How to Play Grace Notes on Timpani

Grace notes in timpani music aren’t overly common but they happen once in a while so you have to know what to do when you see them. The tendency might be to play them the same way that you’d play them on a snare drum, but that really wouldn’t sound the best. Basically, great notes […]

Warm Up Exercises for Timpani

Before you do any physical activity you should always do a warm up and since timpani playing is a physical activity you should always warm up before you play. Playing timpani is not just about moving your hands and wrists. It’s also about producing the best sound that you can and warming up properly will […]

Advanced Cross Sticking with Kung Fu Action

In the last lesson on timpani cross sticking technique, I talked about learning to cross stick and gave a rather simple exercise to practice. It’s necessary to start slowly and work up speed so once you’ve become comfortable with the basics it’s time to kick it in to a higher gear. Cross Sticking with Kung […]

What’s the Difference Between Legato and Staccato for Timpani?

Legato and Water Water flows and never stops moving. Legato passages in music flow from one note to the other. Staccato and fire Fire flashes with speed and is hot to the touch. Staccato passages in music sparkle and leap from one note to the other. These two concepts are difficult to understand without seeing […]

An Introduction to Cross Sticking on Timpani

When you have timpani music that requires you to play quickly from one drum to the next we often have to cross stick if the tempo is very fast. I’m talking about something like this where you play 4 sixteenth notes on the high drum starting with your right hand and then 4 sixteenth notes. […]

Timpani Grip and a Simple Exercise

There are two fundamental timpani mallet grips in use among the worlds’ timpani players. I use the French Grip which has a thumbs up and palms facing each other profile and there are many German Grip players who play with a palms down and thumbs to the side profile. The French Grip that I play […]