Percussionists? No Give 'em an instrument

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Railybobs, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. Railybobs

    Railybobs Member

    I am growing more and more aware of the sever lack of Young percussionists coming up through the ranks of youth banding.

    Recently I needed to recruit a percussionist for a contest and there was none to be seen.

    Are we as a movement more focused on getting a brass instrument into their hands rather than a pair of sticks?

    I'd love to hear your views on the matter as it is causing myself and a few other percussionists concern.
  2. Jo Elson

    Jo Elson Member

    Maybe its because they are so noisy-an young children in general love to just hit things and make as much noise as possible, I mean I know any instrument is when starting out, but drums don't seem that musical to most parents and they don't want to start them off. I know this isn't true, but those unmusical people generally think that percussionist is just someone who plays the drums. I don't really know but this is what a few parents i know say because they've tried to steer there kids into the piano or clarinet(sorry). And also there was no percussionist teacher that came into my primary school or secondary, there were violins, flutes, clarinets, brass everything except really!
  3. shedophone

    shedophone Member

    I agree, it is cause for concern. I was reading an article before about "how young is too young?" to play a brass instrument. The answer is simple- giv'em a pair of sticks!
    :) You're never too young to learn percussion, once kids have been in the brass environment for a while they'll be better prepared to learn a brass instrument - if they want to! Hopefully that way more kids will start learning drums- and never stop! I think i'll post this in response to the article too.
  4. Di

    Di Active Member

    I have never looked on my lad playing his drums as "just a racket" as some people call it when I tell them we've got a drummer in the family. If only they would take enough interest to listen they appreciate that it can be music.

    My son plays in an organisation which has a training band and a youth band. He, and one other have recently been promoted to the youth band to replace two extremely talented young men who have now moved on to uni and music colleges. As far as I am aware, there are at last two replacing my son and his pal at the training band.

    He has been playing the drums for about 4 years (he's 11 now) and has just started having lessons on the tuned percussion at school (we couldn't do this until he moved up to high school) but he is progressing quickly and will hopefully follow in the footsteps of those he has replaced in the youth band.
  5. Di

    Di Active Member

    PS. That wicked kit frame you used at the concert in Stockport last week, (I was sat right in front of you on 2nd bari, thought the percussion section was brill - Stingray - what can I say? :D ), is it a lot easier to set a kit up with one of those? With Adams own kit (which he had to use when he gigged with the training band) I've always been able to unpack and assemble in about 5 minutes at a gig, but now he plays with the youth band, he has to use the band kit and is a nightmare of bits and pieces which seems to take ages to put together. :(
  6. Well, I take my hat off to percussionists (spelt wrong - drummers).

    At least I can sit in one place, concentrate on what I do, and hopefully do it.

    You are flirting round like "blue a..d flies" and do a grand job.

    The same question has often come to my mind.......why is there a lack of youngsters wanting to make a noise - on skins!
  7. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Northumberland seems to produce a plethora of young percussionists. Not many of them play in bands though, probs because there's only about 3 in the whole county!! Crazy.
  8. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    dinie, has your son thought about the National Childrens Band?
  9. Railybobs

    Railybobs Member

    Can i presume you are talking about my premier Kit?

    Are you on about the Guide Dogs gig?
  10. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    In our area a lot of effort is being put into training percussionists. One of our percussionists at the corps is involved in at least three percussion academies, and they have been quite successful in raising the funds needed for equipment.

    I think one of the problems regarding percussionists and bands is the question of the range and cost of equipment required. In many cases, bands seem to rely on percussionists bringing along their own bits and pieces, being reluctant to fork out the cost themselves. This will make it difficult to involve new, younger players who do not have the same resources.

    Equally, it may be difficult attracting youngsters to join a band if they are likely to spend too much time in practice twiddling their thumbs. As has been said previously, if MDs and bands want to attract good percussionists then the rehearsals need to be planned in such a way that they feel valued and that their contribution is important.
  11. Di

    Di Active Member

    He'll be 12 in April and therefore too old for this one. Its only in the last year or so that he has got to grips with reading "drum" music. In the past he had a great talent for watching and copying others to the point where he could play most of a gig from memory. I'm sure there's still a bit of that going on! I'm not certain how he would cope if he was left entirely alone with a new piece of music. He's now only just learning the FACE in the SPACE etc now that he's doing tuned percussion.

    Also, although he loves going to practice and playing at gigs, he's very fidgety and doesn't like those long days of hanging around at contests, etc. When I've taken Vicki to "workshop" days, I've always offered to take him too, but he just doesn't want to be there for that long.
  12. Di

    Di Active Member

    Yes, and yes. :D

    I'm considering asking the band to get one of these frames, presuming they can be bought separately. The kit at the youth band is quite old, but still serviceable and playable, but they do seem to have an excess amount of "metalwork" and it takes some time to sort out whats needed and what isn't. I find it very frustrating that the rest of the band will just get on with practice (and other parents just sit and watch) while the two young lads, myself and the other lads dad struggle to get the kit together, then get the timps out, then find anything else they need such as the tam tam, tuned percussion, temple blocks etc. :evil: As they don't have their own bandroom, all this has to be fetched out and packed away and stored under the stage for every rehearsal. :cry: I guess it will get easier as we get used to a different set up, but do you think a kit frame would make life easier for us, and what would be an affordable model for a youth band?
  13. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    As someone who started learning aspects of (mainly tuned) percussion in recent years in order to (a) further my awareness as part of my conducting training and (b) because it's something I've always wanted to do (!), there does seem to be a dearth of younf percussionists coming through. We at Fulham Brass Band are very fortunate in having three regular very good percussionists (not many 4th section bands can say that) but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

    I should add that I'm still at the 'intermediate' (at best!) stage of playing percussion but I'm grateful for what I've learned and the people who've helped me along the way!
  14. Railybobs

    Railybobs Member

    The framework system you are talking about is called a rack. Normally made by Gibralter. or if you have a pearl kit then a Pearl rack is required.

    They cost around £200 with 4-5 brackets.

    howz that?
  15. drummergurl

    drummergurl Active Member

    at St Helens Youth, in the training band we are having a bit of trouble with finding children/teenagers to play kit, let alone tuned stuff. at the moment i have to mingle between either kit or tuned. there is at the moment me and someone else in the training band but im only there as a "helper" but i have to play all the main parts because there isnt any1 else really that is capable of playing it.
  16. Di

    Di Active Member

    Thanks. I think I'll try having a word with the committee on this one.
  17. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    He's a wicked ikle drummer, he asked me to listen to him one day and i was gobsmacked :eek: :D Playing percussion looks well fun!!
    I would take it up but I don't think my mum (or the neighbours) would allow two of us in the house hitting drums at the same time and to be quite honest, I can't do two things at once!! I'll stick with my horn! :lol:
  18. Railybobs

    Railybobs Member

    With respect Peter. A brand spanking new BBb Sovereign will cost well over £3K. Agreed? Trust me ask Stephen Yalden what you can do with £3k for percussion equipment.

    We seem to want to spend on getting new bits of brass and we get forgotten ! ! !
  19. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not the one who needs convincing, believe me :!:

    Our band has relied for years on John supplying his own kit. Generally it works fairly well, especially now, in the new hall, we can leave everything set up. Previously there would be occasions when my son (our other percussionist) would turn up for practice only to find insufficient kit around to make it worthwhile, which is very disheartening to say the least.
  20. bregeband1223

    bregeband1223 Member

    I play all

    Wen i lernt to play we where told to play all :D