Let’s talk about percussion, drums and teaching!

Old woman playing bongos

Why should I continue studying percussion instruments when I teach percussion instruments for a living? It might seem like a trivial question or even just plain nonsense, but it isn’t. Obviously a teacher must always be up-to-date. It’s an expression that is used very often, especially by the “infamous teachers gang”. But seriously, how many […] Read More

Freelance percussionist

A brief guide for the freelance percussionist

The phone rings. Unknown number. Who can it be…? Here are three options: someone who dialed the wrong number; a poor telemarketer from your phone company whose only job is to legally defraud you; someone who offers you a role in a new production because he/she needs the best percussionist in town, and that happens […] Read More

Fat drummer

How to recover from a period of inactivity

Summer has ended some time ago and it’s time to start studying again. Wait a minute. Who said that you don’t study during the summer? Nobody. Actually I assigned a lot of summer homework to my students and I am currently seeing them at school to find out what they did. The only student who […] Read More

Snare drum and concert roll

How to play the concert roll

In my opinion, concert roll (press roll, buzz roll, closed roll, or any of the other 1,500 names used for the multiple bounce roll) is the hardest rudiment to perform correctly. The reason is that executing it well requires great skill and speed as well as a subtle ability to feel the movement itself. So many […] Read More

Third Coast Percussion_flickr

This is my second post on Third Construction, the piece for percussion quartet written by John Cage in 1941. In my first post, I discussed and described the instruments that John Cage assigned to each of the four players. Today I will analyze the sheet music for this piece, specifically the following elements: timbre possibilities; […] Read More

Tin Cans for John Cage's Third Contruction

Third Construction is one of the most complex pieces written by John Cage for percussion ensembles. This piece was actually composed in 1941 and was dedicated, as you can read on the last page of the score, to Xenia Kashevaroff, Cage’s wife at the time as well as percussionist in his orchestra. Third Construction is […] Read More

drums and percussion instruments

During a dark and stormy night of a March 17th many years ago, I came to the realization that I most definitely have a genetic tendency to a serious illness that strikes so many percussionists: the Jack-of-all-Trades Syndrome. Let’s analyze this mysterious illness, which is extremely important if you want to understand today’s post. Definition: […] Read More

Bach Cello Suite 1, prelude. On marimba.

The first time I ran across Bach’s Cello Suites was a few years ago, when I was preparing for an audition with the Bern Orchestra that required a performance of the whole third suite in C major. What I have left of the time spent preparing an audition I never got to do (long story…) is […] Read More

Oxygen Percussion Quartet

5 good reasons for starting a percussion ensemble

There are many good reasons why you should start your own percussion ensemble. Today I’m giving you at least five. Yes, I am talking about one of those groups, such as So Percussion Quartet, Percussions de Strasbourg, Torq, Third Coast Percussion, the Italian Tetraktis, and the “famous” Oxygen Percussion Quartet, that you might think can […] Read More

Giovanni Perin

Giovanni Perin is an incredible vibraphonist, an exceptional composer, a rounded musician, but to me, he is mostly a great friend. I feel honored to have the chance to interview him on my blog, even though the interview could have easily been conducted in front of a cold beer in our favorite pub in Padua, […] Read More