drummers please read and help me!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by six pints, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. six pints

    six pints Active Member

    My mate is conducting hill orchestra at uni this year. he asked me to join playing trumpet, i said sure, good chance to see him and to play me trumpet. so, then he asks me to play the french horn for a couple of pieces parts on my flugel. i say sure, ill take a four hour round trip home to pick up an instrument, then transpose a load of music and play those, and play my trumpet for other parts of the concert. then he says can anyone play the timps, and he looked so stressed that i say yeah sure, i played then for two weeks last year, so now im playing those for a piece as well. im playing three different instruments in one concert. excellent.

    any tips on timp playing anyone? im ok with playing most stuff, but not an excellent roller and not too good at changing notes and playing at the same time. any help would be much appreciated.
  2. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I don't know much about playing timps, but I do know it's easier to change notes mid piece if you have those little do-hickey-slidey-things where you can pre-tune the timps and then just use the pedal to make sure the arrow lines up.

    With any luck somebody else can explain it better than I ;)
  3. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Hit near the rim!
  4. drummergurl

    drummergurl Active Member

    spose i should give some advice..

    ok.. where to start... you dont wanna hit the timps in the middle of the drum, it sounds terrible. you want to hit them around about 3 inches from the edge of the drum. for rolls, dont do multiple bounces with one hand, just do single hits with each hand, hit it alternate hands quite fast, eg. rlrlrlrlrlrlrlrlrlr for a roll.

    make sure all your music has what notes you need written on, and whenever you may need to change note, write it on where you need to change. you will probably have to do that when you're sat at the timps, to see what note ranges there are. im assuming you will be using pedal timps, and not hand tuned ones. also, carry a tuner with you, and make sure that where the notes are on the gauge matches with where the little markers are. this does mean tuning every note, but it will be worth it! all the markers should move, however sometimes they are either extremely hard to move or get stuck, so if that happens, just draw a little pencil mark on for where the notes are supposed to be (only do that if you cant move the markers).

    erm... there's loads i could go into, if you want any more advice on it, pm me/msn/email/ just contact me...

    if that makes absolutely no sense to you, just tell me, cuz i dont think i explained any of it very well at all.
  5. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I've never understood why all timp players say this (but then, I'm only a horn player in disguise as a percussionist!). I do use single strokes, but surely multiple bounces would mean you can do a quicker roll? What is the thinking behind this advice?

  6. drummergurl

    drummergurl Active Member

    in my experience, it is all to do with sound quality. to get a decent sounding roll on a timp, where you can actually hear the note and not just lots of thuds, you hit it alternate sticks. on a snare drum where there is no ring of a note after you hit it, it is important to be able to do multiple bounces with one stick, to create the sound of a continous roll.

    kinda like on a timp you want to be able to hear the note, and alternate sticking gives more time for the note to (for want of a better word) appear. however, to keep a constant dynamic you have to keep hitting the drum and with the same force. thus creating a roll.

    make any sense? i find it a bit hard to explain without showing... but i hope my explanations are of some help. (also, what i say, other people may not agree with, or might think i am talking complete and utter rubbish... but what i say is my view on it, and how things work)
  7. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Makes perfect sense and sounds very plausible! Thanks for plugging yet another gap in my knowledge!

  8. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Might it also be that the extra "bounce" experienced when striking the timp could make it harder to play an effective roll using repeated strokes with the sticks?
  9. drummergurl

    drummergurl Active Member

    erm, i guess it can do. also, its to do with technique as well. i do know someone who plays timps and always does multiple bounce rolls on timps, and he always has very stiff, rigid (is that the right word?) arms. everything in your arms, hands, shoulders, whole body really in some respects should be relaxed or you can end up with some quite annoying injuries (i know from experience!). so, in that way, it probably is easier to do single strokes if you have the right technique and are relaxed etc...

    any more questions? you're all making me think today! :rolleyes:
  10. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Just a slight aside - aren't timps parts usually written in bass clef - ask Colin about that - at a concert last year he agreed to play the tam-tam and also timps. Just about to play his first entry when Timbloke tapped him on the shoulder to remind him that it was in bass clef - you should have seen his face.
  11. drummergurl

    drummergurl Active Member

    yes, it is written in bass clef.
  12. BbBill

    BbBill Supporting Member

    I was taught to always tune up to the note your going to play when changing between notes, but thats on our old Premier timps with the toe release thats usually quite jerky!! Maybe newer timps are easier to use?!

    I noticed the Yamaha's we used at the Scottish Open recently, were the opposite way round and had a slighty different system.
  13. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    aaaaah all this is saving me a job :p good on ya DG.... ;) laaalalalalaaa
  14. drummergurl

    drummergurl Active Member

    haha its ok, ill do the hard work :tongue: :rolleyes: thought i would give my 2p in here... its turning out to be more like £2

    its true that the timps used in the scottish open were a different mechanism, thats just how they're built and designed. those are more common in orchestra's.

    the 2 different sort of pedal timps are that one one when you press the pedal down, the note goes higher, and if you press your toe down it releases like a spring and the note goes lower (if you move your leg up as well). thats the most common sort particularly in brass bands. the other is where you press your toe down on the pedal and the note goes higher, and if you press your heel down the note will go lower. those are rarely seen in brass bands more seen in orchestras, i think, but not certain, that they are more expensive.

    all timps are different, the pedal reacts different. in my experience timps can be a little bit like people. sometimes they can be stubborn and hard to work with, sometimes you cant trust what they say, other times they do exactly what you want.

    p.s. other percussionists can give advice as well!! *cough* naomi */cough*
  15. six pints

    six pints Active Member

    aw cheers everyone epec DG!! im sure itll all be fine...
  16. tinytimp

    tinytimp Member

    Of course it will, I've been making it up since I started playing and I think I've managed pretty well until now!

    If it's in an orchestra the parts shouldn't be quite as hard as some brass band pieces anyway.
  17. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    I think another think to remember is in an orchestra you don't (generally) need to play as loud as with a band, even in most modern music.
    One thing to remember when doing rolls...it's all about balance. due to the way the skin resonates, as has been said before, you need to do single stroke (hand to hand) rolls. I'd say don't try and do it as fast as you can, otherwise it'll sound a bit laboured at first. Do it at a moderate speed which you can build up smoothly, even over a rehearsal. Unless you're playing on a high note, it should sound good at even quite a slow speed. Basically because the skin is large and low, you don't need to roll as fast (hence why you need to do a double stroke roll on higher pitched drums).
    Hope this makes sense!
  18. drummergurl

    drummergurl Active Member

    :woo someone who can explain better than i can
  19. six pints

    six pints Active Member

    well it all went excellently last night, i made three rows of flautists (sp?) jump and played the right notes at the right time! yay!

    thanks again for all your help guys, if i ever fancy changing instruments again ill let ya'll know!
  20. Di

    Di Active Member

    Good for you. Well done. :clap::biggrin: