The xylophone is a percussion instrument appreciated by adults and children. Colorful, cheerful and harmonious, it is able to transmit a light-heartedness that makes us feel more serene immediately. In short, nobody can resist the desire to drum on its keys to rediscover unique melodies.
And so you too, you were so enchanted by the xylophone and you decided to learn how to play it? Excellent decision! If you have a band or you like to create compositions with your musical instrument, the xylophone is perfect to give that extra touch to your music.
Do you want to find out how you play? Then you’re in the right place!
Let’s start from the basics: How is the xylophone done?
The xylophone was born in South-East Asia around the 14th century. It has a very simple shape that can be customized in colors and materials.
As you well know, the structure is composed of two rows of wooden bars: the row of the upper floor is reserved for the altered notes, while the lower one is used for the natural notes.
To play the instrument you need to use chopsticks, also called mallets, which you will need to hit the bars and create your own melodies. To start, we suggest you use shorter sticks and make the first lessons easier.
It is essential that the mallets are made of wood, with the rounded top part, to ensure that the bars produce the desired melody. Depending on the length of the sticks you can change the sound of the xylophone: the longer the mallets are long, the more serious the sound you will be able to obtain. That’s why you will not have to worry about tuning the instrument, the intensity of the sound is strictly connected to the size of the sticks.
Many musicians choose to play it with 4 sticks but it is very common, especially when you are a beginner, to use only two mallets. And when you’re better you can do it with 6 sticks!
How do you play the xylophone?
Many underestimate the complexity of this tool. Of course this is not your case, since you have arrived up to our article!
To get started, here’s what you need to do …
- Hold the chopsticks holding them between your forefinger and thumb, making sure you have a good grip so that you can use the movement of your wrist to give a decisive blow to the button;
- Always hit the key in the central part, both the chromatic and the diatonic ones. Use the edge of the chromatic keys only if the melody requires very quick steps;
- The position of the hands and elbows should form a triangular shape. This way you can play the xylophone with more simplicity.
Simple, right? We still have some tips to give you.
The notes of the xylophone refer to the central keys of the piano, more precisely those above and below the DO 3. Before launching into the experimentation of the instrument we remind you that you will have to devote some time to the study of music. In this case too, in fact, the theory is an essential part that will allow you to manage the instrument with greater mastery. And finally, listen to the sound! This is the most complex but necessary part to translate the melodies you have in mind into perfect compositions.