Movement for Percussion Etudes


Learning to move quickly and quietly

There are hundreds of wonderful books that teach all aspects of percussion performance.

All except one. The one that teaches not about the music, but the silence required when moving between instruments in the music.

In a typical orchestral or concert band, percussionists often play several instruments in a single piece of music. This is especially true of contemporary and 20th century music where the use of percussion is more prevalent.

These etudes are designed to teach percussionists to move quickly and quietly between instruments. Picking up and putting down instruments. Using different mallets, some times holding sticks in one hand and mallets in the other.

Each etude has a companion video on this site so that students can watch a percussion student perform the etude with a conductor and observe the techniques used.

These videos use real students, so mistakes are sometimes made, but that helps show places you and your students can improve. We encourage you and your students to post your versions of the etudes. Who knows perhaps your video will be picked to be showcase on our site.

Students practice with a conductor. They learn to keep calm while moving, keeping count in their head, and putting down and picking up instruments.

Volume One has 40 etudes, grouped in series of 10. The beginning etudes simply require movement between two instruments – such as bass drum and triangle. Later a third instrument is added and finally bells are added into the mix. Any mallet instrument may be substituted for bells.

Volume Two (NOW AVAILABLE) continues the theme of the first 40 etudes. All of them feature three instruments. The first half add the dimension of dynamics, which the second half adds mixed meters. As with the first series, half the etudes include bells.

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