For some beginning band students, it’s hard to choose what musical instrument to play. Each band instrument has something intriguing to offer, whether it is the shape of the instrument itself, where that particular instrument section sits in the band, the sound that is produced when the musical instrument is played, what it is made of, and much more. But there are many great reasons to play snare drum/percussion in school band:
♦ Percussion is actually a pretty large group of instruments that includes cymbals, xylophones, marimbas, timpani, and a variety of small rhythm instruments. So even though when people hear the word “percussion” they may be thinking only about the drums, to play percussion really means to play any instrument that makes its sound by being struck.
♦ Percussion instruments can be bold and exciting, like the beating snare and bass drums in a marching or parade band. They can also be subtle and sophisticated like the triangle and wood block in many ballads and concert band pieces.
♦ Percussion, and drums in particular, are the instruments that provide the rhythm in almost all music, but they can also provide melody and harmony through the playing of xylophones, bells, steel drums, and more.
♦ Percussion instruments aren’t difficult to learn but a percussionist has many of them to learn. In one performance a percussionist might play marimba in one piece, snare drum in a second, timpani in another, then switch between wood block, cymbals, shaker, and chimes in another.
♦ Percussion parts can always be relied upon to stand out and make an impression.
♦ Snare and Bass drum create the background “beat” of the band. Think of it like the heartbeat in a person. Without the beat, the band falls apart, just as without a heartbeat, a person dies. Drums and percussion are integral to any good band performance.
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