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) – (and II?)

“Xilofono basso” in “Turandot” (G. Puccini) – (and II?). In my PREVIOUS ARTICLE I showed you which instrument wanted Puccini as the “xilofono basso”, where he found his inspiration, who provided him with he original instrument and how he ordered a copy to be made for “Turandot”. Just imagine that we could find that original… Continue reading “Xilofono basso” in “Turandot” (G. Puccini) – (and II?)

“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).

Tchaikovsky´s “Arabic Dance” – Articulate or roll?

Tchaikovsky´s “Arabic Dance” – Articulate or roll? Last December 27 my article on the tambourine part of Tchaikovsky´s “Arabic Dance” (from “The Nutcracker”) was published on the Grover Pro website. You can read it clicking on the banner below: Thank you very much to Svetlana Manakova for helping me to translate the Russian indications. …et… Continue reading Tchaikovsky´s “Arabic Dance” – Articulate or roll?

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.

Herd bells in “Tosca”.

Herd bells in “Tosca”. I have been to Rome lately, where I have spent some wonderfull days together with my family. Among many other places of general and musical interest, I have been to the Castel Sant´Angelo. The third act of “Tosca” takes place at this impresive building. More precisely at the upper platform. LA… Continue reading Herd bells in “Tosca”.

How I made some snare gates

© David Valdés

How I made some snare gates. A snare gate is an opening in the lower counterhoop that allows for the snares to pass through it and to make contact with the resonant head. See the opening in the lower counterhoop, right below the snare strainer. © Grover Pro Percussion View from below. Check the snares… Continue reading How I made some snare gates

“Lieutenant Kije” and a peculiar tambourine technique

Lieutenant Kijé and a peculiar tambourine technique. On January 2, a new article of mine was published on the Grover Pro Percussion website. © Grover Pro Percussion Dealing with the very specific tambourine technique requested by Prokofiev in “Troika”, you can read it HERE. Tambourine part in “Troika”.     …et in Arcadia ego. ©… Continue reading “Lieutenant Kije” and a peculiar tambourine technique

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”