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Creating More Opportunity for Indoor Percussion Ensemble

As you prepare for the winter season, one goal of many groups is to engage students who may not be percussionists but want to perform. Below are a few methods that allow more students to participate. Of course, there are pros and cons for each method but with advanced planning many of the cons can be worked through.

  1. Borrow instruments to add to your current sections. These could be mallet instruments, other drums, or marching cymbals. Many schools with extra instruments don’t mind lending them out if they come back with new heads or re-strung mallet instruments.
  2. Create a “flub” (impact or tom) line. The parts can be written to accent existing parts or even allow the drummers to play more difficult rhythms. It also allows younger performers to learn how to march and play.
  3. Adding a second or third synth. This allows for more players but can also greatly add to the overall texture of the performance. This is only possible if you have room within your correct sound system. Mainstage makes this very accessible and there are affordable keyboards that will easily work with mainstage.
  4. Can you create a “visual team” within your visual design? This needs a lot of forethought but with planning they can enhance a performance while allowing students to participate who maybe only have a dance background.
  5. Write a bass guitar part if there isn’t one already.
  6. Expand the “Rack” Auxiliary parts. This is a great spot for younger musicians. A few extra mounted cymbals and any of the “toys” in the band room could work. This is a fun time to get creative.

Hopefully these ideas can help you expand access into your indoor percussion ensemble. They all come with a little extra work but the reward of watching the students perform is worth it!


GPG Music is the premiere source for award-winning music and design for marching band, inspirational concert music, and powerful, captivating music for percussion. Our composers are dedicated to providing reasonably-priced, custom-level compositions for all ability levels. Our balanced creative and educational focus will allow your band to reach its fullest potential based on the specific strengths of your ensemble. #InspireTheNextGeneration