Percussion InstrumentsPercussion instruments keep it all together... When people hear the word percussion, they almost always think of drums first. But percussion in traditional musical circles actually covers a very diverse family of instruments including drums, bells, blocks, claves, maracas, tambourines and shakers that can work together or independently to drive and embellish the three key components of any musical piece—rhythm, harmony and melody. Some inventive musicians (including well known composers and rock bands like Aerosmith) have even been known to use “found” items like beer kegs, metal pipes, buckets and brooms as unconventional percussion in their music.
But no matter what you play or how you play them, percussion instruments bring life and pulsating energy to your music. Think of your percussion instruments as the musical glue that binds the performance in time and rhythm. In marching or military bands, it is the steady percussion beats that keep everyone in step and on cue. It's the snap of the hihat cymbals people associate with the lively swing sound in jazz music. And who doesn't appreciate the rousing jingle of the tambourine or the raw, ratchety sound of maracas coursing through a song? In fact, when you think about the musical pieces you like most there’s probably a percussion instrument or two bringing it all together.