Height-Dynamic Systems

marimba / vibes / xylo discussion

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VoteLobster Offline
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Height-Dynamic Systems

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:23 pm



What kind of height system do you use, if any? If you use the same system that you do during rudimental drumming I feel like the range of motion is way beyond what's practical. Like, I can't get vertical on a marimba because there's not really a rebound. Or is it relative? I haven't formally been introduced to a height system and I can't find any info online.

Thaaaaanks
Alex Douglass
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schorsquatch Offline
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Re: Height-Dynamic Systems

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:41 pm



I take it you're talking about non-snare drum heights? You could blow up a forum by having a heights discussion just on snare... there are bound to be a million opinions about other instruments.

What is the context? What are you trying to accomplish?
Without a metronome its not drumming, its just hacking.


joe356 Offline
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Re: Height-Dynamic Systems

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:22 am



You can, and should, get to vertical on a marimba. Check out any of the major ensembles out there, and their dynamic range extends from full vertical with arm to barely touching the bars. On a field/in a gym, if you don't exaggerate your dynamics they don't come across.

That being said, I've never really used a height system in front ensemble. The kids learn to agree on where mezzo piano is and so on. The dynamics in the front are more fluid since they aren't moving all of the time, they can pay more attention to subtlety there.


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Re: Height-Dynamic Systems

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:37 pm



I'm talking mostly about concert percussion.
Alex Douglass
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joe356 Offline
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Re: Height-Dynamic Systems

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:47 pm



Still relevant. Go watch any professional concert marimba player. Their dynamic range will be very wide. Maybe they're not playing at full vertical all the time, but they have it in their bag of tricks.


schorsquatch Offline
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Re: Height-Dynamic Systems

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:06 pm



Joe356 is right... being in control of the full range of dynamics is essential for any instrument. With that being said, I personally don't like "heights" as a basis for dynamics at all, especially in the concert setting... its most useful as basis for comparison where you have a team of players trying to match up (e.g., a drumline) but in concert percussion I think its more about being aware of your level of projection, and adjusting accordingly. I simply calibrate my dynamic range depending on the notation, and adjust according the strength of the ensemble and the room etc (not to mention feedback from the conductor). Dynamics are all relative IMO, and to get trapped into "it says mf, so I must bring my sticks/mallets to 6inches" is really, well, not very musical.

To add... that's my $0.02... but I'm not aware of a concert percussion system that uses heights as a basis for dynamics. Sorry!
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Re: Height-Dynamic Systems

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:26 pm



schorsquatch wrote:Joe356 is right... being in control of the full range of dynamics is essential for any instrument. With that being said, I personally don't like "heights" as a basis for dynamics at all, especially in the concert setting... its most useful as basis for comparison where you have a team of players trying to match up (e.g., a drumline) but in concert percussion I think its more about being aware of your level of projection, and adjusting accordingly. I simply calibrate my dynamic range depending on the notation, and adjust according the strength of the ensemble and the room etc (not to mention feedback from the conductor). Dynamics are all relative IMO, and to get trapped into "it says mf, so I must bring my sticks/mallets to 6inches" is really, well, not very musical.

To add... that's my $0.02... but I'm not aware of a concert percussion system that uses heights as a basis for dynamics. Sorry!
Gotcha. That makes sense. Thanks.
Alex Douglass
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joe356 Offline
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Re: Height-Dynamic Systems

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:29 pm



schorsquatch wrote:Joe356 is right... being in control of the full range of dynamics is essential for any instrument. With that being said, I personally don't like "heights" as a basis for dynamics at all, especially in the concert setting... its most useful as basis for comparison where you have a team of players trying to match up (e.g., a drumline) but in concert percussion I think its more about being aware of your level of projection, and adjusting accordingly. I simply calibrate my dynamic range depending on the notation, and adjust according the strength of the ensemble and the room etc (not to mention feedback from the conductor). Dynamics are all relative IMO, and to get trapped into "it says mf, so I must bring my sticks/mallets to 6inches" is really, well, not very musical.

To add... that's my $0.02... but I'm not aware of a concert percussion system that uses heights as a basis for dynamics. Sorry!

PREACH!!!!!!!


NGPercussion Offline
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Re: Height-Dynamic Systems

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:56 pm



One of my favorite things to say is "dynamics are relative". Thanks!
Percussioning since 2003.


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