What is a percussion player, otherwise known as a percussionist? The dictionary will tell you that a percussion player is anyone who plays a percussion instrument, but that doesn’t really tell you anything of value, does it? Hopefully this article will fill in the gaps of knowledge the dictionary left behind.
This information if presented to you by Kip Allen, drummer, percussionist, songwriter, music producer, and Drum Workshop Artist working out of Nashville, Tennessee. Call Kip for your next gig at 817-995-8093.
What are percussion instruments?
In an orchestra, percussion instruments are generally the timpani, snare drum, base drum, cymbals, triangle, and tambourine. There are a few others which could be considered borderline percussion instruments, but those listed are the main ones.
The percussion family is the largest in the orchestra. Percussion instruments include any instrument that makes a sound when it is hit, shaken, or scraped, and in a full orchestra can easily number ten or more instruments. It’s not easy to be a percussionist because it takes a lot of practice to hit an instrument with the right amount of strength, in the right place and at the right time. Some percussion instruments are tuned and can sound different notes, like the xylophone, timpani or piano, and some are untuned with no definite pitch, like the bass drum, cymbals or castanets. Percussion instruments keep the rhythm, drive the music along, make special sounds and add excitement and color. Unlike most of the other players in the orchestra, a percussionist will usually play many different instruments in one piece of music.
There is some debate in the music world whether the piano is a true percussion instrument, but whether it is or not is not germane to this discussion. The fact is that a percussion player is called upon to deliver quality music with a variety of instruments and as such is multi-talented in a way most musicians are not.
Finding a quality percussion player is not easy
As you might suspect, finding a quality percussionist is not an easy task. If you are in need of one, you can of course stage auditions, a purely hit-and-miss approach. Or you can ask around the music industry in your particular city and ask for recommendations. Because of the importance of a good percussion player, finding recommendations for the truly good ones if not difficult. Musicians who have been in the industry for a good amount of time are fully aware of the importance of a good percussionist, and they will have recommendations. Word about a good session musician, including percussionists, spreads quickly through the music industry. Ask at the local music shops. Ask at the local music venues. It will not take long to have a short list of qualified and respected percussionists.
About Kip Allen, trusted percussion player
For fourteen years, Kip Allen has paid his dues in the Nashville music scene, starting out in honky-tonks and back-alley bars, and graduating to recording sessions with some of the biggest names in the music industry. Do you want a drummer/percussionist who will deliver high-quality time and time again? Call Kip Allen when only the best will do for your next project.