Percussion Education Weekly Reads 11/8/15

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PASIC week is here! Each November, percussionists from all over the world congregate at a convention center to watch clinics, attend masterclasses and clinics and talk about the new developments in the percussion world. It is a great time to catch up with old friends and meet new friends as well as see the new percussion products on the exhibit floor. As many of you know, I am the Percussion Product Manager for Yamaha Percussion. If you are going to be at PASIC, please stop by the booth and say hi. I look forward to meeting readers of this blog. Below is some reading for the plane ride. Enjoy! (more…)

Tongue and Groove by Robert Paterson

Tongue and Groove by Robert Paterson
Performed by Micheal Barnes and Liz Cullen

The title, Tongue and Groove, is borrowed from carpentry, and is a method of fitting similar objects together edge to edge. It also refers to the rhythmic interaction between the instruments and to how the different lines precisely follow each other.

The marimba part in the original version of this work uses six mallets. In order to allow percussionists who are unfamiliar with six mallet technique to play this piece, I created this four mallet version. The only difference between the two is that I removed a few notes here and there, but the essential feel is the same.

Tongue and Groove is also available in a four mallet version, and both versions were commissioned by CASE Arts Group Inc. and a consortium of performers.

Percussion Education Weekly Reads 11/1/15


Happy November. I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween. I had a great time with the family and my kids collected more candy than I thought was possible. November also means that the semester is coming to an end, recitals are happening, PASIC is only a week away and there is only 52 more shopping days until Christmas. Who is going to PASIC? If you are at PASIC, be sure to come by and say hi. Enjoy this week’s reads. Leave a comment below with recommendations for me to read. (more…)

Website Review:



If you are looking for a drum catalogue, look no further. The Internet Drum Archive exists to provide a source of reference material for vintage and collectable drums and percussion throughout the world. The are other sources of historical percussion information on the internet (check out the Deagan Resource) but this is the most comprehensive collection of catalogues that I have ever seen. If you have any catalogues you want to contribute, please make sure to contact

If you have other resources, please make sure to leave a comment below. Thanks to Tom Blomquist for sharing this resource with me.

Percussion Education Weekly Reads 10/25/15


It has been three weeks since my last “Weekly Reads” post. It has been a busy three weeks of traveling and getting ready for PASIC and I apologize for not writing sooner. What have you been up to in the last three weeks? What are you practicing? Leave a comment below and let me know. Have a great Halloween and be safe! Here are some articles to check out. Enjoy. (more…)

Kettle Brew by Alex Shapiro and David Jarvis

Kettle Brew by Alex Shapiro and David Jarvis (2015)

From YouTube: It all started near midnight in a 2-star hotel lobby bar on the outskirts of recession-hit Reno, Nevada. David and Alex sipped their scotch from plastic cups because the locals had a penchant for stealing the barware. Surrounded by band musicians on the final night of a regional CBDNA conference in March 2012, their scheming about a new piece for timpani began at that table with the chipped brown Formica and cigarette burns, continued over emails that summer when Dave was in Oahu, and congealed into notes on the page when he stopped by San Juan Island, WA. on his return home, to work with Alex at her studio.

“How about an electroacoustic piece?”
“Wonderful, Alex.”
“Let’s add some other percussion for color.”
“Great, Dave.”
“Two words: funk timpani.”
“Oh, yeah, Alex!”

As Bald Eagles flew by the window, Alex inputted Dave’s hand-written timpani riffs as fast as he could pass them to her from the sofa while not spilling his beer. Once Dave went home to Pullman, WA, Alex got busy creating a prerecorded track unlike any other for kettledrums and percussion. When it was largely in place she emailed the audio track and score to Dave, who proceeded to add what seemed like thousands more percussion notes to the fast sections because, well, he knew he could play ’em.

KETTLE BREW represents the best aspects of composer and composer/performer collaboration, and proves what percussionists have always known: two heads can be even better than one.

Purchase “Kettle Brew” here.

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