Originally three separate books, Jon Metzger's Five Easy Pieces for Two-Mallet Marimba, Five Pieces for Timpani and Five Pieces for Vibraphone are now available in one convenient collection –Step to Step: Collected Solos for the Developing Percussionist.
Genre: Marimba, Timpani, Vibraphone | # of Players:
Level: Easy to Medium | Duration: 35:00
Timpani (2-4 drums)
My previous “Step-to-Step” collections for tonal percussion instruments (including marimba, timpani, and vibraphone), are now combined into this one volume, Step-to-Step: Collected Solos for the Developing Percussionist. All of the solos in each area graduate sequentially from the easiest to the most difficult as each new piece adds new technical and musical challenges. Unlike transcriptions, the mallet pieces are written for each instrument (4.3-octave marimba or 3-octave vibraphone), and lay well naturally on the instrument. All of the pieces are ideal for technical and musical growth and lend themselves to end-of-term performances, recitals, juries and contests.
The Five Easy Two-Mallet Pieces for Marimba are based entirely on modes or scales common in jazz performance. The given scale is shown spelled on the staff to help develop a connection with a mental “stamp” or “image” of the scale shape on the page. Performers are also invited to improvise melodic fragments derived from each scale to help further develop a mental stamp of each scale in both their mind’s eye and on the marimba keyboard. Notes not part of the scale shape on the page or on the keyboard become “avoid” notes. Easy piano “vamps” are provided for supporting student improvisations. Please note that these vamps are not meant to accompany the notated solos, but rather student improvisation. The overall results are a stronger knowledge of the keyboard, improved accuracy on the instrument, and better reading fluency.
The Five Pieces for Timpani call upon preparatory singing exercises notated at the top of each page for internalizing the tuning challenges for each composition. While improving listening and pitch-matching skills through this process, the pieces also graduate from two-drum compositions to three- and four-drum selections.
The Five Pieces for Vibraphone focus on gaining control of the instrument’s ringing bars for clarity of the various musical lines contained in each composition. This is accomplished first through two-mallet long and short tones (with and without the pedal), then with pedaling that corresponds to meter. Next, the pieces include dead strokes as a technical precursor to subsequent stick dampening, and finally culminate in a four-mallet composition that combines all previous dampening techniques.
- Jon Metzger