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  #1  
Old 11-14-2009, 10:08 PM
donv donv is offline
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Default Anybody play the Marimba?

I've been looking for a latin drumming teacher with no luck, but I ran into a community college music teacher today that offered me marimba lessons. I took him up on his offer because it sounds interesting, but I really don't know anything about the instrument except they're darn expensive and it's not an instrument to throw in the backseat of the car.

Can anyone share some experiences with me about what I'm getting into? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11-14-2009, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

Marimba is a keyed-percussion (or pitched percussion) instrument. Similar in look to a xylophone but much larger and with a warmer, darker and more sustained sound. The keys are arranged like that of a piano's (black keys up top and white keys at bottom) and the keys are struck with mallets.

Great opportunity to play it, my drum teacher plays the marimba and he said that playing the marimba helped with his overall drumming and musical creativity.

A few times he brought in a vibraphone (like a marimba but with metal keys) and tought me the basics.

...marimba looks like this:

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Old 11-14-2009, 11:27 PM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

Right that they're expensive. I sold my concert marimba, on eBay, for about $2500. Depending on what type you buy, you can transport them (carefully) in a small car, or wagon. I was in a marimba band back in the 60's, and we transported a concert marimba, a set of vibes, a set of orchestral chimes, and a full Ludwig "Hollywood" drum set, in 2 cars. Marimba's, for the most part, come apart, and fold up rather nicely. Frank Zappa was a huge fan of mallet percussion, and Ruth Underwood will always reign supreme, in my mind. Lionel Hampton was the "jazz cat", and was huge in the 40's and 50's, on vibraphone. And then there was the Baja Marimba Band. On the fusion side of things, Pierre and Benoit Moerlen (band Gong), are probably 2 of the best known cats...........cool instrument but.........marimba players do not get the chicks.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:26 AM
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Garvin Garvin is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

Much easier to travel with... Not a marimba, but in the same family...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8QD6-o2Uis
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:32 AM
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

Check out Gifford Howarth's videos on the Vic Firth website.

http://www.vicfirth.com/education/keyboard/howarth.html

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  #6  
Old 11-15-2009, 06:50 AM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

Here's another take on the instrument http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeJ5SUQ2qYM

( My apologies to Leigh Howard Stevens... but I couldn't resist sharing this ! )
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  #7  
Old 11-15-2009, 07:36 AM
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Deltadrummer Deltadrummer is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

I just been getting back into marimba playing and was talking to Dave Friedman about it, a name to check out. He also works a lot with Dave Samuels from Spyrogyra.

It's nice. It's more readily a solo instrument. You can play Bach on a marimba. Certainly more readily than on a trap set. It's customary to do the Cello Suites as a more advanced player. I could definitely see you getting into that. It's going to change the way you approach the set, for the better. Back in the day, drummers played vibraphone, right? Sammy Davis, Lionel Hampton Cal Tjader. It's good to have that mallet background.
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:37 AM
donv donv is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garvin View Post
Much easier to travel with... Not a marimba, but in the same family...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8QD6-o2Uis
I don't care waht it is, that kid is great. Great hands. I really enjoyed watching the video, thank you.

Jeff, I often forget just how much Vic Firth has on their web site, thanks.

Jeremy, that was interesting, thanks. The bass player needs a metal band! haha
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  #9  
Old 11-16-2009, 01:46 AM
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toddy toddy is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

No, but I'm definitely going to find a teacher over the next year or two and learn some basics. It's a lovely sounding instrument.
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  #10  
Old 11-16-2009, 01:57 AM
donv donv is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
I just been getting back into marimba playing and was talking to Dave Friedman about it, a name to check out. He also works a lot with Dave Samuels from Spyrogyra.

It's nice. It's more readily a solo instrument. You can play Bach on a marimba. Certainly more readily than on a trap set. It's customary to do the Cello Suites as a more advanced player. I could definitely see you getting into that. It's going to change the way you approach the set, for the better. Back in the day, drummers played vibraphone, right? Sammy Davis, Lionel Hampton Cal Tjader. It's good to have that mallet background.
Hey ken, thanks for responding. As we've discussed, I feel a lot stagnating which is why I was looking for a latin drumming teacher thinking it would help with a new approach or way of thinking about playing. Without any luck finding that teacher in this area the marimaba seemed as though it would give me an better insight into latin drumming plus a lot more, and as you wrote, the ability to apply the instrument to other avenues of music is really appealing. It's good to hear that you're taking the instrument back up also. I can bug you for information! 8) I have to wait until next semester thought to block in lesson and practice time though. Not having a home instrument to play is going to be interesting to work out. With what Harry wrote about the price of a used marimba, it will be awhile before I can put one in the house.

After watching these videos and seeing what people are doing with their hands, I don't know why I didn't pursue this a long time ago.

Harry, thanks for posting your experiences, I appreciate it.
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  #11  
Old 11-16-2009, 02:00 AM
donv donv is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassDriver View Post
Marimba is a keyed-percussion (or pitched percussion) instrument. Similar in look to a xylophone but much larger and with a warmer, darker and more sustained sound. The keys are arranged like that of a piano's (black keys up top and white keys at bottom) and the keys are struck with mallets.

Great opportunity to play it, my drum teacher plays the marimba and he said that playing the marimba helped with his overall drumming and musical creativity.

A few times he brought in a vibraphone (like a marimba but with metal keys) and tought me the basics.

...marimba looks like this:

Bassdriver, my interest in the marimba is exactly what your told you his experience has been. After watching these videos and seeing what the players are doing with their hands, I don't see how any drummer wouldn't benefit from learing a mallet keyboard. Thanks for the response and pic.
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2009, 02:20 AM
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Deltadrummer Deltadrummer is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

I don't know if you can rent one. I think i remember a company from back in my retail days and it was 800 a year . ouch!!! Of course if you'll have access to the school instrument, that is a plus.
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  #13  
Old 11-16-2009, 02:43 AM
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thechief7676 thechief7676 is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

I played marimba in college and really enjoyed it. Haven't played on one in 10 years but after seeing my alma matter's percussion ensemble concert the other night i would love to take it up again. I lived with four cats that were mallet performance majors and they were absolutely ridiculous at 4 mallet play. I on the other hand could just get by. Definitely a fun but challenging instrument and i'm hoping to pick a small 2-3 octave one up someday soon.
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  #14  
Old 11-16-2009, 06:51 AM
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caddywumpus caddywumpus is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechief7676 View Post
I played marimba in college and really enjoyed it. Haven't played on one in 10 years but after seeing my alma matter's percussion ensemble concert the other night i would love to take it up again. I lived with four cats that were mallet performance majors and they were absolutely ridiculous at 4 mallet play. I on the other hand could just get by. Definitely a fun but challenging instrument and i'm hoping to pick a small 2-3 octave one up someday soon.
Try to get at least a 3 octave instrument. The more notes on your marimba, the less likely you'll limit your song selection
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  #15  
Old 11-16-2009, 06:58 AM
afdffgd afdffgd is offline
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Default Re: Anybody play the Marimba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechief7676 View Post
I played marimba in college and really enjoyed it. Haven't played on one in 10 years but after seeing my alma matter's percussion ensemble concert the other night i would love to take it up again. I lived with four cats that were mallet performance majors and they were absolutely ridiculous at 4 mallet play. I on the other hand could just get by. Definitely a fun but challenging instrument and i'm hoping to pick a small 2-3 octave one up someday soon.
I played marimba in college and really enjoyed it. Haven't played on one in 10 years but after seeing my alma matter's percussion ensemble concert the other night i would love to take it up again. I lived with four cats that were mallet performance majors and they were absolutely ridiculous at 4 mallet play.
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Last edited by afdffgd; 11-18-2009 at 02:26 AM.
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