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Keyboard Percussion Lesson 1: The Grip & Stroke

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remember when you set up your bail set

at home that it should come at the same

height as your snare drum or practice

pad so that's going to be just a few

inches below where your belly button is

to start learning how to play a keyboard

percussion instrument like this set of

bells that might look similar to the one

you have at home we have to learn how to

hold the mallet to grip the keyboard

mallet we're going to use the same grip

that we do for the drumstick so let's

start with your first finger and thumb

take your thumb find that first line on

your first finger and put it right there

get used to what that feels like unlike

a drumstick that you're going to hold

about a third of the way up the stick

we're going to move even further up and

be close to the midpoint close to the

middle not quite in the middle but a

little bit behind it place that part

right on that first line of your first

finger and then your thumb right on top

this is the most important part of the

mallet grip so keep it nice and secure

now take your other three fingers and

simply wrap them around the stick and

hold it there if you're doing this right

you'll see that the stick is coming out

of the middle part of your hand it's not

over your wrist it's not way up here in

your fingers it's coming out on this

fatty meaty part of your hand and

there's about an inch or two inches of

it sticking out now take your hand and

turn it so your palm is facing the floor

and facing the keyboard and the top of

your hand is facing the ceiling

before we go any further do this with

your other hand find your first finger

first line and thumb squeeze it almost

halfway up the stick wrap your other

three fingers around check that it's

coming out on this fatty part of your

hand and not here not up here right in

the middle

make sure there's about one or two

inches of it sticking out and then turn

your palm facing down and your wrists

facing up now hold those two mallets out

in front of you line the sticks up and

make sure that your hands are lined up

as well that way if you're grabbing one

higher and one lower without realizing


if you line the sticks up and your hands

aren't lined up you know something has

to get fixed

let's bring the mallet heads these big

parts together almost touching each

other like they're almost about to kiss

so make sure everything is lined up and

then hold them out in front of you again

just like when you play drums you should

see the upside down letter V with your

palms facing down start bending from the

wrist only up and down just get used to

what that feels like when you play drums

you rely on the drum to bounce the stick

back when we play these keyboard

instruments however we have to move the

stick entirely with the wrist

there's no bouncing off of these keys so

now find this note right in the middle

of the group of three notes and place

both of your mallet heads directly in

the center of that key for every single

key that we ever hit on this instrument

we want to hit right in the middle not

too far down not too far up but right in

the middle now we can practice some

strokes so we're going to start with

four right hand strokes on this middle

key notice when I play I'm only raising

the stick off about one or two inches

above the key not like drums where we're

coming way up here it's a very tiny

motion so let's do four right hands on

that middle note ready go let's do four

left hands ready go notice that I'm

keeping the mallet that I'm not moving

in the same spot and I'm returning the

moving mallet to that spot the right one

goes down and then it comes back exactly

where the left-hand one is waiting

and same for the other side now let's do

four alternating strokes right left

right left

ready go now let's do eight alternating

strokes starting with the right ready go

always double-check that your mouse are

almost touching each other and not

they're right above the Centers of the

keys and that's how you strike the