Learn As You Play – Tuned Percussion & Timpani

It is rare when a new method book is introduced that is unique in concept and design. This book offers a new approach to teaching and performing on both keyboard percussion and timpani. Each instrument is introduced via a brief description and contains excellent sketches which demonstrate the instrument, hand position and correct striking area.

The innovative context of the text coordinates the teaching of notes on the instrument and staff. The material is presented via original songs composed by the author. The text is presented in 10 units including instructional material for both keyboard and timpani. The text concludes with solos for each instrument.

This is an excellent text for introducing students to tuned percussion instruments and is worthy of consideration by any teacher who works with young students.

Written for beginner drummers and takes them up to about Grade 2. The CD includes examples of all the beats and pieces and is recorded in stereo, so that you can isolate the snare drum, bass drum or high-hat on the left- or right-hand channels. There are little backing tracks to practise the drum-kit beats to, and accompaniments for the pieces, which can also be played with the other parts in Learn as You Play Tuned Percussion and Timpani.

Rebecca Berkley, Music Teacher magazine

Christine Barron’s ‘Learn As You Play’ books on drums and tuned percussion and timpani are excellent. And now they’re even better because there’s an audiocassette available… The pieces and exercises in the books are demonstrated by professional musicians. Every new rhythm, fill-in and rudiment is there to ensure you are playing it correctly and at the right tempo. To make it even more enjoyable, all the pop beats, fill-ins and concert pieces are recorded with attractive accompaniments. Learning is now relatively easy, painless, enjoyable and fast”
Premier Percussion News, May 1992 

It’s a strange habit most people have it…when you pick up a book for the first time you look at the title and then for some reason you start looking from the back to the front. This I did with the Tuned Percussion book. And there it was – the beginning of the ensemble – as Christine has made the Tuned/Timpani book compatible with the Drum book and so, for example, ‘Nitty Gritty’ has a Tuned part on page 66, Timpani part on page 69 and a Kit part on page 72 of the drum book.

A fantastic explanatory introduction on both keyboards and timpani, both hand and pedal. I agree with and practice the concept of running the two instruments together. I have tired by term, that is term of keyboard and term of timpani, but have also tried week about and while progress seems to be slower, in fact it is not as two instruments are being covered and they do compliment each other, especially on the ear training aspect. Intervals are covered on the keyboard and then related to the Timpani tuning. Transposition is suggested too at lesson or unit 3, a bit hard perhaps but a good exercise. Should the student not grasp transposition at this stage then the book is so constructed that the student can move forward without loss of pace and if necessary return here at a later stage.

I feel quite excited about these books as they seem to cover all that I wish and use in my teaching. Christine seems to have read my mind. Small things like sticking marked when problems occur; problems explained; the same problem in the next exercise but no sticking marked so the student must recognize the problem and use the correct sticking to overcome the problem. Both books are certainly worth the money and I would recommend them to the class teacher who has no specialist available as these books are the next best thing.

Christine Barron had made a wonderful contribution to percussion education. The whole package is tremendously attractive for teachers and pupils to work from.

Evelyn Glennie.

The popular Learn As You Play Series now includes a volume by Christine Barron for Tuned Percussion & Timpani. It’s suitable for both individual and group instruction and contains carefully programmed material for absolute beginners to those of intermediate standard. It covers scales, arpeggios, intervals and sight reading, besides a whole lot more which will enable the student to play in many different styles: Orchestral, Pop, Rock, Latin, swing etc. 73 pages £7.95
Review in Music Business Magazine by Robin De Smet, New Printer Music Lines

A Sample of some of the songs you’ll be playing along to: