A Fresh Approach to Technique and Musicianship with Four Mallets
Edition: 1st Edition
Publisher: Mark Wessels Publications
Cost: Book Cost - $26.99 | Supplemental Books - $0.00
Organization: The table of contents is found on the first page, listing an introduction, grips, stroke types, and twenty-four lessons, each accompanied by an etude utilizing the exercises and fundamentals which were covered in that same lesson. Each lesson has tips written in the margins of the playing examples, with certain things to focus on, a suggested practice routine, and other reminders being found in nearly every lesson along with other tips.
Content: The author provides a URL to online lessons and playing examples, which show the author talking about the lesson itself and then a performance of it at the end of the video. Surprisingly, no video is cut short to recommend going to another website for full access, instead the contents of the whole book are seemingly provided on YouTube for free which nearly eliminates the need for the book, apart from having music to read! The introduction offers advice such as staying relaxed, mallet heights, phrasing, and using a metronome in practice. The mallet grips include three pictures of each grip, showing three different angles of the grip along with steps to achieve each grip and the characteristics of each grip. The stroke types are merely a bullet point list explaining what each stroke is and what is achieved by it.
Uses: With how accessible the videos are and the fundamentals which are covered in the book, along with the level of difficulty of the playing examples, I would say this book could be used for students ranging from middle school to high school, with beginner college students having uses for the etudes as repertoire. The author states the etudes should not take more than 2-3 weeks, so covering all 24 etudes would be impossible to do within a school year, let alone a semester so the instructor would have to determine the pace and skill level of the student to choose which lessons and etudes the students will learn from this book.
Rating: At the given price point along with the provided videos, I can easily see this book being used in a classroom setting, either by the students themselves or with handouts given by the instructor for the students to practice. The information presented in the book should not be new to an instructor, so this book would be suited more for students’ use. It may have to be replaced eventually with more difficult repertoire, but it is a great stepping stone for students to develop their skills with four mallets. 5/5. User:Hondogracias
Additional Study Materials
Works for Percussion by this Author
Skidmore, David. A Fresh Approach to Technique and Musicianship with Four Mallets. Mark Wessels Publications, 2018.