#1
How do I properly do a roll on the timpani and how should I be gripping the mallets when I'm doing rolls?

I literally just started yesterday and I have to be somewhat able to do rolls by tomorrow. It's not quite the long story, but I'll say that I entered the band camp in its last week by the behest of my friend and I just don't want to disappoint anyone.

If you have any helpful sites or even the name of a good book on timpani technique, I'd like it. Any help is appreciated. So far I've been trying to glean some knowledge out of this.

Many thanks in advance and try to lay off the barrel roll jokes, okay?
#2
I haven't played in a few years, but I used to do mine similar to how I would do a drum roll. Which probably isn't proper technique, but it worked for me.
#3
http://www.drummercafe.com/

there are lots of drum forums about - they'll be able to give better responses than UG
The only 6 words that can make you a better guitarist:

Learn theory
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#5
Also worthy (highly) for all stuff drums is

www.drumbum.com

There is a section for timpani under the lessons section.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#6
Well, I play percussion in high school band. I try to avoid playing the timpani because it's more work than just hitting something like a wood block, but I do know a bit about the technique.

Grip the mallets like you would grip a regular drumstick. If you don't know how to do that, put a mallet on the floor and then pick it back up with all 5 fingers. Immediately clasp all of your fingers around the mallet. Don't move them after that. If you did it right then that SHOULD pretty much be the grip you want. If that's confusing then just hold the mallet tightly with all 5 fingers and you should be fine. That kind of grip should work for single notes, rolls, and anything in between.

As for rolling, I don't know how much experience you have with drumming, but you only want to do single-stroke rolls. That means no bouncing. Just hit the drum a lot in the time indicated in your music (ie, if it's a quarter note roll, pound on the drum for 1 beat). It's the same as a buzz roll if you've played snare drum, but without the bouncing.

Finally, don't tune the timpani with your hands. The pedal is for your feet. Seems obvious but a lot of amateurs make that mistake and end up looking like idiots. Also check out those websites, I'm sure they have helpful information. The timpani aren't that hard play, especially if you have previous drumming experience. Good luck!
#7
Any kind of a drum grip should not be held tightly. It should be held loosely to facilitate the bouncing of the stick/mallet off of the head/block/whatever.

They're gripped near the balancing point between the thumb and the first knuckle of the first finger. The second, third, and fourth fingers touch the stick lightly and help facilitate and control the bouncing.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
Good point CT, I was just going off of the assumption that he didn't have any drumming experience at all. In that case, the worst thing for him to do would be to hold the mallet with 2 finger-tips and end up dropping it and looking like an idiot. My main point was that if nothing else, just make sure you hold on to the thing. Our main goal in band class is to just get through the piece without looking completely stupid, that's why we signed up for percussion. Maybe band camp is a little different though, haha.

But yeah, CT's explanation is the proper grip. Use it.
Last edited by shortyafter at Jul 31, 2009,