Other Percussion Instruments That are Vital to a Band

When most people think about percussion in music they think about the drums. However, there are other percussion instruments that are vital to a band. Percussion instruments produce sound when they are shaken or hit, and it may seem therefore that they are easy to play. However, percussion instruments are generally hard to learn how to perform on, yet they are very useful and provide an additional element to the sound of the music that is being created. Additional percussion instruments can be added to various types of bands from the orchestra to even rock groups. Percussion is not limited to the drums, although the drums are what one normally thinks of when one remembers percussion instruments.


One of the examples of a percussion instrument that has been played in a rock music band is the marimba. The marimba has been played by the “Rolling Stones” for some of their songs. It has also been played in orchestras and jazz bands. The marimba is comprised of a series of wooden bars which are struck with a mallet to produce sound. The marimba is also played in marching bands and solo performances. The sound that is produced is of a lower pitch when compared to the type of sound that belongs to a xylophone.

The Xylophone

This is very similar to the marimba and also consists of bars that are struck by a mallet. The xylophone is used in orchestras and various other types of bands and is usually smaller than the marimba. Another type of percussion instrument that belongs to the similar vein as the aforementioned instruments is the vibraphone. The vibraphone consists of bars that are made of metal. It also has metal resonators that contain disks inside that rotate. The vibraphone is commonly played in jazz music bands.

The Cymbal and Tamborine

Yet another percussion speciment that can really be used to accentuate the music and to add an element of drama. It is a very good instrument to use to add an impressive moment. The cymbals are large metal discs that are struck together to make a deafening noise. Usually they are made of bronze. The sound that the cymbals produce depends on their size, with the smaller cymbals producing a higher pitched sound and the larger ones producing a lower pitched sound. Besides the dramatic effect, the cymbals can be used to create rhythm. They can be hit together or you can use a mallet or sticks. The cymbals are commonly played in military bands.

The tamtam or gong is an instrument that is sometimes played in orchestral pieces. This is a large metal disc that hangs from a metal pipe. It is played by striking it with a soft mallet. The tambourine has been played by such musicians as Marvin Gaye and in jazz bands. It is similar to a small drum but has metal jingles around the sides. These percussion instruments are all important pieces that are used in various music making.