Vic Firth's Mallet Selection Guide
featuring The Cadets 2005 Front Ensemble; Neil Larrivee, Arranger/Instructor


Vic Firth congratulates Neil Larrivee,
Front Ensemble Arranger and Instructor for
The Cadets on winning the DCI Percussion Trophy

Mallet choice is about personal taste and choosing your sound. What to choose for any given piece or segment of a piece is usually a matter of prioritizing how you want specific musical voices to shine on through and with what sound color you hope to represent.

When discussing this subject I always think, “choose your sound – then your implement”. I suggest starting with your imagination and envision how you truly want your ensemble to sound. When doing so, think color of the sound – not just hard & soft. I suggest that you arrange with implement choices in mind. Try to avoid “default choices” and be sure that the sound you would hope for at any given moment is represented.

The challenges and opportunities are different with an ensemble vs. solo playing. What works great for an excerpt as an individual may not work as well for a full ensemble. With that thought in mind, we have provided a sampling of mallet choices that are coupled together between marimba, vibes and xylophone.

While this mallet model progression demo shows many combinations, know that there are over a hundred combinations that can be made with the Multi-Application Series, Ensemble Series and Orchestral Series - not to mention the Jeff Lee and Brian Mason Corpsmaster keyboard mallets. So be sure to try your own combinations. Again, “choose your sound – then your implement” and have fun doing it!


FULL ENSEMBLE MALLET DEMONSTRATION

    SELECT YOUR CONNECTION SPEED:       |    HIGH    |    LOW    |


The excerpt used in this demonstration is Caprice #1, by Matteo Carcassi, a baroque guitar excerpt arranged for marimba by Gifford Howarth.

The complete Caprice #1 is available in Giff's book, SIMPLY 4: FOUR MALLET TECHNIQUE, available from Tapspace Publications.


A PRACTICAL APPLICATION: THE CADETS’ 2005 FRONT ENSEMBLE

For a practical application of the Multi-Application Series marimba and vibe mallets, check out a close-up view of the Cadets front ensemble, performing "Dancer in the Dark", along with mallet selection commentary from Neil Larrivee, Cadet's front ensemble arranger and instructor!

    SELECT YOUR CONNECTION SPEED:       |    HIGH    |    LOW    |


MARIMBA MULTI-APPLICATION SERIES DEMONSTRATION

    SELECT YOUR CONNECTION SPEED:       |    HIGH    |    LOW    |

Mallets used in this video demo include:

Of course, the choices for Vic Firth marimba mallets doesn't end there! Here's the full selection of Corpsmaster® Series Marimba mallets available (combined Corpsmaster, Multi-Application, Jeff Lee and Brian Mason Series):


VIBE MULTI-APPLICATION SERIES DEMONSTRATION

    SELECT YOUR CONNECTION SPEED:       |    HIGH    |    LOW    |

Mallets used in this video demo include:

Here's the full selection of Corpsmaster® Series Vibe mallets available (combined Corpsmaster, Multi-Application, Jeff Lee and Brian Mason Series):


XYLOPHONE VIDEO DEMONSTRATION

    SELECT YOUR CONNECTION SPEED:       |    HIGH    |    LOW    |

Mallets used in this video demo include:

Here's the full selection of Vic Firth Xylophone mallets available (Combined Corpsmaster and Orchestral Series):

Be sure to check out the Orchestral Series web page. Included are audio demonstration clips for each of the xylo and bell mallets in the series!