David Valdés

Converting a tom into a snare drum.

Converting a tom into a snare drum. This project starts with a phone call by my colleague Adrián, owner of a 10″x7″ Tama Silverstar tom that he wanted to convert into a snare drum. The original tom. I disassembled all the parts so I could make the snare beds, a necessary structure so the snares… Continue reading Converting a tom into a snare drum.

“Xilofono basso” in “Turandot” (G. Puccini).

“Xilofono basso” in “Turandot” (G. Puccini). “Turandot”, by Giaccomo Puccini, is scored for timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, tam-tam, tubular bells, glockenspiel (keyboard), tuned gongs (the same as in “Madama Butterfly”), triangle, xylophone and bass xylophone in the pit; a tam-tam and a temple block onstage. I will write about the tuned gongs in… Continue reading “Xilofono basso” in “Turandot” (G. Puccini).

Restauration of a Givernau tenor drum.

Restauration of a Givernau tenor drum. I have found a very peculiar drum in an antiques fair. It measures 44,7x31cm or 17″ 10/16 x 12″ 4/16). They  are not “exact” measures in neither system, which is quite bizarre. It also features some nice single point lugs and the tension rods are off-set. As you can… Continue reading Restauration of a Givernau tenor drum.

“Histoire du Soldat”, what about the “L´”?

Histoire du Soldat. Percussion part.

“Histoire du Soldat”, what about the “L´”? “Histoire du Soldat”, by Igor Stravinsky, is one of the most important works in the percussion repertoire, as it was one of the first to be written for a percussion set. Apart from its “percusive” importance, it is a masterwork which is played very often (whether staged or… Continue reading “Histoire du Soldat”, what about the “L´”?

Modification of a Premier bass drum

Montaje de parche de piel, aro, garra y llave. © David Valdés.

Modification of a Premier bass drum. This project is a consequence of a larger one; namely, to provide myself with the proper drums to recreate as close as possible the original sound, character and looks in Stravinsky´s “The Soldier´s Tale”.   For the bass drum I used a 28″x12″ Premier (model 188) from the 70s.… Continue reading Modification of a Premier bass drum

Xylophone in Richard Strauss´ “Salome”

Strohinstrument. © Lefima

Xylophone in Richard Strauss´ “Salome”. We, percussionists, very often play on instruments that, in reality, are not those that the composer indicated. We have the keyboard xylophone in “Bluebeard“ (B. Bartok), a part impossible to play on a regular xylophone; the glockenspiel parts in many works (“Magic Flute”, Mahler #7, «Daphnis et Chloe», etc.), which… Continue reading Xylophone in Richard Strauss´ “Salome”

“Tavolette” in “Feste Romane”

Matraca. Fuente desconocida.

“Tavolette” in “Feste Romane”. At the end of the last season I was lucky enough to play “Feste Romane” (“Roman Festivals”) which, together with “Fountains” and “Pines”, form Ottorino Respighi´s “Roman Triptych”. It is a work featuring an exuberant, imaginative and brilliant orchestration. It requires a “percusive force” of one timpanist plus nine percussionists and, in… Continue reading “Tavolette” in “Feste Romane”


© David Valdés

Welcome! Hi everybody.   Today I´m starting a new adventure in the blogosphere.   Percusize Me! is my blog, and its title is a play on words related to Morgan Spurlock´s film “Super Size Me”. Its meaning could be something as “percussionize me” (I know that expression doesn´t exist!). Also, and following the storyline in… Continue reading Welcome!