Dec 28

Sam writes

I was wondering if you had any tips or could do a video over Eric Sammut’s Rotation IV from the Four Rotations. In particular I wondered what your interpretation of the 17/16 sustenuto measure on page 4 is?  The last key issue I encounter is hearing more of the octaves in the right hand through the melody.  I currently use Vic Firth Van Sice 114s, and I have tried harder mallets in right hand but if you have any recommendations either for mallets or exercises to strengthen that would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks for the videos you post, they are certainly enlightening and I look forward to watching more of them.

Thanks Sam!

Have you ever seen Sammut play?  Most of the time he’s playing at 1-2 inches off the keyboard with the melody at 5 inches. This is much lower than most young people tend to play.

So without knowing what grip and/or technique you’re using for your octaves, I’d say lowering your overall volume a lot will make voicing easier.

A lot of the time we all play our technique exercises at forte, but most professional marimba players play much much lower in performance.

As far as strengthening your octaves, mine really took off after playing “Octave Crawler” every single day. You can find it here!

Hope this helps!

Charlie Nesmith

written by The Marimbalogist

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