Marimba Mallet Wrapping 101

Have you ever needed the perfect mallet for that particular piece? There are so many mallets available from Innovative Percussion, Vic Firth, Mike Balter (and more manufacturers) the you can buy the exact mallet that you need. But what if you are on a budget and wanted to make some mallets? Before all of these great companies, this used to be the norm. I remember many nights in college trying to learn how to wrap mallets. There are many different techniques involved in wrapping mallets. I have compiled some of the best videos on YouTube regarding mallet wrapping. Go out there and wrap some mallets.

How to Make Marimba/Vibe Mallets – Sam Oss

Drummer Talk’s Guide to Wrapping Mallets – Dave Kropf

Mallet Wrapping

Vic Firth Marimba Literature Library

Vic Firth has always been on the leading edge of percussion education content. Their website includes educational resources including rudiments, drumset grooves, DCI play alongs, and more. Recently, they released their Marimba Literature Library. The goal of the resource is to create high quality videos of the “top 100” marimba solos. There are currently 10 videos on the site. Thanks to the Vic Firth team for creating this incredible resource.

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.

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