percussion instruments?

2. When moving from one rolled note to another, which are important considerations?

AFTER YOU'VE WATCHED THE VIDEO, SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS:

1. What are some important considerations to make when selecting mallets for any keyboard instrument?

2. Why is it important to have a wide selection of mallets for each keyboard instrument?

AFTER YOU'VE WATCHED THE VIDEO, SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS:

1. If a bar on a glockenspiel does not produce a long, sustaining sound, what is a likely problem that needs to be fixed?

2. Where is the best playing position on the bar for the bells?

3. What are 3 types of mallets that you can use on the bells?

AFTER YOU'VE WATCHED THE VIDEO, SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS:

1. What are two ways to muffle notes on the vibes?

2. What type of mallets should you use on the vibes to produce the best characteristic sound?

AFTER YOU'VE WATCHED THE VIDEO, SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER THIS QUESTION:

Describe a selection of mallets that you can use on the marimba to produce a great sound in all the registers.

AFTER YOU'VE WATCHED THE VIDEO, SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER THIS QUESTION:

Detail the best setup and playing position for the chimes


ESSENTIAL KEYBOARD MALLETS


TAKE THE ONLINE QUIZ TO TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE!

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Percussion 101: Keyboard Percussion Instruments

This quiz tests the fundamentals of instrument characteristics, setup, maintenance, mallet selection and essential playing techniques for the most common keyboard percussion instruments. 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 / 20

Which is the best playing position for the chimes, music stand and the performer in an ensemble?

2 / 20

Which type of mallet will NOT produce a characteristic sound for most vibraphone playing?

3 / 20

When restringing the bars on the keyboard, a coated cable works best because it is the most durable.

4 / 20

You should never use a brass or aluminum mallet on the bells because it will damage the instrument.

5 / 20

When moving up and down the keys on large instruments, what is the best way to position your body?

6 / 20

When gripping the mallets, the shaft of the mallet should be allowed to move freely between the palm of the hand and the fingers.

7 / 20

When playing alternating strokes on a keyboard, the right hand mallet should always be placed above the left mallet so that both mallet heads can fit on the bar.

8 / 20

What is the best place on the bar to play most keyboard percussion instruments?

9 / 20

What is a good maintenance routine that can be performed on the keyboard?

10 / 20

When playing on the accidentals of the bells, the best general playing area is the very edge closest to the naturals.

11 / 20

Which are acceptable ways of muffling notes on the vibraphone? (Select all that apply)

12 / 20

When playing any keyboard percussion instrument, always position the music stand at eye level so that you have a direct line of sight to the conductor.

13 / 20

When moving from one rolled note to another rolled note, which is NOT an important consideration?

14 / 20

When selecting a mallet for any keyboard percussion instrument, you want to make sure that the mallet head is not harder than the keys.

15 / 20

Why is it important to have a wide selection of mallets for each keyboard instrument?

16 / 20

When deciding on which sticking to use on a particular keyboard passage, which are good considerations? (Select all that apply)

17 / 20

What type of rolls are used on keyboard percussion instruments?

18 / 20

If a bar on a glockenspiel does not produce a long, sustaining sound, what is a likely problem that has a simple fix?

19 / 20

A marimba should only be played with soft yarn mallets because the bars are softer than a xylophone.

20 / 20

What can you do to keep your keyboard instruments in their best shape? (Select all that apply)

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


PLAYER FAVORITES:


TEACHERS:

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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