Advanced mallet techniques

From Academic Kids

Advanced mallet techniques are extended techniques used on certain chromatic percussion instruments such as the marimba and vibraphone. They were created to allow faster tremolos, more mallets, larger chords, and increased dexterity for the player.

Two popular advanced techniques used to play most keyboard percussion instruments are Stevens grip and Burton grip.

Stevens grip

Stevens grip (or Musser-Stevens grip), developed by marimbist Leigh Howard Stevens, is a refinement of an earlier grip developed by Claire Omar Musser. In this grip, two or three mallets are held in each hand without the shafts of the mallets touching.

Burton grip

Burton grip, developed by vibraphonist Gary Burton, facilitates the use of only two mallets in each hand. The shafts of the mallets cross in the palm of the player's hand. This grip makes use of what is called rotor trills. In these rotor trills, the hand is spun back and forth in a circular motion causing the mallets to strike the keys at a very fast rate.

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