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I have found that leaving the stands set up, storing and securing only the snare drum, cymbals, bass drum mallets, and small instruments (tambourine, triangle, wood block, etc.) while covering the larger instruments, makes for a quick set up at the beginning of rehearsal, and consistently organized section.
Although placing the chimes at the downstage or right side of the section may obscure the audience view of the player, if the instrument is in the middle of the percussion section, the performers will not be able to communicate visually, and will have to navigate around the chimes when moving about the section.
The musical advantages far outweigh the staging concerns.
Placing the timpani as close to these instruments as possible will improve ensemble rhythm and intonation.
Bass Drum and Cymbals Bass drum and crash cymbals work as a team.
Neatly arranged and well maintained equipment sets the tone for the rehearsal and the year.
Show the percussionists where the instruments should be placed at the first rehearsal, and insist on that “set up” for each rehearsal throughout the school year.
We know that our students will learn more quickly and become better performers.
The following are some suggestions to help reach the goal of maintaining an efficient and well organized percussion section.
However, if percussionists always start with a basic instrument arrangement, they will know where to move, if the music requires fast instrument changes.
This will also reduce the amount of time spent searching for instruments before rehearsals.