Photo by Scott Pickering

Friday, July 29, 2011

Did The Tambourine Modulate?

Try this one... Switch tambourines as a song modulates to a higher key.   Moving from a darker to a brighter sounding instrument gives the impression that the tambourine is changing key along with the band!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Listening To A Variety Of Music

Celtic to Latin to Rock to Gospel

Arriving early for a rehearsal (always a good idea), I sat in my van listening to the radio. Hearing the entire Carnival Overture by Dvorak, I was impressed by the great writing for  triangle and tambourine.

Listening to a variety of music to learn styles and gather ideas is so important. In today’s worship music, a set might include some Robin Mark, Salvador, Hillsong, Lincoln Brewster, and a little Andre Crouch for good measure. Do you know which instruments to reach for to handle that variety of music…and what kind of part to play? Make listening to different styles a priority.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

See What Ya Got

Triangle beaters, knife, timpani tuning key, pencil sharpener, tape, conga wrench, felt tip pen...

Do you ever have to rummage through your mallet case or stick bag to find those little items?

Get the gallon size "zipper" freezer bags and you can keep that stuff in one place and easily see what you've got at a glance.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Triangle Tips

Small in size Packed with power

Listen to a symphony orchestra playing at full volume. Add just one percussionist playing one note on the triangle and hear the sparkling tone shimmer pleasantly over 70+ musicians. Be careful with that power!

There’s not much that you can do to make a triangle sound better…you can’t change the head, put on better snares, etc... You must invest in a quality instrument. One of the favorites in my collection is the 6” Super-Overtone from Grover Pro Percussion ( The instrument is rich in harmonics with a good amount of sustain and a tone that is appropriate in a variety of settings.

  • Invest in at least three different sizes of triangle beaters. Each size excites different harmonics thus affecting the tone.
  • Experiment with striking various areas on the triangle for different timbres.
  • My general striking area is the side without the opening. I play about a third of the way down from the top corner with the beater at app. 45 degrees.

    This area gives a less definite pitch with lots of harmonics and blends well with the definite pitched instruments being played.
  • Always suspend the triangle with TWO separate loops (for safety) of thin string, plastic ties, or fishing line. NEVER use wire or heavy cord that will either buzz or significantly inhibit vibrations. Keep the loops short so that the triangle cannot spin after striking.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Zach Neese: In The Studio

Worship Leader / Songwriter, Zach Neese recently brought me into the studio for several hours of percussion recording for his solo project. Check out this video produced by Corey Jackson:

Zach Neese: In The Studio Part 3 from Corey Jackson on Vimeo.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Featured Setup

Here are a couple of pictures from one of the Percussion For Worship readers.   The photos show some details from the setup of John Homan, percussionist at New Creation Fellowship in Granger, Indiana.  John's generosity in sharing these with the readers gives me the idea to feature some photos from other worship percussionists.   Just send your pix to and be sure to include the name of your church.