Advanced Marimba Techniques

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The 2020 Coronavirus COVID-19 shut down gave me time to finish this book about advanced 4 mallet marimba techniques for the advanced marimba player. The idea is to build on today’s marimba technique and add some new exercises for how you can develop independence between both hands and enhance your ability to play combinations of double and triple lateral strokes. You will also find pianistic marimba exercises, a way of playing that is currently attracting a lot of attention.

The 2020 Coronavirus COVID-19 shut down gave me time to finish this book about advanced 4 mallet marimba techniques for the advanced marimba player. The idea is to build on today’s marimba technique and add some new exercises for how you can develop independence between both hands and enhance your ability to play combinations of double and triple lateral strokes. You will also find pianistic marimba exercises, a way of playing that is currently attracting a lot of attention.

In order to make practicing a joy for you the exercises aim at practical use. Chapter 7 of this book is dedicated to small melodic and fun virtuoso exercises build on the exercises in this book. These exercises could also be used as an inspiration if you are going to arrange music or compose music for marimba.

How fast should you play the excercises? I have written some maximum tempos you should aim for, but be sure not to play faster than where you are in total control. I have not made suggestions for dynamics, but it is a good idea to practice from p to ff.

You do not need to stand behind the marimba when doing many of these exercises. They can easily be done if you sit down on the floor with a surface that gives you a rebounce like that of a marimba. It is a good and comfortable way to improve your marimba technique.

The book can be used by players using any kind of grip. I am playing using the Stevens Grip, but that is not important for the exercises. I have used the standard system of numbering for the mallets. Starting from the left the mallets are given the numbers: 1 2 3 4.

Kai Stensgaard 2020