Although most people think about drums when they hear the word percussion, it is actually a broad category of instruments that produce a sound by being struck with a stick or mallet. Cymbals, xylophones, timpani, cajons, congas, and bongos are among the many instruments in the percussion family.

Covering a range of sounds, percussion can be forceful and loud like the drums in a parade or marching band or soft and delicate like the triangle or wind chimes you might hear in popular ballads or band music. Percussion instruments provide the beat in most music, but they can also play the melody on the keyboard instruments, such as bells, marimbas, xylophones, and vibraphones.

Percussion is not difficult to learn to play, but there are many instruments that must be learned, each with a slightly different technique. It would not be unusual for a player to have to play several different instruments at different times in a single piece of music or a different instrument on each piece of music during a concert.

Each band director chooses whether to start their students on a kit with a snare drum only, with bells only, or one that contains both the snare drum and bells. All of these types of kits are available for rental.

Why Choose Percussion?

Percussion is one of the most popular instruments, but unlike brass or woodwind instruments, learning to play percussion is very slow at first. While the other students are learning how to hold their instruments and make a sound, the percussionists may get bored, so it is important to have plenty of patience before choosing to play percussion. Many students add percussion as a second instrument after they have a basic knowledge of their instrument.

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