A note, from May 31, 2022: Hello! I have not updated this blog in a long time, and I currently don’t have plans to do so. However, please feel free, as mentioned below, to request an article and I will do my best to find the time to make something. This page still gets a lot of traffic despite the lack of updates, so I intend to leave it up for those who find it useful. – Adam

This is a blog with the purpose of helping composers write for percussion. Opinions are my own, but I hope you find it helpful! Content will be updated as much as I can.

Want to request a post? E-mail me! I’ll do my best to get to it.




creating a miscellaneous legend

on drum set notation

on drum set notation part 2: expanding the kit

hammered dulcimer tuning (16-15)

notating rolls

using single line staffs

on stickings


Mallet Percussion:

on bowed crotales

on bowed marimba

on bowed vibraphone

changing intervals in one hand

on dead strokes

glissandi on mallet instruments

on lateral motion

mallet shaft collisions

pitch bending with a mallet

pitch bending with water

playing with mallet shafts

prepared vibraphone (or marimba): coins

prepared vibraphone: tin foil

on one handed rolls

stacking keyboards

understanding graduated bars

on vibraphone dampening

on vibraphone harmonics

on vibraphone motors



muting the drums

playing spots on timpani

on tuning pedals

specifying timpani mallets



accounting for stick changes

on bowed cymbal

double-sided dulcimer hammers

friction/super ball mallets

pitch bending with air

on rasping sticks

on snare throw-offs

upside down (and muted) crotales


Additional Resources

I started this blog after being inspired by the efforts of musicians such as Heather Roche, Anne Lanzilotti, and Andrew Hugill. If you’ve enjoyed this blog, definitely explore their work!

Also, I’m not by any means an expert engraver. If you can, I’d highly recommend purchasing Elaine Gould’s Behind Bars to get the best results on your editing adventures.