Introduction to the Marimba

What is a marimba?
Marimbas are pitched percussion instruments similar to the xylophone and other keyboard percussion instruments. The setup is the same as a piano except all the keys are of the same color and there is a smaller range of tones.



How to play a marimba:
In order to play a marimba, it is necessary to have the proper mallets. While xyolphones are normaly played with hard rubber mallets, the marimba is played with yarn mallets. Rubber mallets could possibly damage the marimba because the wood is softer than that of a xylophone. Yarn mallets come in several types including soft yarn mallets and hard yarn mallets. The difference is just the amount of yarn wrapped around the mallet head. If you are playing a quiet musical passage, I would recommend using saft mallets, whereas for a loud passage, I would recommend hard mallets. When stiking the marimba, start with the mallet close to the surface and strike the note with a lot of velocity. Once the note is struck, pull the mallet away from the surface as if you are pulling the sound out of the marimba.

What are some other percussion instruments?
There are hundreds of percussion instruments, most of which are just small trinkets such as a tambourine or sleigh bells, but there are a few other major percussion instruments other than the marimba. Two of these are the snare drum and the timpani.