TIMPANI

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

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: Timpani Study Guide

Watch the videos below

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

1. What types of pedal systems are most common on timpani?

2. How often should timpani heads be replaced?

3. How should you properly care for the timpani?

4. What are the most common sizes of timpani?

5. Describe the procedure for moving timpani.

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

1. When sitting to play timpani, what are important factors to watch out for?

2. Describe how to best set up the timpani and music stand.

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

1. What are the three common grips for playing timpani?

2. Describe the proper beating area for timpani

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

1. When moving from drum to drum, which hand should you lead with if at all possible?

2. Describe when it is preferrable to use double sticking vs. cross-sticking

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

1. What type of roll should you use when playing timpani?

2. Name all of the factors which will influence the speed of your timpani roll.

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

1. When learning to tune timpani, what is the first and most important skill to practice?

2. Ideally, where would a pitch tuned on the timpani sound its best?

3. Name the proper pitch range for each size timpani

4. When using timpani tuning gauges, what should you look out for?

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

1. When learning to tune timpani, what is the first and most important skill to practice?

2. Ideally, where would a pitch tuned on the timpani sound its best?

3. Name the proper pitch range for each size timpani

4. When using timpani tuning gauges, what should you look out for?

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

1. Why is learning to sing intervals important for a timpanist?

2. Describe “sympathetic resonance”

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

Describe how changing the speed of your stroke can affect tonal color and articulation

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

Explain why it’s important that a timpanist have a wide range of mallets


ESSENTIAL TIMPANI MALLETS


TAKE THE ONLINE QUIZ TO TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE!

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Percussion 101: Timpani

This quiz tests the fundamentals of instrument characteristics, setup, maintenance, implement selection and essential playing techniques for the timpani. 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 / 23

Q.12) In cases where alternating the sticking on drum to drum changes is difficult, you should use cross-sticking instead of double strokes.

2 / 23

What is the best way to muffle a timpani note?

3 / 23

Which is NOT one of the common pedal systems found on timpani?

4 / 23

Which are the most common sizes of timpani?

5 / 23

It is possible to achieve all of the necessary tonal colors and articulations on the timpani with just one pair of mallets.

6 / 23

If the timpani have tuning gauges, it is not necessary to learn to tune by listening and singing pitches.

7 / 23

Which is a proper way to set up the timpani?

8 / 23

How do you determine which hand to "lead" with when moving from one drum to another?

9 / 23

Ideally, where would a pitch tuned on the timpani sound its best?

10 / 23

Never move the timpani by grabbing it by the posts as this will affect the tuning of the drums.

11 / 23

It is not recommended that you sit while playing the timpani.

12 / 23

Which type of roll should you use on timpani?

13 / 23

Which is NOT a common grip for timpani playing?

14 / 23

Which is an example of "sympathetic resonance"?

15 / 23

Which will NOT affect the roll speed necessary to produce the best sound on a timpani?

16 / 23

By changing the speed of your stroke, you can manipulate the tuning of the timpani.

17 / 23

The proper beating area for each size drum is slightly different.

18 / 23

When learning to tune timpani, what is the first and most important skill to practice?

19 / 23

When should you replace your timpani heads? (Select all that apply)

20 / 23

Learning to sing intervals is an important skill to master when tuning multiple timpani from a single reference pitch.

21 / 23

Which is NOT a general maintenance routine that should be performed on the timpani?

22 / 23

You should always position the timpani so that the music stand is in a line between the player and the conductor

23 / 23

If you are asked to tune a C on the timpani (bass clef - 2nd space), which drum would produce the best 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


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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