the vibraphone

Okay so it seems like people will call any mallet percussion instrument a xylophone and I’m here to teach you shit.

This is a xylophone. The wood part is thick and it’s high pitched.

This is a marimba. It’s huge and expensive. No like a small one costs over $4,000 (3186.20 euros). The key things are really long and thin.

Now do you see this beautiful instrument? This is called the vibraphone motherfuckers. Or just the vibes. Anyways it sounds amazing. I could marry the sound. Basically, it;s made of metal and you have a pedal to stop it from ringing too long.

This is the glockenphejksdfjkl. I have no idea how to spell it, so lets just call it the orchestral bells. If you hit this shit too loud it can burst your eardrums. 

These are a joke.

The Instruments if they were Pokémon

Piccolo: Fairy/Flying type, Evolves to Flute with High Friendship.

Flute: Fairy/Flying type, Evolves from Piccolo and Mega-Evolves into Hyperbass Flute.

Clarinet: Dark type, evolves from E flat Clarinet with high friendship, evolves into Bass Clarinet with a dusk stone.

Bass Clarinet: Dark/Steel type, evolves from Clarinet, Mega-Evolves into Contrabass Clarinet.

Oboe: Fairy/Grass type, Evolves into English Horn at level 18.

English Horn: Fairy/Psychic type, Evolves into Heckelphone with a sunstone or into Bass Oboe with a moonstone.

Bassoon: Fighting/Grass type, Evolves into Contrabassoon at level 32.

Contrabassoon: Fighting/Grass type, Evolves from Bassoon, Mega-Evolves into Contraforte.

Saxophones: All Fighting/Steel type. Alto evolves into Tenor at level 16, Tenor evolves into Bari at level 32, Bari Mega-Evolves into Contrabass.

French Horn: Dragon/Electric type. No evolutions.

Trumpet: Dragon/Fairy type. No evolutions.

Trombone: Electric/Fighting type. Evolves into Bass Trombone which Mega-Evolves into Contrabass.

Baritone: Electric/Ground type. Evolves from Alto Horn with a Thunder Stone.

Euphonium: Electric/Ground type. Evolves into Tuba at level 50.

Tuba: Electric/Ground type. Mega-Evolves into Sousaphone.

Mallets: All Grass/Psychic type. Xylophone evolves into Vibraphone at level 16, Vibes evolve into Marimba at level 32.

Snare Drum: Steel/Rock type. Evolves into Bass Drum at level 46, or into Timpani when traded holding the Metal Coat.

Violin: Normal/Psychic type, Evolves into Viola with a moonstone. Comes in 2 forms: 1st and 2nd Violins.

Viola: Dark/Psychic type, Evolves into Cello at level 17, or into Bass if traded holding the Cracked Rosin.

Cello: Fairy/Psychic type, Evolves from Viola.

Bass: Dark/Psychic type, Evolves from Viola, Mega-Evolves into Octobass.

Piano: Normal/Dark type. Comes in many different forms: Upright, Honky Tonk, Grand, Toy, and Electric. Evolves into Organ at level 70. Basically the Pikachu.

Guitar: Normal type. Has an Alolan Form (Hawaiian Guitar) Evolves from Ukulele.

I am a Musician. You are a Musician

I am a musician. I have to work harder and harder everyday to improve who I am, and to make sure I become what I want to become.

Let me tell you something, sugar. Music isn’t easy. Music is probably one of the hardest careers out there, and before you start telling me about something that’s harder, read the rest of this.

In the music industry, you will never be ‘the best’. There is no way around it. You will never be the best, and you have to accept that. Somewhere, there’s someone with more experience and more time under their belt than you. They will be better.

But.

There will be a point where you will be one of the best. Not ‘the best’, but pretty dang close. YOU will be the person that a young boy or girl looks up to as they force themselves to play their scales over and over until they are in tune because they know that YOU practice your scales. They know that you didn’t give up on what you loved, and they’re looking at you now, hoping that one day they may stand on the same stages as you. Play with the same orchestras as you. Play the same pieces as you.

One day, you’ll be watching an interview of a musician in their late twenties/early thirties, they will be asked a question along the lines of ‘Who do you look up to most?’, then they will smile, look into the camera, and say your name. Why?

Because you are a musician.

percussion during a slow piece
  • percussion instructor: *sitting there fuming*
  • snare: "what's that? did I turn the snare off- of course I turned the snare off, why would I forget to d- shIT I left the snare on-"
  • bass drum: I wonder if I held that pause on that rest on for long enough? I don't think the 42 bars of rest really prepared me for that moment so forgive me if I'm mistaken
  • auxiliary percussion: "must. not. touch them until it's time... ten bars to go-- whO BREATHED ON THE WIND CHIMES-"
  • triangle: how am I expected to make a dynamic contrast who do you think am are
  • suspended cymbal: ssssssshhhHHHHHHHINGG oh wait that was supposed to be pp
  • glockenspiel: alright, I've got a pretty good part here, maybe it's the tune, not much else going on s--crap everyone heard me mess up time to die
  • vibraphone: "what's that? did I turn the brakes- of course I turned the brakes on, I'm using the pedal! why would I forget to t- shIT I'm sliding forwards-"
  • drumkit: *rocking backwards and forwards in a corner*
  • timpani: ppp? I think I'll just blow on the drum, don't worry my 73 bars of rest will give me time to take a nice deep breath

French Music Vocabulary by @lass-uns-studieren

The French version to @langblog‘s post! Here is the German version. 

Tagging @useless-switzerlandfacts (again for the Swiss month of music as French is a national language), @malteseboy and @plantsandcoffeestudyblr!

La Musique - Music

Les Instruments (m)- Instruments

Les Bois (m) - Woodwinds

La flûte - Flute
Le piccolo ou la petite flûte - Piccolo
La clarinette - Clarinet
La clarinette-basse - Bass clarinet
L’haut-bois (m) - Oboe
Le basson - Bassoon
Le saxophone - Saxophone

Les Cuivres (m) - Brass

La trompette - Trumpet
Le trombone - Trombone
Le tuba - Tuba
Le cor - French horn

Les Cordes (f) - Strings

Le violon - Violin
L’alto (m) - Viola
Le violoncelle - Cello
La contrebasse - Double bass
L’harpe (f) - Harp
La guitare - Guitar

Les percussions (f) - Percussion

Le marimba - Marimba
Le xylophone - Xylophone
Le vibraphone - Vibraphone
Les castagnettes (f) - Castanets
Le piano - Piano
Le clavier - Keyboard
Les cymbales (f) - Cymbals
La batterie - Drum kit
Le tambourin - Tambourine
Le triangle - Triangle
Le gong - Gong

Music notation

La chanson - Song
La clef de sol - Treble clef
La clef de fa - Bass clef
La note - Note
Aigu - Sharp
Fixe - Flat
Le reste/repos - Rest
Le rythme - Beat
La mélodie - Melody

Music styles

La musique pop - Pop
La musique rap - Rap
Le jazz - Jazz
Le reggae - Reggae
La musique blues - Blues
Le punk rock - Punk
La musique folklorique - Folk
Le heavy metal - Heavy metal
La musique country - Country
La musique classique - Classical

How to Learn a Run

Part of being a mallet percussionist is learning how to play fast runs. Mallet players always want to play them, they compliment phrases nicely, and they’re flashy. However, when you hand someone a run, they struggle. Being that I just got back from a drum corps weekend where we broke down a lot of runs in the show (including a 4 measure long 16th note run at 155bpm, with inside independents), I’ll share some tips that help me out when learning runs!

1. Write in your notes

This is typically something you should take 5-10 minutes doing anyways. Sight-reading music is great, but writing in notes helps you know exactly what notes you’re playing. It’s hard to tell from far away sometimes, especially with notes above and below the staff, if the note is on the ledger line or off, or if the accidental from the last measure carried over, or just little reminders that it’s a Bb, not a B natural. Now, you don’t have to write in every note, but you can. I found that writing starting notes, ending notes, turnarounds, and jumps in, and assuming everything else is linear works for me. If a part repeats, like measure 40 above, write in the pattern, and then it changes on beat 4, write in the change. 

2. Don’t play it
No but seriously. 

If you’re playing a run and can’t get it, literally put the mallets down and just visualize it. Figure out the shape, use all of those notes we wrote in, turnarounds, accidentals, jumps, figure out where your hands go. going through it with just your fingers or just airing through it can sometimes help you figure out muscle memory. Too often does an instructor say “Okay, go back to C, look through what we just played,” and people immediately just start hacking. Literally look through. Sometimes the mental aspect of it factors in a lot. Just knowing the shape of the run helps. 

3. Slow it down
Naturally, we see a fast run and immediately want to lay into it at show tempo. We tend to learn it wrong, make bad habits and wind up playing wrong notes…not to mention get chopped out quicker. Play it slow. Go through it way under tempo. Try to get through it continuously slowly. Once you get it at a reasonable tempo, throw in a few reps of the actual tempo, see how you’re doing. If you can move your hands in the shape of the run, sometimes it happens. Wrong notes here and there but you get close. 

4. Break it down
There are parts of runs sometimes where you nail a measure, nail a measure, but can’t nail both measures. Or you can’t hit a turnaround or skip in a measure. Break it into two chunks. 1e+a 2e+a 3, 3e+a 4e+a 1. Play them separately but with rests in between. After that gets comfortable, do them like you did, and then add the run together. 1e+a 2e+a 3, 3e+a 4e+a 1, 1e+a 2e+a 3e+a 4e+a 1, with about a beat of rest in between each phrase. It helps a lot. I actually have my front ensemble play a variation on Green/Krauss scales called Sprints, which is literally that. CDEFGFEDC rest CDEFGFEDC rest CDEFGABCD, and then when you do the final run at the end, CDEFG rest GABCD rest DCBAG rest GFEDC rest, and then the whole run fast up. So it kind of breaks that C-to-high-D run down into it’s own thing. Definitely a good technique. Also what can help is doing that, and then adding on the next sixteenth note partial everytime you get comfortable. 1e+a 2, 1e+a 2e, 1e+a 2e+, etc. Helps build continuity. 

5. Don’t abandon the approach
Too often, people will do all of this, do everything right, and then still when they’re learning it and they go too fast too quick, they freak out. They tense up and squeeze and lock their wrists and play from the elbow and get no organic rebound and are working for every note. No technique in the WORLD teaches anything completely arm based. Think about your technique, it’s there for a reason. Keep loose, keep the right grip in your hand, stroke from the wrist, use your arm as a shock absorber almost. When playing on a keyboard, there’s no rebound like a drum, we create our own rebound with our stroke. So in order to do that, you have to have that piston stroke and bring it back up and let your arm breathe and let the mallet bounce up. Also all too often, people think FAST RUNS = NO FINGERS, PUMP PUMP PUMP. Not entirely true. You should make sure you have your clear fulcrum on the mallet and your back fingers around the stick. There can be breathing room cause you’re not squeezing, but keep your fingers on the stick and let that shock absorbing bounce happen but control it. 

If you do all 5 of these things, I can almost guarantee you’ll be able to play any run. Note: most of the things I just said are mental. Obviously chops are a big part, but if you make chops the only variable in the equation and do all of the other work, you will be fine. 

Coming soon: How to Play Chords Easier Than You Think!

German Music Vocabulary by @lass-uns-studieren

Inspired by @langblog‘s list, I’ve translated it into German! @useless-switzerlandfacts this coincides with your month of Swiss music!

Tagging @malteseboy, @wonderful-language-sounds and @langsandlit!

Die Musik - Music

Die Instrumente - Instruments

Die Holzbläser - Woodwinds

Die Flöte - Flute
Der Pikkolo - Piccolo
Die Klarinette - Clarinet
Die Bassklarinette - Bass clarinet
Die Oboe - Oboe
Das Fagott - Bassoon
Das Kontrafagott - Double bassoon
Das Saxophon - Saxophone

Die Blechbläser - Brass

Die Trompete - Trumpet
Die Posaune - Trombone
Die Tuba - Tuba
Das Waldhorn - French horn

Die Streichinstrumente - Strings

Die Violine/Geige - Violin
Die Viola - Viola
Das Cello - Cello
Der Kontrabass - Double bass
Die Harfe - Harp
Die Gitarre - Guitar

Die Percussion - Percussion

Die Marimba - Marimba
Das Xylophon - Xylophone
Das Vibraphon - Vibraphone
Die Kastagnette - Castanets
Das Klavier - Piano
Die Keyboard - Keyboard
Die Becken - Cymbals
Das Schlagzeug - Drum kit
Das Tamburin - Tamborine
Das Dreieck oder Die Triangel (Austrian German) - Triangle
Der Gong - Gong

Music notation

Das Lied - Song
Der Violinschlüssel - Treble clef
Der Bassschlüssel - Bass clef
Die Note - Note
Note: for sharp/flat, the words are not used. These notes are denoted: Sharp: Cis, Dis, Eis, Fis, Gis, Ais, His (to mean F sharp, D sharp, C sharp and so on) Flat: Ces, Des, Es, Fes, Ges, As, B   
Dur: Major
Moll: Minor
Die Pause - Rest
Der Schlag - Beat
Die Melodie - Melody

Music styles

Die Popmusik - Pop
Die Rap-musik - Rap
Die Jazzmusik - Jazz
Der Reggae - Reggae
Der Blues - Blues
Der Punkrock - Punk
Die Volksmusik - Folk
Das Heavy Metal - Heavy metal
Die Countrymusik - Country
Die Klassik - Classical

youtube

“Blue Bossa” Improv Vibraphone Solo

youtube

Lionel Hampton performing “Flying Home” on television in 1957.

I love this music, and though I can’t explain why, the vibraphone inspires in me the notion for a cocktail.

Music Vocab in Mandarin

i dont know if this has been done already but music is the one of the only things that i love just as much as languages. so this is for all you music loving mandarin learners out there!! (A LONG POST!!)

音乐 (yīn yuè) - music

管乐器 (mùguǎn yuèqì) - woodwinds

*乐器 (yuè qì) - instruments*

  • 长笛 (cháng dí) - flute
  • 短笛 (duǎn dí) - piccolo
  • 单簧管 (dān huáng guǎn) - clarinet
  • 低音单簧管 (dīyīn dānhuángguǎn) - bass clarinet
  • 双簧管 (shuāng huáng guǎn) - oboe
  • 巴松管 (bāsōng guǎn) - bassoon
  • 萨克管 (sà kè guǎn) - saxophone

铜管乐器 (tóngguǎn yuèqì) - brass

  • 小号 (xiǎo hào) - trumpet
  • 长号 (cháng hào) - trombone
  • 大号 (dà hào) - tuba
  • 圆号 (yuán hào) - french horn

弦乐器 (xián yuè qì) - strings

  • 小提琴 (xiǎo tíqín) - violin
  • 中提琴 (zhōng tíqín) - viola
  • 大提琴 (dà tíqín) - cello
  • 低音提琴 (dī yīn tíqín) - double bass
  • 琴 (shù qín) - harp

打击乐器 (dǎjí yuèqì) - percussion

  • 马林巴 (mǎ lín bā) - marimba
  • 木琴 (mù qín) - xylophone
  • 颤音琴 (chànyīn qín) - vibraphone
  • 钢琴 (gāng qín) - piano
  • 电子琴 (diànzi qín) - keyboard
  • 钹 (bó) - cymbals
  • 架子鼓 (jiàzi gǔ) - drum kit
  • 铃鼓 (líng gǔ) - tamborine
  • 三角形 (sān jiǎo xíng)  -triangle
  • 锣 (luó) - gong
  • 电吉他 (diàn jítā) - electric guitar

记谱法 (jì pǔ fǎ) - music notation

  • 歌曲 (gē qǔ) - song
  • 高音谱号 (gāoyīn pǔ hào) - treble cleff
  • 低音谱号 (dīyīn pǔ hào) - bass clef
  • 音符 (yīn fú) - note
  • 本位号 (běn wèi hào) - natural
  •  升号 (shēng hào) - sharp
  • 降号 (jiàng hào) - flat
  • 休止符 (xiū zhǐ fú) - rest
  • 节拍 (jié pāi) - beat
  • 旋律 (xuán lǜ) - melody

音乐风格 (yīnyuè fēnggé) - music styles

  • 流行音乐 (liúxíng yīnyuè) - pop
  • 说唱音乐 (shuōchàng yīnyuè) - rap
  • 爵士乐 (juéshì yuè) - jazz
  • 雷鬼音乐 (léi guǐ yīnyuè) - reggae
  • 蓝调音乐 (lándiào yīnyuè) - blues
  • 朋克音乐 (péngkè yīnyuè) - punk
  • 民间音乐 (mínjiān yīnyuè) - folk
  • 重金属音乐 (zhòngjīnshǔ yīnyuè) - heavy metal
  • 乡村音乐 (xiāngcūn yīnyuè) - country
  • 古典音乐 (gǔdiǎn yīnyuè) - classical

(please feel free to correct me if i made any mistakes!)